It’s been a marketing trend for some years. Brands have had an unstoppable urge to get personal or ensure they have a special place in our lives. Now Costcutter is launching another unimaginative version of this intimate marketing strategy.
‘MyCostcutter’ is their attempt to create a premium expression of a convenience store. It has the usual premium codes of black and a hint of colour, while the simple addition of ‘My’ in the name tries to convince me that Costcutter has become part of my local community. Either the Costcutter marketing department is naïve or it suffers from delusions of grandeur, to think that this name change makes it part of the local fabric.
Budgens does this locality message so much better. Their local, independently owned stores, bear the name of their original owners e.g. Jay’s Budgens at Brockley Road. Combining the authority of a recognised chain with the familiarity of a local shop owner.
Jamie Oliver’s Recipease stores work directly with local schools, providing cooking lessons. Their simple “Make Food Not War” message painted on their smashed window morning after the Clapham riots gave a brilliant personal voice to the store.
Across the Channel some discounters have become accepted and trusted retailers. This is helped by a North European sense of Calvinism, where being frugal is seen as a virtue. In the UK, discount stores still serve the bottom end of the market, but surely being clever with money also has its value on this island. There is a big job to be done in UK retailing, by ‘premiumising’ (to use an overused marketing word) discount stores, but trying to be ‘my friend’ might not be the way.
Come on Poundland, Aldi and Lidl, show that Costcutter is missing the point.