In the extremely competitive grocery game, market share is king. And a minor change equates to millions of dollars in gained or lost revenue. Progressive Enterprises, which operates 158 Countdown, Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets around the country, had been losing share to its main rival Foodstuffs since 2007. So something had to be done. And to do it, it had to take some big risks and break an age old grocery paradigm.
In the past, premium offerings were typically seen as 'quality at a price' and value offerings equated to 'low prices but lesser quality'. But post-recession consumers have become exceptionally demanding and saving money is no longer enough. They want a brand they can trust and can build a long-term relationship with. They want deals. They want ideas. They want a great range. They want nice stores to shop in. They want great service. Hell, the greedy buggers want everything, really. But before Progressive started on this journey around eighteen months ago, no supermarket in New Zealand delivered on all these fronts. And that was the major goal: redefine value in the eyes of Kiwi customers to let them have their cake and eat it too—cheaply.
Grocery retailing is typically conservative, particularly in a recessionary environment, and most brands find a position and defend it to the death because anything else is just too risky. Progressive was brave, ignored the rules and went for broke. And through the clever and consistent integration of business, marketing and communications strategies, it increased its market share and turned the tide on Foodstuffs.
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CATEGORY COMMENT: "The retail category was quite exciting, in that it’s really a demonstration of great business strategy, and in all of the examples, it was about how the marketing plan really accelerated those business strategies."
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