The Co-operative – Have your say

A thought from The Co-operative – Have your say

I have been quite vocal over the last few months about how the Co-operative has responded to revelations around its bank and how it seems to have forgotten its own brand values. So I was interested to read that it has launched a new survey – 'have your say'.

The Co-operative has teamed up with YouGov to do this and as the website says, “We want your views on a range of topics, from how we source our products to our work in the community. It’s why we’ve teamed-up with YouGov, one of the UK’s most respected research companies, for an independent survey.” The aim is to get our views on how to shape the strategic direction of the organisation moving forward.

Having completed the survey - which took me around 20 minutes - it was interesting to see where the company seems to be placing its emphasis. It would appear that there are some strong battle lines being drawn within the organisation between those who want to see a more community centered approach to the organisation, profits being invested in community projects and making a difference. And those that want to ensure that profits are invested in keeping prices low in store and paying members a dividend.

But what it highlights is quite startling – for me a clear lack of brand leadership and direction from within the organisation. Surely, the Co-operative knows by now its core values and its proposition?

It’s no surprise that the organisation is split. For the food division, the commercial realities of competing against the big four retailers is without question a key driver. But what it highlights is quite startling – for me a clear lack of brand leadership and direction from within the organisation. Surely, the Co-operative knows by now its core values and its proposition?

In my view where it is lacking is clearly articulating those values to its customers. It has tried to compete on price when it should be competing on brand. It simply does not have the size or scale to compete long-term on price alone, it must differentiate on its brand values and what makes it different.

So if you are interested in making any comments, then have your say and go online and complete the survey.

The Author

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