Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

This is the place for general and miscellaneous posts on topics which might extend past the boundaries of any specific region. No non-grocery posts.
veteran+
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 558
Joined: January 3rd, 2015, 7:53 am
Has thanked: 30 times
Been thanked: 7 times
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by veteran+ »

My other career was in entertainment - advertising.

What a silly campaign and a shameful use of advertising dollars.

It's not even worthy of critique. Children may like it visually but I wonder what message they will glean from it.

Meanwhile, here in S. Cal...............

I find Ralphs customer service deteriorating daily (covid-19 being the excuse in vogue). The feel of the stores is off putting. No hellos, no smiles, no one seems to know anything about where things are, ZERO product knowledge, produce department knows nothing about what they sell much less how it tastes, Managers making ridiculous excuses for everything and defending bad service, merchandising chaos everywhere, clerks & vendors blocking traffic everywhere.

Frankly, I'm surprised. The whole tone of these stores does not feel right.

Much of this was happening before COVID, it feels and looks worse now.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by storewanderer »

veteran+ wrote: July 15th, 2020, 6:39 am My other career was in entertainment - advertising.

What a silly campaign and a shameful use of advertising dollars.

It's not even worthy of critique. Children may like it visually but I wonder what message they will glean from it.

Meanwhile, here in S. Cal...............

I find Ralphs customer service deteriorating daily (covid-19 being the excuse in vogue). The feel of the stores is off putting. No hellos, no smiles, no one seems to know anything about where things are, ZERO product knowledge, produce department knows nothing about what they sell much less how it tastes, Managers making ridiculous excuses for everything and defending bad service, merchandising chaos everywhere, clerks & vendors blocking traffic everywhere.

Frankly, I'm surprised. The whole tone of these stores does not feel right.

Much of this was happening before COVID, it feels and looks worse now.
Remember where Kroger was back in November. Clearly having trouble hitting its numbers. They laid off a ton of management (assistant managers mostly) and cut some district staff (coordinators). Or in some places they didn't lay people off but expanded territories so responsibilities increased for those not laid off. Then of course the holidays- busy time. Not long after that COVID hit and again busy time and sales went through the roof.

I think the organization is simply strained. People are probably tired. This past few months has been very difficult for the grocery business. But it was still open making money unlike so many other businesses. Probably the most challenging environment to operate in that I have ever seen between health concerns, supply chain issues throughout the supply chain, and handling the large increase in volumes.

The other issue is we don't know yet how much of this sales spike is going to really hit the bottom line. How much of the sales spike is countered by increased expenses (overtime pay, COVID related equipment, etc.)?

And a meaningless pointless logo change (they should just roll back the logo change and cancel it) and this ad campaign, accomplish nothing.

Bagels
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 267
Joined: August 20th, 2018, 11:54 pm
Been thanked: 4 times
Status: Online

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by Bagels »

Kroger continues to build upon the Kroger brand:

- Along the 5 and 405, there are several electronic billboards featuring the Kroger Pharmacy at Ralphs. And when my prescription was filled, the automated message let me know 'the Kroger Pharmacy at my local Ralphs' was calling. The branding was still entirely Ralphs, however, on the pill bottle / bag / literature.

- My latest custom coupons came with Kroger branding. The envelope mentioned I can use them at my local Ralphs, part of the Kroger family.

That said, they re-designed the labeling on baked goods, milk, eggs and water, but they all feature the Ralphs branding.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by storewanderer »

Bagels wrote: September 26th, 2020, 7:46 pm Kroger continues to build upon the Kroger brand:

- Along the 5 and 405, there are several electronic billboards featuring the Kroger Pharmacy at Ralphs. And when my prescription was filled, the automated message let me know 'the Kroger Pharmacy at my local Ralphs' was calling. The branding was still entirely Ralphs, however, on the pill bottle / bag / literature.

- My latest custom coupons came with Kroger branding. The envelope mentioned I can use them at my local Ralphs, part of the Kroger family.

That said, they re-designed the labeling on baked goods, milk, eggs and water, but they all feature the Ralphs branding.
I noticed at Smiths the self checkout instructed me to "scan your shopper card or Kroger card" when I went for a single item recently that wasn't on sale and didn't feel the need to bother with the loyalty card. All of the department labels at Smiths still say Smiths.

Gallon milk is the only Smiths brand item that still exists at Smiths.

I guess I don't understand having coupons with Kroger branding if you still have to put in the branding that the coupons can be used at Ralphs. That means you still have to do a special print run for the coupons that go to Ralphs customers. So why not just print Ralphs coupons then?

At Fred Meyer some of the department labels are generic and have no store name ("Bakery Fresh Goodness" or something on bakery, something similar on deli). I think produce (cut melon, etc. in store which Fred Meyer still has) and meat labels still said Fred Meyer last time I was there.

I think Kroger is in a bind as they know for a digital branding they need to be known as Kroger. They cannot have all these different banners for digital branding and have it make any sense. There needs to be one central digital brand and that is Kroger, by default, since it is the most dominant of the brands.

Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1907
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 9 times
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by Super S »

With recent changes at Fred Meyer to their card program, and the replacement of the Fred Meyer brand with the Kroger brand on many private label items, as well as the general merchandise side gradually being whittled away, I wouldn't rule out an eventual rebranding down the road.

BatteryMill
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 152
Joined: May 1st, 2016, 12:25 pm
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 2 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by BatteryMill »

Super S wrote: September 27th, 2020, 9:07 am With recent changes at Fred Meyer to their card program, and the replacement of the Fred Meyer brand with the Kroger brand on many private label items, as well as the general merchandise side gradually being whittled away, I wouldn't rule out an eventual rebranding down the road.
Fred Meyer's GM sides are disappearing? How will they make use of their stores now, will they be more like Kroger Marketplaces?

