Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Lidl took on its competitors with a wildly bold move! Can you do the same? [Gorillas of Guerilla Marketing]

February 28, 2020

High-quality products at the lowest prices!

This is what Lidl offers its customers.

With over 10,000 stores located across Europe and the United States, Lidl is one of the largest supermarket chains in the world.

In the United Kingdom, it’s one of the most popular retail chains in the area, standing strong against local and international competitors.

So… how did they leverage their competition?

By using creative campaigns and Guerrilla Marketing!

Lidl has done a series of successful campaigns over the past few years, placing a focus on the brand’s authenticity and simplicity.

One of their biggest challenges was addressing a number of impressions and misconceptions about the quality of their products.

Due to the discount prices that Lidl stores offer, most people perceived their products as being lower quality compared to similar products sold elsewhere.

To break this general perception, Lidl Great Britain launched a number of campaigns like “#LidlSurprises” and “Big on quality, Lidl on price.” These helped showcase Lidl’s diverse product range, and addressed a number of misconceptions along the way.

On top of that, Lidl’s marketing campaigns were creative and highly entertaining!

For their “Upgrade your Christmas” campaign in 2018, TBWA\London (Lidl’s ad agency at that time) launched two ads where their competitors’ posters were obscured by Lidl’s own posters.

Lidl placed their own posters above their competitors, to show their products are more affordable and have high quality.

The first poster shows Waitrose’s Christmas Pudding ad being covered by Lidl’s own Christmas Pudding. The second poster shows Marks & Spencer’s Mince Meat Pie ad being covered by Lidl’s ad of the same product.

The best part about this Guerrilla Marketing strategy?

The posters were placed near the stores of their competitors!

This campaign helped present Lidl as an incredibly competitive brand who isn’t afraid to take on its fellow retail chains.

This type of Guerrilla Marketing campaign is very effective in spicing up their brand, and Lidl’s posters were no exception. Along with providing a very striking ad, having it placed near their competitors’ stores helped attract the exact target audience without having to break the bank.

In the financial year ending on February 28, 2018, Lidl Great Britain Limited generated a total of GBP 474.5 million in revenue in the United Kingdom. This growth has been steady over the past three years as well:

  • 2016 – GBP 344.2 million
  • 2017 – GBP 418.6 million
  • 2018 – GBP 474.5 million

Overall, Lidl’s marketing campaigns in the UK have been proven to be very successful, helping the chain gain the biggest grocery market share in the country at 5.9% in August 2019.

By the end of financial year 2018/2019, the Schwarz Group (Lidl’s owner) broke through the €100 billion sales barrier for the first time, reaching €104.3 Billion.

With their market share reaching an all-time high in the UK, along with an increasing number of stores in the rest of Europe, Lidl is also looking to enter the international market. The company has already begun opening stores in the United States, which is a huge step towards their global expansion plans.

Lidl has proven through their competitive marketing campaigns that it has the ability to stand out in the midst of tough competition.

Guerrilla Marketing not only generates a great amount of buzz, but it also allows brands to make a huge and lasting impression without the need to invest heavily on traditional marketing and advertising.

These types of marketing also spark conversations about the brand itself, thus making a brand memorable. These discussions can be simple word-of-mouth, or through social media platforms.

This can also lead to more people discovering your brand as well, as these campaigns can also make them curious about the products and services that you offer.

Placement is also a key factor in a marketing campaign, as you would want advertisements placed where your target audience can see. This can be done by placing posters near competitor locations, or placing digital ads on websites and other digital platforms.

Through a good amount of creativity, coupled with critical timing and execution, you can make a campaign that will allow you to stand out from the competition.

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick on their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing is inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu and Joel Litman
Head of Marketing & President and CEO
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research

This content is used with permission from The I Institute and The Business Builder Daily.

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