The solution to this supermarket time bomb is simple: More transparency will increase trust, and quite frankly customers expect all food companies to be transparent about everything from production practices to ingredients. But while these factors may be excused every so often, businesses need to learn that in the era of the price-conscious shopper, you don?t tamper with discounts ? a lesson Asda is learning the hard way. It?s true that while an investigation of Asda?s ?then/now? prices have afforded it some negative publicity, it’s far more important that retailers are held to account for misleading and confusing customers with offer marketing and price promotions. There are hundreds of misleading offers on the shelves every day that do not comply with the rules. This puts supermarkets on notice to clean up pricing practices or face legal action ? Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons also garnered a slap on the wrist. Consumers will always want value for money when purchasing, but equally they want transparency and honesty from retailers ? and it seems retailers aren?t delivering this. Brands, marketers and companies need to keep customers at the center of thought. After all, in a competitive sector where price matters and a large percentage of groceries are sold on promotion, marketing teams need to be authentic ? and demonstrate value to customers when determining what marketing communications to use. Brands undeniably need to consider what impact this will this have on customer loyalty. Now more than ever, retailers need to secure a long-standing relationship with customers in order to stand up to discount disruptors such as Aldi and Poundland. Similarly, discount retailers looking to upset the monopoly held by the big four supermarket brands must have complete confidence in the supply chain. If this can?t be guaranteed then these firms must be prepared to re-evaluate existing relationships and in some cases walk away if the supplier isn?t able to demonstrate visibility.By Shan? Schutte
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