Wireless headphones: “Lidl sees its customers as knowledgeable people”
Two months after the viral success of its range of clothing (sneakers, socks, slides, T-shirts) which drove Internet users crazy, Lidl is launching wireless headphones on Thursday modeled on the models offered by Samsung and Apple. As usual, the German brand cuts prices (less than 20 € for these “True Wireless Bluetooh” against more than a hundred euros for the two telephony giants). This particularly aggressive pricing practice on the tech market echoes the Monsieur Cuisine Connect marketed last year: a multifunction kitchen robot offered half the price of its competitors Magimix and Thermomix. In fact, the hard-discounter has been struggling for several years to move upmarket and change its image. Stéphanie Laporte, director of the Otta agency (advice and training in digital strategy) and director of the master's degree in digital communication at Inseec (school of business and management), deciphers this strategy for Liberation.
How do you analyze Lidl's foray into the high-tech product market?
The marketing of cheap wireless headphones is clever because it matches the needs of the consumer. This decision is in line with the positioning that Lidl has been giving itself since at least 2014: we are witnessing a change in the proposition vis-à-vis the consumer. The latter no longer suffers from his socio-professional category, his social class or his lack of purchasing power, he too can be trendy without putting himself in financial danger. Lidl sees its customers as knowledgeable people, on the lookout for good deals. This strategy is paying off. Going to these stores is no longer seen as a social downgrade.
Is its aggressive social media marketing any surprise, coming from a self-service store?
It's very hard to control and anticipate virality. It is, by definition, very random. But I'm not surprised at the extent of Lidl's success, because their strategy is well executed. There is a brand repositioning that began at least five years ago on a European scale (Germany, France, Italy, etc.). say all the means used by distributors to promote products within the store, editor's note] and in the layout of the stores. We go from garish yellow to a classy green with wooden partitions, elements reminiscent of slate, etc. We go from the utilitarian distributor with goods placed on pallets, to a store where we are happy to walk around like at Mark & Spencer or the BHV.
Have other brands perceived as low-end already attempted this transformation without losing their base?
Lidl didn't invent anything. We could cite Tati who tried to change her face at the beginning of the last decade, but the textile company did not experience the same success. She never managed to get out of the enclave of social sanction for her buyers. The layout of the stores and their digital strategy were not in line with the attempted gamble. While the German brand seems to have understood the way we do digital communication. It uses virality systems by calling on prescribers, influencers with well-managed social networks.