Musgrave marketing director Ray Kelly has won Marketer of the Year for developing a strategy for SuperValu which has seen the Irish-owned grocery chain narrow the gap to just half of one per cent behind market leader Tesco whilst facing a major challenge from the German discounters which threatened SuperValu’s core values of local and quality services.

Kelly led a strategy reinforcing SuperValu’s credentials by re-launching its own brands to keep existing customers loyal and attract lapsed customers back to its stores. There was a need to remind shoppers SuperValu was different.

DDFH&B created the ‘We Believe’ campaign focusing on the three pillars of the proposition – quality, value and local. Red C tracking shows ad recall levels for the ‘We Believe’ campaign were the highest in two years, with 78 per cent unprompted recall in the last quarter last year, compared to the annual norm of 60 per cent.   

Nielsen tracking shows the ‘Say Hello’ campaign, also created by DDFH&B, resulted in the own brand range growing by 2.5 times the market average. For the first time, SuperValu out-performed Tesco and Dunnes on value for money scores. Year on year growth for the own brand range is at 8.4 per cent. ‘Say Hello’ won the coveted IAPI ADFX Grand Prix award in 2012.

It’s definitely a collaborative effort from my colleagues, our suppliers, the store staff, the communities we operate in and, of course, our customers - that combination makes SuperValu what it is today. I also hope that our work shows other Irish brands that there’s nothing to fear from international competition. Once you’ve got a clear sense of what you’re about, how you can express your difference, authenticity and values then let nothing stop you – go for it.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Musgrave


Judges, which included representatives from AIB, TV3, Behaviour & Attitudes, News International, Heineken and Liberty Insurance were impressed with Kelly's 'forensic thinking about what precisely the brand was about, what it stood for and how that vision could be shaped into a compelling shopping prospect for Irish consumers that delivered on price, quality and support for local suppliers and communities'. 

SuperValu looks to five core values which the family-owned Musgrave group espouses: working hard, achievement, honesty, not being greedy and adopting a long-term strategy. SuperValu has been the Tidy Towns title sponsor for 24 years and has backed the GAA over the last five years. Kelly reckons SuperValu contributes almost €2 billion to the Irish economy annually.

Marketer of the Year is a initiative sponsored by Alternatives.


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