How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters?

How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters

How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters? The importance of colour cannot be overstated. In every way, our colour associations subconsciously influence us so much. We make decisions based on them without thinking. The Red, Yellow and Green of traffic lights for example have drummed into us that green is a safe colour, and read means danger. In reality these are just meaningless refractions of light which hold no meaning beyond what we assign to them.

How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters?

Tesco may be many things, but subtle is not one. How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters? Well its doing it a predictably unsubtle way. Tesco have for years been the UK’s “blue” supermarket, a juggernaut of the British high-street, taking business from the local butcher, small independent stores and shops. At one point £1 in every £4 spent on the High street was with Tesco. But now this giant has competition from Lidl, and as a result Tesco is changing away from the blue and red you see in the image below.

How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters
Tesco aisle with the blue and red signs you would expect to find in a Tesco store.

What’s changed and what’s it got to do with colour?

Yellow was exclusively reserved to the “Reduced Counter” and people looking for bargains. Those little yellow stickers which draw your attention, despite only being a few pence cheaper. Whether by coincidence, or by planning (I am not sure which) yellow is also the main colour associated with Lidl. Its large round yellow logo, and as impotently, the price and signage in its stores. Lidl has always had a “thrown together” sort of feel. More like a temporary market with no brand consideration – or so you might think, but that layout in itself screams “bargains”. No frill, cheap food. The way the food is presented in the transporting boxes looks cheap all of which adds to the association of value.

How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters
Lidl store with the bright yellow signs

What’s this got to do with Tesco?

Well Tesco have realized people are flocking to Lidl because of their cheap prices. Whether they are indeed cheaper is now irrelevant. The brand association is there, as are the yellow signs. Tesco is now taking advantage of this association with the bright bold yellow signs, as you can see in the image below. Tesco is becoming yellow – playing on our newly conditioned associations with the colour – associations of value and affordability. By flooding the store with bright yellow signs with bold black text they are mirroring the feel of a Lidl store, triggering that perception of value. The most interesting part, is you probably haven’t noticed, but I bet it has influenced your shopping habits.

 

How is Tesco using colour to fight the discounters

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