Opinion

The price is right.

Brands don’t have an easy journey these days. Their customers, the retailers, determine how much they sell, to whom and on what basis. They are their roads to the market, to a brand’s ultimate consumers, a road to which they add road works, delays on the hard shoulder and enforced speed limits often, to an onlooker, seemingly at will, depending on whose traffic they’re trying to divert onto their own roads. And the preferred tool to drive that traffic is by offering higher speed limits in the form of ever lower prices and ever deeper price promotions.

With Tesco’s news about its £6.4bn loss headline news this week, the question many brands will be facing is how much of that loss will they be expected to bear. No matter the majority of that loss has come from Tesco’s estate, will the brands be expected to yield further?

Which? has issued a super-complaint regarding retailers’ usage of misleading price promotions to ensure fairness and transparency for consumers in the retail world. In other words, make it easy for the shopper to pick up a product and know they’re getting a good, fair price for a good, fair product; without having to get their calculators out and remember what the price was 2 weeks ago.

So, let’s assume Which? has some success and the highwaymen and women of the retail world manage to simplify pricing and promotions. And, just imagine, consequently the consumer isn’t held up at fixture trying to decide whether to pay a supermarket’s suggested promotional price; instead, that consumer sees a consistent price based on the product and the brand. Now, how does a brand stand out to that shopper? They have their brand and its assets, in other words their packaging and on-shelf positioning, that they’ve lovingly created and curated to reflect exactly what that brand stands for. Brands have to develop the ability to be really relevant to that consumer so that the brand can stand and deliver to that consumer competing on its actual brand, product and relevance.

"Brands have to develop the ability to be really relevant" - Rachel Swann

Now just imagine: a world in which the brands and own-brand compete fairly with each other and in which brands stand and fall by the overall quality of their brand. Or, the retailers revert to being the selling agents of the brands instead of the buying agents of the consumers. Instead of brands and consumers alike all feeling like we’ve been sat in a traffic jam, have been mildly shunted from behind and the service stations are closed.

To find out how to deliver relevance to a consumer visit hiveonline.co.uk, email info@hiveonline.co.uk or call 01509 882910 and ask for Rachel Swann.