A Tale of Two Markets


Many people think that there is a single ‘right way’ to do business. However, many UK businesses find that their path to success is incredibly unique. Here are two very different brands that are both finding success in the competitive retail business, using very separate methods.

The Co-operative: Developing a Uniform Brand.

This brand saw its value grow by almost a third last year, in the midst of one of the UK’s worst economic slides in modern times. According to Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh, the first move toward success was in creating brand consistency across the store’s many locations. This was combined with a push to bring all elements of the business under the general brand umbrella. This consistency was difficult to achieve, but the company saw immediate success once it was complete.

Once the brand was cohesive and ready for public consumption, the next step was to reach new markets with it. This was achieved through the high impact “Blowin’ in the Wind” campaign. This market is now truly superior, offering a variety of products under one roof with a seamless sense of branding. Cross-promotions are now common, using existing customers to boost sales in other areas.

A large part of the branding for The Cooperative was in appearance and customer experience, but the store never forgot its core of ethical and social best practices. Because these causes are increasingly appealing to the public, there was never a better time for this store to fine-tune its marketing and branding approach. Despite new acquisitions, the brand is now stronger than ever.

Asda: Emphasizing Local Colour

Asda is in many ways the opposite of The Cooperative. This supermarket focuses on being pleasing to the shopper’s budget rather than to the shopper’s social sensibilities. However, it too has seen enormous growth in the past few years due to a change of branding strategy.

Customers looking for a bargain know that they can turn to Asda, but the store needed a brand that offered just a little more. With more and more shoppers concerned with supporting local businesses, Asda began to offer more local choices. Not only did this include locally flavored regional foods, but also changing the way its private label food and drink lines were sourced to more local and sustainable choices. It also developed an upmarket range to entice new customers with premium tastes but recession-tightened finances. The result? Communities responded well to the new local favorites at their Asda, while new customers trickled in to sample upmarket lines. As a result, Asda saw growth in a year when many similar businesses fought to break even.

These companies did not pull off these transformations alone; they did so with the help and advice of branding consultants and experts. If your company needs a boost to get through this economy or simply to achieve the success that you think you deserve, don’t make the mistake of going it alone. Let a branding consultant help you navigate the murky waters of customer behaviour and help you build a strong, iconic brand.