Carrefour: Upgrading the brand promise to lead by example

In 2013, CMB Albania and exclusive franchisee for Carrefour in South-East Europe Marinopoulos S.A. made a bold move in solidifying their position in the Albanian retail market with the acquisition of Euromax. A local supermarket chain, Euromax was established in 2005 as Albania’s first grocery store chain.
At a turning point for their business in the country, the Client turned to McCann Tirana to communicate the change and their ambitious plans for the future. As the full-service agency for the Carrefour brand in Albania, McCann Tirana planned the strategic approach to the brand’s message, and its execution in ATL, BTL, and digital, as well as PR communications.
The task of the Agency was to deliver a communication platform and a campaign that would re-launch the Carrefour business in Albania as a full-fledged national retail chain. Additionally, the Client had a focus on current Euromax clients, which had to be introduced to the new Carrefour experience in their neighborhood.
 1. How do we expand the customer base and build brand love with current Carrefour customers?
 2. Where to take the Carrefour brand from its current position?
 3. What should be the unique tone of voice that differentiates it from the competition?
 4. How do we create awareness regarding the new network and the Carrefour promise?
With these questions in mind, we set to explore local insights about retail.
All retailers in the country focused their communication on quality-price ratio argument, with no clear attempts to establish their brands through differentiation. In a situation, where price wars are here to stay, it was clear that retail brands in Albania need to differentiate on what they stand for and how they tell their story.
Thanks to its new business reality, Carrefour was in an optimal position to achieve a key change from the Average Caregiver focused on low prices and control to the Upbeat Challenger. This new brand ambition communicates the strength and reliability of Carrefour, focusing on rational benefits with an emotional twist. It is rooted in Carrefour’s new-found ability to promote the new and lead by example in its category.
Carrefour in Albania is tearing down the old to create the new. It is reinventing how people shop in the country by changing the category and the sector for the better. The brand stands for enjoying life and living life in the present. As a positive brand, Carrefour invites its customers to embrace change and helps them make it happen now. All of this is communicated in a fun and original tone of voice, far from being grandiose or self-important, because for Carrefour status is meaningless.
The strategic change enables Carrefour to move away from the crowded “Everyman” domain, where Euromax, Big Market and almost all of the rest of the competition is positioned. It represents an upgrade from the basic price promise to a complete shopping experience promise.
Carrefour is putting an end to the old transitional shopping experience in Albania to bring a new way of shopping. Through its new wide network, Carrefour has the ability to drastically change the market for the better. The brand will exploit its position, expertise, and new network to meet the expectations of consumers and business partners to reshape the market by going further than its “value for money” offering.