Friday, March 20, 2009

It's good not to know everything!

A fascinating and engaging story of how the Dutch ex-Heineken COO with little retail experience, transformed the falling Morrison's brand into a success story, which isn't even letting the Credit Crunch knock it back down. 
Bolland feels his lack of retail knowledge benefitted him when he was appointed to CEO of Morrison's. Coming from an outsiders perspective, he didn't understand what the brand stood for and had to start from scratch in repositioning Morrison's, often acting against the advice of those "in the know". Speaking to real customers, he established that there was a feeling that the brand didn't offer the same service that say, the high street could.  
By weighing up the market competitors such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Asda, Bolland established that he wanted to position Morrison's as a predominantly food retailer (when everyone else was moving into non-food) with competitive yet quality product. He made the decision that every single penny needed to go into making the food valuable and fresh. Today Morrison's is the only supermarket who buy entirely from farmers. 

Bolland also discussed their adverts featuring celebrities but stressed that the likes of Denise Van Outen and Alan Hanson were real Morrison's shoppers who appreciated value and fresh produce. When questioned on pumping lots of money into flash advertising, he responded by stating that there was very little increased budgeting for their ad campaigns and that the real difference was in the advertising approach.


lynsey anderson said...

As they say the proof is in the pudding, did morrisons not just announce a £20 million profit this year?

What Kat Did said...

I'm not sure what their profits were but they are definitely doing extremely well in such a harsh economic climate.
They have really gained market share from rivals such as Tesco and Sainsbury, helped by their focus on fresh food, innovation and low prices.

Marc was a very charming speaker and you could tell he had real passion for the company despite his previous lack of retail knowledge.