Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dunnes - "The difference is we're Irish"

I have a rather large bone to pick with Dunnes Stores and their new tagline... but before I complain about that it’s probably important to consider the trends in retail that have become apparent in these troubling economic times.

1. It has become very apparent that people are now more price conscious than ever. Large numbers of customers who would have been quite price insensitive are now deciding to “trade down” as such and shop at lower priced retailers such as Aldi and Lidl, often forgoing brand-name goods, for lower prices.

2. People have streamed across the UK border to take advantage of the very favourable € to £ exchange rate despite the governments urges to refrain from doing so, essentially saying that to do so was an unpatriotic act. The pleas were completely ignored and as a result the Christmas 2008 shopping period was the worst seen in Ireland for decades

With these 2 very important facts in mind it startles me that Dunnes Stores (relatively) new tagline is “The difference is we’re Irish” ... I mean seriously... THAT’S IT... that’s all you have? Of all the things people look for when they are choosing a retailer I would imagine that the “Irishness” of the operation is probably quite far down the list. What’s more I would like to know how they have come to the conclusion that they are considerably more Irish than any other major retailer.

In terms of their product range they sell almost the exact same range of products that can be found in any supermarket in the country, and which are quite obviously all made by the same multinational companies. I assume they have a number of locally sourced potatoes or some other inconsequential product like that, but Dunnes Stores do no more to champion Irish brands than Tesco, or Superquinn for that matter. And in terms of the hiring policies of Dunnes vs. Any other supermarket there is absolutely no difference.

So I guess in summary I strongly dislike the new Dunnes tagline on 2 main grounds, the first being it is completely irrelevant to what customers are looking for in a retailer at the moment, and secondly it is essentially a false statement. As far as Im concerned its a completely useless and ineffective branding campaign because "The difference is, the customer doesn't care about that"


Jo. said...

It will be interesting to see whether Aldi & Lidl will be able to really conquer market shares now. Back in 2007/08 I was surprised by the low acceptance of these retail brands among the Irish. The stores were mainly populated with Polish immigrants and were mainly regarded as "dirty, cheap shit". One has to note that the product range is somewhat superior to other chains. Anyway, the Irish retailing sector is a little bit like the German one about 10-15 years ago. Let's see what the impact of the crisis will be!

ed said...

I think people are more willing to shop in the lower price retailers these days, although I think most people have stuck to what they know and have stayed with the likes of Tesco, Dunnes etc.
I think the retailers like Tesco and M&S have done a very good job of reducing prices, or at the very least giving the impression that they have done so, by running special weekly deals etc.