Why the new Sainsbury’s strapline might just be a stroke of genius…

As far as I’m concerned, Sainsbury’s sits slap bang wallop in the middle of the market. They’re more expensive than Asda, but cheaper than M&S. So when they announced their new strapline, I was a tad confused.

Live well for less

At first glance it’s a value proposition from a mid-priced brand. But maybe the critics, and indeed Sainsbury’s, have jumped in too fast, because if my mum’s view of their new strapline is anything to go by – they’re onto a winner.

An insider’s view of the new strapline

Why am I bringing my mum into it? It’s simple – she works at Sainsbury’s, she has an insider’s view. And her take on it is this. Sainsbury’s are more expensive than some of their competitors – but for good reason. They sell better quality goods, even if it means charging a little bit more.

She actually used bananas as an example. “Asda sell cheap bananas, Sainsbury’s sell ‘Fair Trade’ bananas – and yes, they do cost a little more, but they’re better.” Now, if you’ve ever bought a dodgy banana, and I think all of us have at some time or another, you’ll see why this appeals.

After all, there’s a reason why the word cheap has negative connotations. As a general rule, the quality drops along with the price, which is why the new Sainsbury’s strapline is so interesting. They’re not starting a price war, they’re stepping back and saying ‘Okay, we’re not the cheapest – but we’ll give you the best quality for the lowest price.’

The emphasis is as much on the ‘well’ as it is on the ‘less’ – and that sets them apart from the competition. While Asda (Saving you money every day) and Tesco (Every little helps) lead on value, Sainbury’s lead on value for money.

Lost in translation

The problem is, this new proposition doesn’t translate in their advertising. The new TV ad is beautifully shot and lovely to watch, but it doesn’t really tell me why I can ‘live well for less’ with Sainsbury’s. The landing page that accompanies the campaign does a little better, but there’s loads of room for improvement. I know they can’t say ‘We’re better than Tesco’, but they can definitely explain the difference between their bananas.

As my mum says – ‘it just hasn’t filtered through yet’ But if they can simplify the idea and tell their customers about it in a really charming way, online, on TV and in-store – I think they’re onto a winner.

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  1. Pingback: Sainbury’s join the price war!

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