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by storewanderer »

BatteryMill wrote: September 27th, 2020, 11:00 am
Super S wrote: September 27th, 2020, 9:07 am With recent changes at Fred Meyer to their card program, and the replacement of the Fred Meyer brand with the Kroger brand on many private label items, as well as the general merchandise side gradually being whittled away, I wouldn't rule out an eventual rebranding down the road.
Fred Meyer's GM sides are disappearing? How will they make use of their stores now, will they be more like Kroger Marketplaces?
They cut large portions of GM but they still fill the space. They spread the grocery areas out. All of the aisles get much wider and I think shelf height may go down a little. They add in more frozen foods aisles, enlarge the already large produce, liquor, etc., add bars to the stores.

Bagels
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 267
Joined: August 20th, 2018, 11:54 pm
Been thanked: 4 times
Status: Online

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by Bagels »

Super S wrote: September 27th, 2020, 9:07 am With recent changes at Fred Meyer to their card program, and the replacement of the Fred Meyer brand with the Kroger brand on many private label items, as well as the general merchandise side gradually being whittled away, I wouldn't rule out an eventual rebranding down the road.
According to an article published in a Cincinnati business journal, when the team responsible for Kroger's rebranding campaign initially got together, the working idea was that all of the banners would be consolidated under the Kroger name. Americans are traveling more than ever, and internal studies showed that there was poor brand awareness. Further studies showed that when people traveled to foreign places, they were most likely to shop at places they were familiar with, with Walmart and Target coming out on top. The example cited was that millions of Southern California residents traveled throughout the Western USA, but only a few knew that Fred Meyer, Smith's, Frys, etc. yielded a similar shopping experience as Ralph's.

Ultimately, they backed away from the idea of consolidation; they were afraid of facing similar backlash that Albertsons endured when it retired the Lucky banner in SoCal. The article mentioned that they did decide to go ahead and develop the Kroger brand -- local banners would be dropped from products within the store, and the Kroger name would be used nearly exclusively internally (this is a cost savings measure most likely).

At Ralphs, only the milk and water (I was mistaken about the eggs) maintain the Ralphs name on their packaging. It was literally just a few years ago when virtually nothing had the Kroger name on it... I recall when Food4Less started carrying Kroger-branded items in the (late?) 2000s and thought it was pretty cool. Now it's the norm.

Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1907
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 9 times
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: September 27th, 2020, 11:19 am
BatteryMill wrote: September 27th, 2020, 11:00 am
Super S wrote: September 27th, 2020, 9:07 am With recent changes at Fred Meyer to their card program, and the replacement of the Fred Meyer brand with the Kroger brand on many private label items, as well as the general merchandise side gradually being whittled away, I wouldn't rule out an eventual rebranding down the road.
Fred Meyer's GM sides are disappearing? How will they make use of their stores now, will they be more like Kroger Marketplaces?
They cut large portions of GM but they still fill the space. They spread the grocery areas out. All of the aisles get much wider and I think shelf height may go down a little. They add in more frozen foods aisles, enlarge the already large produce, liquor, etc., add bars to the stores.
GM isn't completely gone at Fred Meyer, but nearly every area is seeing reduction of some sort especially during remodels. The recent remodel at my local store saw automotive and sporting goods shrink, and paint mixing eliminated altogether. Electronics department got smaller. Apparel saw a reduction in size and elimination of some things such as big & tall sizes. To be fair, some other areas were seeing reductions before Kroger entered the picture, most notably Home Improvement where things such as lumber, water heaters, and other building materials were eliminated altogether, as a response to chains such as Home Depot entering the market. Fred Meyer is more focused on grocery these days, but I question things such as wide aisles when they start cluttering them up with random displays taking up half of an aisle.

The "fresh for everyone" tagline works on the grocery end, but when you see it plastered on signs for such things as clothes, antifreeze, TVs, weed killer, etc. you can tell they aren't very focused on the GM side.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Kroger "big announcement coming" on branding

Post by storewanderer »

Bagels wrote: September 27th, 2020, 1:13 pm
According to an article published in a Cincinnati business journal, when the team responsible for Kroger's rebranding campaign initially got together, the working idea was that all of the banners would be consolidated under the Kroger name. Americans are traveling more than ever, and internal studies showed that there was poor brand awareness. Further studies showed that when people traveled to foreign places, they were most likely to shop at places they were familiar with, with Walmart and Target coming out on top. The example cited was that millions of Southern California residents traveled throughout the Western USA, but only a few knew that Fred Meyer, Smith's, Frys, etc. yielded a similar shopping experience as Ralph's.
Unfortunately that initiative has resulted in downgrading the shopping experience at Ralphs, Fred Meyer, and QFC to something that is inferior to what it was before Kroger tried to make those banners "like the rest of Kroger." The stores do not look as nice, the fresh departments seem to have fallen in quality, and the attitude of the staff is not what it used to be. The things that I feel allowed these banners to charge higher prices than a Kroger or Smiths seem to have been de-emphasized or taken away.

Kroger could probably get away with rebranding some of these divisions like Frys, Smiths, Dillons, and King Soopers- and customers may drag their feet but in the end nothing about the stores would change and I think the customers would come around. This wouldn't be like Albertsons/Lucky where the entire format changed. Most folks who shop in those stores are well aware what Kroger is. In the case of Fred Meyer, Ralphs, and QFC I do not think the Kroger connection is quite as well known, many of the Ralphs/QFC Stores are smaller in size or have higher income demographics and have a smaller mix of private label items which has been the main thing in the other stores which are primarily middle class type of stores that heavily push private label, which presents the Kroger ownership to the customers. As far as Fred Meyer goes, it is a different format and rebranding it would not be appropriate.

Locked