From the Washington Post to the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts. This week, newspapers and digital media filled the Northeast and Central Atlantic with articles about Giant Food’s decision to change meat labels and then change them again. It is a warning story about the need to maintain and maintain (or erode) the value of your brand.
Giant Food has been the market leader in MyWegmansConnect supermarkets in the country’s capital for years. It was locally owned and was known for its fairness, high quality, and civic engagement. My husband’s aunt, Emily, once remembered that owner Izzy Cohen was inspecting the aisles of his store and the team was barking when he saw something was wrong. His commitment to quality has increased trust and customers have found that what he bought from Giant is the best.
Last month, Giant undermined this MyWegmansConnect confidence by introducing a new meat label that no longer tells customers what quality of meat they are buying, but only that it has been classified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The label essentially makes no sense since the total amount of meat in this country is USDA-qualified. According to the article, the company changed the label to save money (it can store all kinds of meat together). If customers don’t really know what they’re buying, the company may be content to sell slightly larger quantities of low-quality meat.
The value corresponds to the values.
What is the lesson here? We preach this to the Wainger Group almost continuously. It has to be independent of its value and its (plural) values are connected to it.
Stronger brands do more than make money. It can range from innovation to empowerment, from honesty to failure, or from sustainability. It is important to understand what your company, organization, or person believes in and use these beliefs to control everything you do, from product or service development to packaging, and how employees are treated.
For many, this latest incident was last fall to keep them out of the store. How can you trust the motto “You have a giant by your side” when the giant throws up smoke protection? One person said in the post, “The decision to tag Giant made my decision easier: we cut the cable and went to Wegmans.”