Nationwide, Tesco, Aldi: 5 things that mattered this week and why

As the UK extends its lockdown, we dig into the news this week on how brands and marketers are reacting including new campaigns from Nationwide and Tesco, and a move into online for Aldi.

Nationwide takes a long-term approach to its marketing

Nationwide has been running its ‘Voices’ campaign for almost four years now, and it wasn’t about to stop because of the coronavirus crisis.

As a building society, it is not in a sector that is facing an existential crisis and has money to invest in marketing. Plus, the campaign allows it to reflect how people are feeling, making it appropriate despite the ongoing pandemic.

That puts Nationwide in an enviable position, and one that it plans to use to its advantage. As head of advertising Paul Hibbs says the company “wants to come of this stronger than we went into it”.

That means making some difficult decisions on how and where to spend. But also investing in its brand.

READ MORE: Nationwide – We want our brand to come out of this stronger than it went in

Aldi sells groceries online for the first time

Aldi has joined the ranks of supermarkets offering food parcels to help customers during the coronavirus pandemic, also marking the first time the retailer has sold groceries online.

Aldi had previously only sold wine and its ‘Specialbuys’ range of non-food items online. From today, customers will be able to order parcels with 22 essential items including soup, pasta, rice, coffee, biscuits, toilet roll and antibacterial handwash.

The popular German discounter’s move to sell groceries online has been a long time coming. And priced at £24.99 Aldi’s parcel is cheaper than Morrisons’s entire range of food boxes, as well as Marks & Spencer’s £35 box of ‘essentials’.

With the lockdown set to contine for another three weeks at least, this will no doubt be a very popular offer for both regular Aldi customers and value-seeking shoppers.

But this is new ground for Aldi and there will be many lessons to learn. It will be a lesson in supply and demand, website functionality, delivery and, importantly, customer experience.

The coming weeks and months will be a good chance for Aldi to work out the longer-term feasibility of selling groceries online. But if it doesn’t get it right, it could do more harm to the brand in the long-term than good.

READ MORE: Aldi launches first online grocery service in response to Covid-19

Tesco’s Food Love Stories campaign encourages virtual cooking

Tesco is using its Food Love Stories campaign to try and bring people together during the Covid-19 lockdown, with the latest spot encouraging people to film their own videos and share them on social media.

New research from Tesco found 40% of Brits believe staying at home and cooking from scratch during the lockdown has reignited their passion for cooking, while 89% say they intend to cook when the crisis ends.

This is the third ad Tesco has produced in response to coronavirus and turned around in a very short space of time.

Another spot was created after research showed online searches for ‘recipes’ have increased dramatically in the UK since the country went into lockdown, while downloads of apps such as Houseparty, Zoom and Skype have more than doubled.

An ad launched at the end of March, meanwhile, highlights the measures Tesco has put into place to protect customers and staff such as car park marshals, queue markers and one-way aisles.

This shows the supermarket is taking a pro-active and reactive role during the pandemic, and in a way that is responsible and consistent with its brand message.

Food Love Stories is now in its third year and it shows the power of a good idea – whatever the weather, however long the lockdown.

READ MORE: Tesco asks customers to take part in new Food Love Stories campaign

B2C marketers most at risk of redundancy amid Covid-19 pandemic

As budgets are slashed, campaigns put on hold and furlough schemes rolled out, it appears that B2C marketers are more at risk of redundancy than their B2B counterparts.

A survey of 1,990 global marketers, conducted exclusively by Marketing Week and its sister title Econsultancy, reveals 7% of B2C marketers say they have experienced a change in job status. Of those, 44% have been made redundant, while 57% have had their roles scaled back and none have seen an expansion of their job.

Of the 5% of B2B marketers who have experienced a change in job status since the outbreak of Covid-19, just 25% have been made redundant, 64% have had their jobs scaled back and 11% have even seen their roles expanded.

This is despite the fact that both B2B and B2C marketers report a 69% fall in demand for their brands’ products and services.

Indeed, while both business and consumer facing marketers have seen an identical drop in demand, B2C marketers are more likely to have delayed spending on marketing activities. Some 89% of B2C marketers have delayed marketing campaigns or put them under review, compared to 81% of their B2B peers. In fact, 19% of B2B marketers say marketing campaigns are continuing as planned, compared to 11% working in B2C.

There are some similarities, however. Roughly the same number of B2B (86%) and B2C marketers (88%) have paused all recruitment.

As the UK’s nationwide lockdown has been extended for a minimum further three weeks, only time will tell if marketing jobs in both the B2B and B2C sectors will be secure once the crisis finally abates.

READ MORE: Covid-19: B2C marketers more likely to face redundancy than B2B

Brands fight back against high street ‘hibernation’

Pret Foundation

From food to furniture, high street brands have gone into a form of hibernation due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, rather than let the fact their stores are shut stop them, a host of brands are finding new ways to reach out to both consumers and key workers on the crisis frontline.

Take Pret, which delivered 450,000 food products to 120 of its charity partners and 40 hospitals in just under two weeks, and has been engaging fans on social media with its virtual Pret Recipe Book. In the era of ‘high street hibernation’, UK marketing director Julia Monro believes it is essential to stay connected to consumers and it is the marketing team’s job to bring that to life.

Elsewhere, Ikea has converted the car parks of its stores in Croydon, Greenwich, Wembley and Manchester into food markets stocking essential staples for NHS workers, the police, the elderly and vulnerable consumers.

Leon has taken the lead on the ‘Feed NHS’ campaign, which is raising funds to provide food directly to NHS workers on the frontline. The restaurant chain has also established Feed Britain, an ecommerce platform connecting the restaurant industry supply chain direct with consumers, and adapted 11 of its restaurants into mini-supermarkets.

Rather than letting hibernation put their brand into a permanent state of paralysis, the likes of Pret, Ikea and Leon are finding ways to make a difference – and stay top of mind with consumers – in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

READ MORE: Brands in hibernation: How marketers are staying connected with customers

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