Lidl opened its first stores in Ireland in 2000 and, since then, has become an integral part of Irish life by providing the highest quality produce at the lowest prices for the 1.5 million customer it serves weekly. Since launching in Ireland, Lidl has invested significantly by providing thousands of jobs with market leading pay and conditions while also being a major supporter of the Irish agrifood and drink sector. However, despite this there was still a perception in some quarters that Lidl in Ireland was not as “Irish” as some of its competitors and Lidl approached The Reputations Agency to help build Lidl’s corporate reputation in Ireland.
The Reputations Agency set about to develop a communications strategy and sustained activities which would demonstrate clearly that Lidl is a significant contributor to the Irish economy and society.
The first key element of the programme was to quantify, from an economic perspective, the scale of that support which could be verified independently. By engaging DKM, the economic consultants, to measure Lidl’s contribution to Ireland provided proof points which could be used in all stakeholder engagements. Announcing Lidl being first to champion the Living Wage along with a major recruitment programme provided scope to communicate its leading employer status. A programme was also initiated whereby Lidl suppliers were profiled in media where they spoke about the benefits of working with Lidl.
The campaign generated a compelling narrative which resonated with Lidl’s key stakeholders driving supportive behaviours which continues to support Lidl’s ongoing expansion in Ireland. The retailer’s ranking in the Ireland RepTrak ® study improved from 35th to 5th and The Reputations Agency’s work in building Lidl’s Corporate Reputation in Ireland was award Best Corporate Communications Campaign at the PR Awards for Excellence.