Why retailers need to differentiate to drive engagement

With the promise of cheaper groceries, revamped superstores and a witty new jingle on the horizon,  the possible Sainsbury’s and Asda merger has the retail world in a spin, but how will competitors and more importantly, customers react?

Our supermarkets are at war. Nothing new there, but what was once a steadfast battle between 4 dominant sides, is now a 6 sided fight with progressive contestants.


Towards the end of last year, two-thirds of the British public were paying regular visits to Aldi and Lidl as the two German chains encroach on Co-Op and Morrisons in top spots, and it’s kids driving the change.

“Lidl is growing sales 40% faster with families than with households without children.” BBC

With younger customers looking to peers to guide their purchasing decisions (and in turn, guide their parents credit cards), this is a war that can be won with a smart approach to aptly aligned influencer marketing.


As Asda and Sainsbury’s announce their merger, this issue seems even more prevleant, however, a few key questions have been forgotten as the battle continues. What does each retailer represent? Who should be shopping at each one? Or, at the very least, why should anyone be shopping at any of them?


As Aldi and Lidl continue to battle it out to become known as THE budget retailer, the time has come for retailers to practice proper brand differentiation and appeal to their desired, and diversified, customer bases.


From Sainsbury’s cooking series with millennial YouTuber Fleur de Force and husband Mike, to Tesco’s ‘Active Gang’ with Mummy Daddy Me and Davina McCall, big names are already committing to a robust influencer strategy.


Morrisons are also striding out, as the first UK supermarket to integrate its online grocery service with Alexa, making ordering your weekly shop from the comfort of a Netflix induced bubble bath a doddle. Retailers are being forced to step up and compete or join forces with the likes of Amazon and millennial trendsetters to win ground.


So, is all of this enough? More importantly, does the Asda and Sainsbury’s merger present a big enough threat to encroach on the success that Aldi and Lidl continue to boast? What can The Big Four (which, will actually become the big 5 should the merger go ahead and Aldi and Lidl continue on their paths to join the top rankings) do to make themselves more appealing to the millennial consumer base, stand out from the crowd and compete with techno-grocery stores?


It starts with identifying the right voices for your brand and working with them at the right stage of their life to have the most impact. In this case, supermarkets should look to students and ambassadors where brand advocacy starts at a younger age.


Influencers are defined by their passions and their pursuits, they know what their audiences do and don’t like, what videos will elicit a positive response and what content will be genuinely useful in their lives.


As more supermarkets adopt this approach to grow loyal audiences, their eye is now set on defining accurate ways to measure the ROI. Which is where we come in.


Are you facing the same problem? Get in touch and see how we can help!