Creating a brand tone of voice is vital, especially during a supermarket price war and for a smaller retailer such as Lidl.

Creating a brand tone of voice is essential when you’re in a sector that’s in a price war. For a brand such as Lidl that has less marketing spend than the big four supermarkets it is essential.

Lidl really needs to be punching above its weight with a strong campaign that creates noise and gets the media writing about it. A comedy tone can give you a unique voice if other brands aren’t trying to be funny.

I can’t say I’ve ever laughed at any other supermarket advertising so they could be on to something and really take advantage.

It shouldn’t be hard for Lidl to cut through as all the other supermarkets are basically saying the same thing.

Sainsbury’s is inviting customers to ‘Live Well for Less’, Tesco is still saying ‘Every Little Helps’, Asda is using a ‘Saving you Money Every Day’ tagline, while Morrisons has a ‘Love it Cheaper’ message.

But I don’t know if I do love it cheaper - usually that means it is not very good. You get what you pay for, don’t you?

The question is whether comedy is right for Lidl.

Does it come from a genuine truth of the brand? Can it drive this through its business? Are its vegetables quirkier? Are its staff friendlier? Is the tone consistent through all its work?

If the answer to all these questions is yes then they will build a brand. Otherwise the retailer’s recent print ads focused on Sainsbury’s and Morrisons will be blips and confuse consumers rather than build the brand.

Inconsistent campaigns?

Creating a personality is about the look and feel of the work as well. Lidl’s marketing campaigns look pretty inconsistent and I’m not sure what their end line is? Is it ‘Lidl Surprises’?  It’s hard to know what this brand is about currently.

“When brands start competing on price, it will take them even longer to build their voice”

Matt Gooden, Crispin Porter + Bogusky

I think it takes a long time to build a brand personality. When brands start competing on price, it will take them even longer to build their voice. We work on the Paddy Power account at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and we believe that a strong brand personality comes from a strong brand point of view.

Paddy Power believes that sport is being ruined by money, governing organisations, sponsorship and TV deals, the fans rarely get a say. So Paddy is on the side of the sports fan. They admit that they’ll take your money but they’ll entertain you for it and you’ll have a bloody good laugh along the way.

The challenge for Lidl is to be consistently funny and still communicate its brand point of view. If it can do that then it is on the way to creating a formidable brand personality.

  • Matt Gooden, executive creative director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky