Woolworths launches “Why I shop at Woolies” campaign to lure customers back

5 or 10 years ago, you would have never thought twice when you said what the top supermarket was –

5 or 10 years ago, you would have never thought twice when you said what the top supermarket was – it was traditionally Woolies. But it seems that since Aldi reign and Coles’ successful “down down” campaign, Woolworths has been on the back foot. They’ve tried just about everything to get customers back in their aisles, from the unsuccessful “cheap cheap” ads to overhauling to popular Everyday Rewards and renaming it Woolworths Rewards. Now they’ve gone back to basics with their approach, and let word of mouth draw the crowds.

In a huge new campaign, Woolworths have called on everyday Aussies to tell others why they pick Woolies, giving examples of service, quality and choice.

Woolworths chief marketing officer Andrew Hicks told Mumbrella the supermarket’s new campaign aims to reconnect with consumers and show how Woolworths has improved.

You may have already seen the ads on your TV as they roll out across the country to highlight what it is that makes people choose the iconic Aussie supermarket.

Mumbrella reports Woolies have spent a bucketload on the new campaign, with ads set to flood TV, radio, print, outdoor and social with an aim of reaching 80% of Australian grocery buyers in the first week.

“We recognised that there were some great reasons why customers choose Woolworths that hadn’t been shared broadly and equally new reasons why they had come on board that we hadn’t spoken about at all,” Hicks said.

“And so it was just a great opportunity to take a fresh approach, new brand platform, give new meaning to the Fresh Food People and equally to strengthen some of the emotional connections that we have with customers”.

Hicks admitted Woolworths had gone astray with promoting their own agenda in previous ads, and wanted now to get back to the customers.

“I think the most important point is it was from the customer’s perspective rather than our own, so using their language,” he says about the choice to call Woolworths “Woolies” in their ad.

“Even the shift from ‘Woolworths’ to ‘Woolies’ in reflecting how customers use it as a term of endearment. ‘Pick’ for us is also a very powerful word.

“It has connotations back to Fresh and to Fresh Food People, but equally it recognises that customers have an active choice they can make everyday in terms of where they shop.

“We have done some extensive research with customers to make sure that we’re living up to what we are saying we are doing in terms of putting the customer first,” he said.

“I think there is something that is as sincere and authentic about the approach, and from what we have seen in research this will resonate particularly well with customers.

“It’s only been a day since we launched but if we look at some of the initial sentiments on social media they have equally been very positive so I think it does begin to say that we have made a good connection or are in the process of making a good and positive connection with customers.”

“Price, quality, convenience, even something like Food Rescue and a brand that does good in the community.

“There are a vast array of reasons why a customer picks a supermarket and indeed picks Woolworths. So for us it was really just saying we need to represent that truth more broadly.

“Price is one of the things that is critically important to Australian consumers and we will remain focused on communicating our price credentials as part of one of the core reasons that customers pick Woolies.

“And we have seen price perception gaps narrowing and investment in price is beginning to pay off practically in consumer’s wallets but equally in perception”, he said.

So there you have it. Here’s the ads if you’ve missed them. What do you think? Is this back-to-basics approach better than previous ad campaigns? Why do you or don’t you shop at Woolies?

  1. They have lost me. There is no longer enough staff to run the place properly!

  2. Val  

    I used to shop at Woolies but I became increasingly fed up by some rude and unfriendly check out operaters. Then I started shopping at Aldi – what a contrast. Yes you have to pack your own bags and no they don’t have a great choice of products. However when you do go through the check out they are friendly and polite. I know what I prefer and that’s friendly polite staff and much lower prices- rather than unfriendly staff and higher prices. Why spend lots of money on campaigns to get customers back. Training their staff to treat their customers with respect would be a terrific way to start and would benefit sales- after all Aldi’s staff are well trained and it’s not rocket science. No business that I’m aware of can excel or even survive with staff with bad attitudes. I now spend approx. 10,000 a year at Aldi and I’m just a drop in the ocean – how much more are Woolies losing out. Well wake up Woolies or you may not exist in the near future.

  3. Marj Camp  

    Stopped going to Woolies as no choice anymore only their brands, and just about every time you go in they have changed the store around to force you to patrol all aisles to find the goods you want, I noticed that if they were going to raise the price of an item they would put it on special first so when the sale of the item was over you would hopefully not notice the price rise and sneaky practices like 1/2 legs of lamb on special and coming home to find you have a hip joint. Not impressed with them at all.

  4. Jean Knight  

    I have been a Woolies customer for over 40 years, but, I have changed my shopping since Aldi came on the scene. I shop at Coles also.
    Woolies have lost so many customers with their “take it or leave it” attitude.
    Not enough staff, they have only just started to lower prices because they must
    realise they are so out of touch and losing money.
    When they decided to abolish the rewards card, that was it for me.

  5. Bernadette salter  

    They lost me as well when they changed the rewards card. Takes to long to get dollars now and the points are never on staple products

  6. I enjoy the specials and reduced items at Woolies. The idea of bagging soiled fruits and veggies in the same bag and pricing them to sell at $4, is great. But in the last 2 weeks I’ve noticed at my local store that the bags are now smaller and the produce has definitely passed it’s user by date…. In order for Woolies to entice me to shop with a trolley in their store they would need to understand how I shop, what I like and at what price, easy peasy. For example, I enjoy shopping at Aldi, I like their prices but that doesn’t mean I like their products…. As for Coles, I find their bakery selection and prices good but what I really like is their customer service policy. For example I bought a cleaning product and I wasn’t happy with it so I returned the item with the docket. I was amazed when Coles allowed me to keep the product, choose a replacement and refunded my monies, who does that, Coles! Taking more care with customers is a given if you want to stay on top or topple if you don’t!

  7. Pingback: Woolworths launches new marketing campaign – Business Blog

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