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September 04, 2005

Do Sainsbury's side businesses damage the brand?

Big Dom. Little Bill? Same tune, isn't it? Open Channel D vents his spleen:

OK another stupid advert, Sainsbury's "little bill"

So they now resale hbos (esure) insurance. wow. great stuff. and how do they show it, well little bill, walks like a cowboy down a high street full of shops.

But Sainbury's is destroying the high street, while a cowboy is hardly much of a positive image.

We have mentioned before the dread "do you have a minute?" from the Sainsbury's credit card salesman who loiters in the fruit and veg section, now we have another television ad to make us cringe.

Sainsbury's bank has also come in for flak from The Times about its Discover credit card and this blogger thinks the bank's customer service is poor:

their customer service was appalling, and as soon as I've paid it off, I'm going to be ditching Sainsburys Bank, and that will equally apply to any organisation that accuses me of having an attitude.

I do wonder if the money that Sainsbury's makes on its various side businesses is enough to justify the resulting damage to the Sainsbury brand. What do you think?

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on September 4, 2005 at 12:01 PM in Marketing | Permalink


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Aren't Sainsbury's side businesses merely a me too strategy in the wake of tesco's success in exploiting their biggest asset - i.e. customers.

Perhaps if Sainsburys focused on some of the more customer focused initiatives you mention here they would be better off - decentralising focusing on edutainment in stores like cookery classes or maybe wine tasting. I am sure Stormhoek would oblige :)

Posted by: Paul Goodison | Sep 5, 2005 8:59:22 AM

So you are saying the money made on side businesses is not the real issue - it's Sainsbury's way of saying "we can provide everything that Tesco provides," the "catch up with Tesco" strategy all over again? Interesting point, thanks Paul.

PS - Tesco seems to market its disparate offerings with a humour and panache that Sainsbury's are stuggling to match - I am thinking, for example, of the advert for car insurance in which the voiceover comes straight out and says "of course we give you a courtesy car - how else will you get the shopping home?"

Posted by: Adrian Trenholm | Sep 5, 2005 10:06:57 AM

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