Aldi 2010-2019: How taking an alternative path took Aldi from shame to pride

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2020

After 20 years of UK trading, the German discount supermarket, Aldi, still only had 2% value share of the UK market. From 2010 to 2019, Aldi employed communications to turn attributes – such as its lack of big brand products – from perceived negatives to positives. Humorous campaigns, including ‘Like Brands’ and ‘Kevin the Carrot’, increased brand consideration and affinity, persuading more shoppers to use Aldi for a range of needs from weekly shops to special occasions. Penetration, frequency, and basket size rose. By the end of the period, sales had grown to £9.49bn and value share was 7.9%.

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Anyone who works in retail knows you have to define and stay true to your long term vision and goal whilst attending to the short term issues in the day to day. The tricky thing is doing them both at the same time. That is just what we did at Aldi; we were able to find the truth of our brand and communicate it in a way that connected with shoppers and that connection has endured over the last ten years. It has meant we were able to flex this truth across the many communication tasks we faced and channels we needed to use, whilst giving us a north star to guide us and a yardstick to measure against. As a business we learnt to resist the temptation to follow everyone else, instead choosing to stay true to who we are and the role we could play in our customers' lives. Once we had defined this role, we needed to ensure that everything we did helped to reinforce it. We also learnt that it’s not just what you have to say that matters, the way you say it is just as important. Your tone of voice can make you distinctive and gets you noticed. It can get you liked and therefore listened to and believed. In a world where everything seems to be about shorter and shorter time frames, with an expectation of immediate results, it was the setting of a big, audacious goal over a realistically long time frame that delivered us success.

Sean McGinty, Marketing Director
Aldi UK

Winners 2020

Bronze Winner


Aldi 2010-2019: How taking an alternative path took Aldi from shame to pride


Aldi UK


Aldi UK


McCann Manchester
Gain Theory

Principal Authors

  • Jamie Peate - McCann Manchester
  • Marie Koropisz - McCann Manchester

Contributing Authors

  • Darren Hawkins - McCann Manchester
  • Andrew Houghton - McCann Manchester

Credited Companies

  • Universal McCann - Media Agency

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