‘Brutal objectivity’: Tesco’s CEO on how he reversed the brand’s fortunes
As Tesco CEO Dave Lewis prepares to depart, he offers an inside look at the brand strategy behind the supermarket’s turnaround.
Just a week after Tesco announced CEO Dave Lewis was to depart after five years in which he had led the company’s turnaround from huge losses to sustained growth, he took to the stage at the Festival of Marketing to explain how it was done.
Key to the turnaround, he explained, was “brutal objectivity”.
“The ability to stare right into the reality of what you have as a brand – and understand why the way it is, is the way it is. The reason most brands fail is that the analysis is subjective or incomplete. It takes a lot to be really objective in analysing your brand,” Lewis said in his keynote address.
Lewis goes on to give the inside story of how it tackled the challenge of penetration in a changing sector; and how it built a differentiated proposition through investment in-store into staff, prices and new product strategy – including changes to its brand architecture.
In a Q&A with Marketing Week editor Russell Parsons, Lewis also discusses the threat Aldi and Lidl continue to pose to Tesco, as well as his biggest regret during his tenure.
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