Coles CMO emphasises marketing's brave agenda

Simon McDowell also defends supermarket giant's low-price focus in the face of farmer backlash

The CMO of one of Australia's largest supermarket chains has defended the group's focus on reducing prices in the face of farmer backlash while also stressing the importance of courage in a modern brand strategy.

Speaking at the third annual Mumbrella 360 event in Sydney, Coles Group CMO Simon McDowell, acknowledged the ongoing battle between keeping prices low for customers, versus the pressure supermarkets place on suppliers including Australian farmers, but said the business genuinely believes its low-price policy is in the interests of both groups.

“We have to look after our customers; those Australian families whose cost of living is going up every year,” he said. “The reality is the average Aussie family is living on $55,000 a year and it’s not easy for them.

“It’s a key part of our brand to bring prices down, and we have invested hundreds and hundreds of millions into achieving this.

“We genuinely believe that by keeping prices low and selling more, we are also looking after the interests of both customers and partners.”

McDowell also used the Mumbrella event to detail Coles’ new campaign with the world’s hottest music group, One Direction, which will see it giving away 10,000 tickets to the band’s sold out Australian concert series, as well as to an exclusive Coles-only gig in Sydney. The campaign has been launched in partnership with Channel 9 and 9 Live and follows the retailer’s series of ‘Down down ’ advertising campaigns featuring Aussie rockers, Status Quo.

McDowell said the campaign is yet another step in the journey to be different and unique, and raised the question of whether other Australian brands are as ready to be as brave with their own strategies.

He also made a point that he wasn't concerned with what the adverising community thinks. About 90 per cent of Coles’ marketing is done in-house.

“We are trying to be engaging and fun, but don’t be fooled by all the sizzle – we take this seriously and pride ourselves on being brave and doing things in a compelling way,” McDowell told delegates. “A lot of thought and science goes on by Coles and our partners to communicate what we want to say. We take our business and our ambition of looking after customers very seriously.”

McDowell and the Coles executive team are in the midst of a five-year, $34bn business turnaround plan launched following the appointment of CEO, Ian McLeod. He said the supermarket giant aims to build the most famous brand in Australia, retail or otherwise.

“The Coles business under Ian’s leadership has been transformed, and there are more customers spending more money with us than ever before,” McDowell added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

Is artificial intelligence riddled with bias?

The purpose of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has always been to replace the menial and repetitive tasks we do each day in every sector, so that we can concentrate on doing what we do best. Saving time and money has certainly been a decent outcome as AI infiltrates the business landscape, however, now we are starting to see problems that cause major issues in practice.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

5 things every business can do to drive brand loyalty

If you’re in any customer-centric role, you’ll likely be familiar with the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – one of the most popular tools for brands to measure their customer sentiment.

Catherine Anderson

Chief customer officer, Powershop Australia

At the deeper levels of artificial intelligence, computing machines make all kinds of correlations among whatever data is available to th...

Fraction Tech

Is artificial intelligence riddled with bias? - Customer Design - CMO Australia

Read more

https://myiplookup.com/ - find your ip address and location information in our main page. Also there are many ip tools you can use : IP L...

savefrom

iSelect outlines new approach to arrest ineffective marketing as its reports full-year results

Read more

https://myiplookup.com/ - this website will allow you to View Alexa Ranking and graph Check http headers of a website, tool to compare te...

savefrom

The Star's first CMO creates all-new marketing team

Read more

Good tips to follow. Thank you!

Anna Travis

5 things every business can do to drive brand loyalty

Read more

Thank you! That was useful to know.

Belia Adam

Why your best social marketing brand tool could be hiding in plain sight

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in