Magazine article Marketing

True Costs of Asda Branding

Magazine article Marketing

True Costs of Asda Branding

Article excerpt

Asda looks to be taking a risk in branding its new discount stores with its own name.

While the exact nature of the two or three "experimental formats" it plans to open by the end of September is still under wraps, they are likely to major on price - automatically pulling their image downmarket. This goes directly against the company's policy of the past six years to drive the Asda name upmarket.

In the simplest terms, the Asda brand could end up being pushed and pulled across different formats to the point of snapping. There would be no consistency of offer, resulting in customer confusion - and ultimately, desertion.

New chief executive Archie Norman, recently flown from the Kingfisher nest, says he sees "no problem" in that. "In brand terms the Asda name is still good, still strong," he claims. Cynics beg to differ. This latest move is a bald admission that the attempt to reposition the chain has failed, they say.

Asda, the price king of the 60s and 70s, was left with no follow-up strategy when the market moved away from its price-obsessed heartland towards quality at the start of the 80s. Its brave stab at changing and developing an own label came too late. And Asda had too much catching up to do. …

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