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Three posters for the new Migros brand campaign

Interview Rémy Müller

Why are Migros tissues cheaper than others, Rémy Müller?

Tissues, chocolate, mozzarella: Migros is promoting its own brands in a new campaign – by showing how much more expensive the originals are. Head of Marketing Rémy Müller explains why Migros is much cheaper than some people think.

From
Lisa Stutz
Date
Format
Interview

You are Head of Marketing at Migros. Do you even look at prices when shopping?

I think everyone does that, right? I certainly do; however, the importance I attach to low prices varies from product to product.

Such as?

I’m happy to pay a little more for meat and vegetables because cultivation and animal welfare are important to me; when it comes to tissues, however, I always choose the cheaper Linsoft ones. I would never pay twice the price for branded tissues. I’m also not prepared to pay more than necessary for cleaning products. Because let’s be honest, even a luxury cleaning product won’t make me enjoy cleaning. The same goes for blowing my nose. 

And what about food?

Here, too, I often choose the cheapest option. Like when I’m out and about and need to buy bottled water – in a PET bottle, of course. I prefer drinking tap water, so I see no reason not to choose the cheapest bottle on the shelf. 

In a new campaign, Migros is promoting its own brands, which are cheaper than the originals. Why is that actually the case? 

There are various reasons for this, the first being that we produce many of our own brands ourselves. As Migros, we know from our customers exactly which products are in demand, which products we need to produce and in which quantities we need to produce them. Therefore, we reduce the amount of data we need to purchase, reduce our development outlay and avoid having to spend large sums on advertising.

In contrast to the big brands?

Big brands often invest a lot of money in marketing and advertising – much more than we do for our own brands. As an example, our Frey product Mahony is over 30% cheaper than the original Toblerone, although unlike the original it is always made in Switzerland. 

Are there other reasons? 

We don’t need intermediaries or local subsidiaries for our own brands. Instead, we deliver the products straight to our distribution centres and then transport them to the stores. This saves on logistics costs. These savings, along with all the other savings we make, can be passed straight on to our customers. 

Cheap is good. But what else have our own brands got going for them?

Their quality, of course. We do all we can to make our own products at least as good as the originals in terms of quality. Independent tests repeatedly show that they are just as good as, if not better than, the originals. People often don’t notice the difference at blind tastings. Of course, there are also products where you notice the difference. But then we’re back to the tissues – even if there’s a difference, the product still does just as good a job as the original. 

So what are the reasons, if any, for choosing more expensive products? After all, Migros also stocks these.

I think these are very personal reasons – loyalty to a brand or memories of childhood treats, for instance.

The campaign compares specific products with each other. By way of example, M-Classic mayonnaise costs CHF 1.80, while the Thomy equivalent costs CHF 2.80. Why are you playing the products off against each other? 

The beauty of this campaign is that, rather than saying whether one product is better than the other, it says that we have both products, these are the prices and the choice is yours. I think Migros hasn’t mentioned prices enough in recent years. 

Why?

Some people perceive Migros as relatively expensive. But if you walk around the store and choose the most expensive item from each shelf, you’ll be standing at the checkout and saying to yourself: “Oops, now I’ve paid much more than I would have at a discount store.” That’s precisely where the difference lies – discount stores don’t sell the more expensive items. With this campaign, we want to show that you can always opt for the cheaper product at Migros – or consciously choose the more expensive one because it’s worth the higher price.

Are you now in trouble with Thomy, Toblerone and the other brands?

No, the campaign is not an attack on the brand manufacturers; its purpose is to explain that Migros gives you a choice – as well as saving you money. What’s more, I sometimes long for a little more humour in our society. In addition to conveying a message, advertising should also be entertaining. 

Everyone in Switzerland knows Blévita, Farmer and Frey. Which own brands are customers likely to know even better?

I think our Da Emilio brand is brilliant – with a beautiful, Italian brand image we can be proud of. We stock over 200 own brands at Migros, so it’s impossible to remember them all.
You were previously at Denner. Do you still go shopping there from time to time? 
I’ve already become very accustomed to the large selection Migros offers and its more spacious stores. But if there’s a Denner nearby, I don’t need to do the weekly shop and the wine rack at home is slowly emptying – sure. 

How much do you spend on food each month?

I quickly looked it up, and it’s an average of CHF 500 for me and probably as much again for my partner. We don’t eat out that much, which means we often cook at home.

What’s your favourite Migros product?

I have a really sweet tooth, so I love the Totebeinli biscuits from the M-Classic range. And the Truffes yoghurt from the Excellence range, which is actually more of a dessert. 

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