Opinion: Do Punters Want To Wear Your Brand?

Opinion: Do Punters Want To Wear Your Brand?

ALDI recently took a foray into streetwear with a 10-piece collection including a sweatshirt, a beanie and even a pair of slides. But Molly Blacker, head of strategy at Slingshot, believes that the supermarket chain has changed how Aussies think about shopping and has even more lessons for brands to consider.

I spend my week fantasising about you. Your name pops up and I can’t wait to see the surprises you have in store for me. There is no one I would rather spend my Saturday morning with. Oh ALDI, you have my heart (and my first shop)!

When I saw the news that ALDI would be coming out with merch, there was no question in my mind, my wardrobe definitely needed a white t-shirt and some grey tracksuit pants with an ALDI “A” on them.

Now ALDI is not the only brand to do this of course. Entertainment, sports and even beer brands frequently reach t-shirt status. Even IKEA released a range of clothing. But this cult love for ALDI got me thinking: ALDI can teach us more things about our industry than there are random items in the Special Buys aisles.

So with this in mind, and inspired by ALDI, here’s how brands can make people love them enough to be on a t-shirt.

A is for Attract your people

If marketing teams and agency partners don’t know why a consumer is choosing their brand over a competitor, then no one will. It sounds simple, but knowing who your brand is for and who it’s not for takes discipline. When in doubt, remind yourself and your teams, “If we are trying to be everything to everyone, we will end up being nothing to no one”.

ALDI is not for everyone; it is for savvy shoppers, the ones willing to go to multiple supermarkets, but always ALDI first. The more marketing teams and agency partners care about the brands they work on, the more consumers will because caring is contagious.

L is for Lighten the load

Australians are overwhelmed. We’re working 3.2 billion hours a year in unpaid overtime, we have 134 million days of accrued annual leave and 3.8 million of us don’t take lunch breaks. And 7.4 million Australians don’t get enough sleep.

Our mental load is overflowing. Enter ALDI. A supermarket that is fundamentally easier to shop than Woolworths and Coles. The big two supermarkets have tried to train us into thinking that endless options, yellow tickets and loyalty programs are what we should want, but psychology would beg to differ.

Choice overload bias (aka choice paralysis or analysis paralysis) is the theory that when we have more options, it takes a greater toll on our cognitive abilities and it takes longer for us to make a decision. Furthermore, when you have too much choice, you are less likely to have confidence in your decision, less likely to be happy with your purchase and more likely to regret buying. All of this to say, thank you ALDI, for lightening my mental load and making me a happier shopper!

D is for Deliver deals

Yes we’re in a cost-of-living crisis so this may feel like an obvious point to raise. However, the interesting thing is that even when discretionary income is abundant, humans are wired to love a good deal. When we secure a deal, not only do we get a hit of dopamine, but it also gives me something to share with others. As a social approval-seeking species, there’s nothing we love more than sharing the great deal we found. The clever thing about ALDI is that those deals are guaranteed in every product, whether it is a staple or a limited-time offer. Australian Pork Mince for $3.99? Yes please! Shiatsu Back Massage Cushion for $39.99? Sold!

I is for Immediacy + intriguing = sales

And of course, we can’t talk about ALDI without talking about my favourite aisle, the Special Buys. Of course, the perfect thing to go with my fruit and veggies is an entire outdoor furniture set. The Special Buys has often been a punchline about ALDI, but it is sheer psychological brilliance.

  • It creates a sense of urgency and scarcity; humans assign greater value to items that may run out or may not be here for a long. The Special Buys aisle is basically the Taylor Swift ticket of the grocery category.
  • It adds power to the ALDI catalogue that Woolworths and Coles can’t replicate. I don’t know about you, but I think Watermelons being $1/kg less this week is less interesting than the cast iron kitchen essentials that regularly have shoppers lining up in droves.
  • It taps into Little Treat Culture – the act of indulging in small, inexpensive pleasures for an instant boost of serotonin. How can a brand give or be the little treat consumers are looking for?

All of this to say, if ALDI can make me, the least domestic person around, love her Saturday morning grocery shop, anything is possible. I challenge us all to think about how we can put more care into the brands we work with and the consumers that engage with them, so they want to wear that branded merch loudly and proudly.


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Aldi Slingshot

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