Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 42
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3448-8.ch002


Consumer perception contains valuable insights for marketers; consumers decide to buy a product judging quality and performance of a product by product's sensory cues like shape, smell, or taste. Perception, on the other side, is rather a subjective process (i.e., people receive same stimuli, but their meaning can be different). Some of the consumers love certain brands while others hate them is an example of perception subjectivity. This chapter discusses perception process, elements, and characteristics.
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Opening Case

Changing Consumer Perception: The Lidl Case

The Lidl is a discount store that was founded in the 1930s in Germany. Lidl is one of the largest grocery retailers in Europe from first Lidl stores were opened in 1973. Lidl is a most known grocery retailer in Germany. By the 1990s Lidl has started to open new stores in Europe. And retailer became well established a European food retailer. Then the Lidl have extended their network in the discount sector (Lidl, 2017).

Discount stores sell their merchandise at lower prices, so they provide consumers an opportunity to make savings on their shopping with its low price. However, the discount supermarkets do not always have a good reputation. Sometimes shoppers distrust these stores as well. Consumers criticize discount stores for “not attractive” in-store shopping experience. Moreover, the most important point is that many consumers thought low prices is synonymous with low quality. Consequently, the discount supermarkets have a bad image related to the products’ low prices.

Consumer bias about the discount supermarkets was known by the Lidl, and they decided to change consumer perception in an original and very creative way. They opened a pop-up restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. And, they charged a star-studded Chef to enhance the image of products in the discount store of Lidl. The restaurant name was “Dill.” The restaurant started services on September 13, 2013, and continued its activity three weeks. The Dill served until early in the October. Chef Michael Wignall (two Michelin stars) directed the restaurant with offering affordable menu (around $75). He declared Dill’s mantra as “Good food does not have to cost more.” The main point was here opening a pop-up restaurant where all the ingredients came from its stores to change consumer perception towards their products. However, they have kept it secret (AdAge, 2013; Perreau, 2013).

The idea has been a great success in Stockholm, and it was fully booked from the first day to last day. Customers have started talking about the restaurant and share their positive reviews on Dill on social networks. The Lidl’s campaign was not only successful but also is an excellent example of managing consumer perceptions (Perreau, 2013).

Did consumer perception change? According to the manager of Lidl, when they admitted the secret about the Dill; all the foods came from Lidl, all the media blow up. Newspapers, blogs, televisions in nationwide talked about Dill. Dill became the Twitter subject of the day twice. Twits tripled from 10% to 33%. The country is 9 million people, but media reach was 24 million two weeks after the campaign. The next four months were the most successful term for ten years old Lidl. 2013 was the first profitable year for Lidl, more than they gained Sweden ever. Moreover, the Pop-up chair lives on, being sold in designers’ shops (Coloribus, 2015).

Figure 1.

Dill Restaurant ad

Source: Coloribus, 2015
Figure 2.

Lidl markets

Source: Allen, 2009

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