What We Can Learn from the 2015 Brand of the Year

According to Marketing Week, Aldi won the “Brand of the Year” award at the 2015 Masters of Marketing Awards. At the awards, expert marketers called Aldi the, “epitome of a challenger brand” and the international supermarket chain was hailed for redefining their entire industry. They have positioned themselves as a serious alternative to competing supermarkets and their brand strategy is a huge part of their significant market takeover. Here’s what we can learn from this year’s Brand of Year winner, Aldi…

They Innovate for Customers

We’re all about good looking design, but this year’s Brand of the Year winner didn’t invest in a costly rebrand, they didn’t make any pivots in their social media strategy, instead they remained consistent in their efforts to save their customers money and time.

  • Instead of paying employees to collect carts, Aldi customers use a quarter to get their cart from a locking system. When the cart is replaced, the quarter is retrieved.
  • Instead of wasting money on plastic bags and contributing to plastic pollution, Aldi encourages their customers to bring reusable bags by charging for bags at the store.
  • There are no baggers at Aldi. Customers bag their own groceries (with their reusable bags).
  • You won’t see shelves at Aldi, they use a pallet system to stock their stores instead of paying employees to stock shelves one item at a time.
  • You will see very few name brands on Aldi pallets. They offer their own brands that are arguably better than the name brands customers are used to and backed by a bold guarantee.

Bagging your own groceries, remembering your reusable bags and grabbing your no name brands off of a pallet? How does any of this sound innovative or appealing? With each of these money-saving innovations, Aldi is able to pass that savings on to their customers in a big way. They innovate, so their customers save money.

They Stand Behind Their Products

They don’t present their own products in a take it or leave it fashion. They give consumers a reason to try out something new, Aldi’s brands. Aldi offers a product satisfaction guarantee. If a customer isn’t 100% satisfied with a product, Aldi won’t only replace the product, they will refund your money. This positions their brand as one that is confident in their products, as well as one that cares about the satisfaction of their customers.

They Invest in Their Employees

Aldi has been applauded for leading the way in reasonable pay for their employees. They established their own minimum wage for employees, which has remained considerably higher than the industry standard. Aldi also outfits their cashiers with ergonomically designed seats that allow for comfort as well the ability to scan groceries with ease and swiftness. Not only do Aldi customers check out in minutes, the cashiers don’t have to stand for hours on end.

They Are Consistent

Perhaps the most important point -Aldi customers can go to any Aldi in the country world and get the exact same experience. The flow and set up of every store is completely standardized. There is no guessing game or hunt for isles, because the layout of every store is designed with the customer’s experience in mind. Because Aldi offers limited brands and products, their stores are much smaller than their big brand competitors. The entire shopping experience is efficient and quick.

This level of brand fandom doesn’t happen overnight, it happens with continued emphasis on consistency and customer satisfaction and loyalty. Aldi didn’t fumble into this position of creating a cult following, they did it very purposefully by establishing a brand their customers can trust and share. Customers know what they can expect from every Aldi experience, and that’s how you dominate a brand. .