Woolworths has “gone for the box”, advertising their “Select” range of housebrand products. The ads broke last weekend, (they have been removed from Youtube, curious) and to me appear to pretty effective, because they convey a single, simple proposition, that of top quality at a value price. Weather you believe it or not is another matter, and weather Woolies can deliver consistently on the promise is doubtful. Woolworths are retailers, not marketers, so by nature and culture their buyers are transaction focused, rather than customer relationship focused, making alignment with their marketing a probable headache for senior management.

The advertising adds to the social media and mobile marketing efforts,  increasingly effective targeting of consumers based on the data collected via their store cards, and their cross category promotional strength flogging petrol. It also serves to further cement the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths at the core of Australian FMCG retailing.

Clearly the roadmap has been charted by the UK retailers, Sainsbury and particularly Tesco, who have supplied most of the senior management of their combatant Coles. The investment in brand building by the two gorillas is just another brick in the wall that keeps suppliers of proprietary branded products on their knees.