Think local, Tesco

So, Sir Terry is standing down and Tesco is shifting its focus towards sustainability (MW 10 June)? As you rightly say, these changes at the top are unlikely to topple Tesco from its market (and world) domination; but what could have a more detrimental impact is the retailer’s recognised “lack of warmth”.

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Too cold? Shoppers want warmth

At a time when customers are seeking refuge in brands that feel smaller and more localised, Tesco feels out of touch at grassroots level and more interested in profit than in community needs. I find it odd that the top five supermarket brands promote their use of local produce and support local suppliers, but they don’t use locality as a basis for their communications strategies.

Amazing advancements in technology, digital marketing and consumer data make it possible for any organisation with local branches to allow local managers – with their knowledge of local market conditions – to produce relevant, engaging campaigns. Yet, the campaigns can still be controlled by head office, with bespoke templates set up that ensure all communications are brand-compliant.

Greater investment in local marketing would help promote Tesco as a genuine part of the fabric of the local community, rather than a perceived killer of local businesses. It could be a real ace up Tesco’s sleeve to ensure its continued success – or that of a competitor if it jumps on board it first.

Andy Wheatley, Marketing director, Tangent

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