A Matter of Values

Whole Foods is launching a significant advertising campaign to try and fight some negative perceptions about their stores and to fine tune the position of their brand. The theme attempts to counter the idea that they are just an expensive store, AKA Whole Paycheck.

Their theme is Value Matters.  The idea is that in order to deliver value, values matters. I noticed some in store POS a few weeks ago and then started to see the ads pop up on Food Network and a few other networks.

Walmart has aggressively entered the organic food segment over the last few years and some of the same products are showing up at Walmart for a lower price. Is organic kale better from Whole Foods than Walmart?  Whole Foods is being more explicit in the message about why they are different. Value in and of itself is not the reason to shop at Whole Foods. It may be the reason some shop at Walmart. Values, is.

 The advertising is to expressly position themselves around the values they believe is their difference. 

And, as a frequent shopper, I do care about that difference. However, I care even more about my own shopping experience. A part of my experience is their connection to the local community, but my main concern is how shopping at the store makes me feel. The shopping atmosphere is much different than a traditional store. It has a hipper vibe. It doesn't feel so transactional. It is a more relax atmosphere. 

Whole Foods is also doing something simple and clear. They are providing you with words to reinforce and support your own beliefs. 

Value Matter is something you can repeat and say to others when asked, why you shop at Whole Foods. "I shop there because value matters." It reinforces a belief. 

I am someone who loves to wander food stores whether it’s a Food Lion, Family Dollar or Dean and Dilucca. I even enjoy visiting 7-11’s or Sheetz or other C-store chains.  A walk through Costco is entertainment to me especially when I’m just looking at food trends.

I love the game and to see what is going on at retail. But I shop several times a week to get fresh ingredients and foods to prepare for my wife and I, and the experience matters too. Yes, I am happy about the organic foods and the values of how they hire and treat their employees. But in the end, its all about how it makes me feel to be in the store.

The music is fun. The atmosphere is enjoyable and it feels less like a chore when I am there. I can’t say the same about Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Walmart or most other traditional grocery stores.

Values Matters is a rallying cry. It is showing up on my receipts and on store signage as I walk into the store. With over 22 video ads loaded to their homepage and two national spots, they focus on the 1,000 local farms supplying their stores and that they are America’s healthiest grocery store.

Why do you shop at the food store you choose? Convenience?  Price? Values?  For me, I’m looking to enjoy myself, find healthy foods and to support a store with a focus on my local community. 

In the end, its all about the whole experience. 


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