- Kroger has launched a new brand transformation campaign that celebrates the grocer’s customers and associates, a "food-first" culture and its long history in grocery, a company press release said.
- The new branding will include a refreshed logo and a new tagline, "Fresh for Everyone." All Kroger banners across the U.S. will incorporate the new brand attributes while continuing to operate under their existing names.
- The goal of the campaign is to stand out from the "sea of sameness" and create an egalitarian brand that captures Kroger’s commitment to offering fresh, affordable food to everyone. DDB, Kroger’s agency of record helped build the new brand.
A mass media campaign will accompany the brand reveal, with ads placed across channels including broadcast, digital, print, social, podcast, TV and music streaming, billboards and retail. Kroger will also waive its $4.95 fee for grocery pickup in select markets through Jan. 1 to promote the new campaign and branding.
Some of the phrases and slogans on the company’s new creative assets include, "Fresh for people who eat. That includes you!" and "Let the freshtivities begin." The goal of the campaign is to portray an inclusive, uplifting promise, according to a statement from DDB. Although the new branding includes a revamped logo, the logo is largely absent from the new ads and creative materials.
The company is using animated "Kroji" characters (Kroger plus emoji) in the new campaign, which are intended to be fun, relatable and representative of Kroger customers, associates and communities.
At Kroger's investor conference Tuesday, Joe Grieshaber, senior vice president of merchandising, noted animation helps the company stand out from other grocery competitors. It also offers production efficiency in an age where digital media requires an exponential amount of content.
"With animation, the sets and the talent are created, placed in a library and used again and changed again and again in a much more modular way,” he said.
Despite heavy investment in its Restock initiative, Kroger has been under pressure to improve its messaging. Business Insider reported last week on a leaked internal memo from Kroger that said its brand was fragmented and "not working." While a rebrand won’t fix the broader strategy, it can provide a more cohesive experience for shoppers and a clearer strategic direction for stakeholders and investors.
Notably, the leaked memo also said the company is trying to be "everything to everyone," and is saying too many things. The new campaign is also taking an everyone-approach, incorporating any person in any place who eats. While the all-encompassing campaign offers a positive, welcoming message, it’s not a total departure from previous themes.
The new campaign does emphasize fresh, real food, which may help Kroger better connect with customers. "To contrast those top-down beautiful images of food everyone is using, we are adding motion and energy to real food as our new signature style," Grieshaber said. "When paired with the animation, the food really pops out and presents to customers as a real hero element."
In the past couple years, Kroger has diversified into a range of categories ranging from clothing to cookware and marketing services. It has also put major emphasis on expanding technology in its stores and through its e-commerce partnership with Ocado. The "Fresh for Everyone" campaign, however, sees the company turn to its grocery roots in order to reach today's shoppers.