Giant Tiger gets inside the heads of its customers

The growing discount retailer's new campaign shows that its selection and shopping experience is attractive for reasons beyond price.
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Discount retailer Giant Tiger is using its marketing to let people into its stores for the first time as a way to show the breadth of its offerings and tell the brand’s story through three archetypal shoppers.

Cindy-Lynn Steele, SVP, strategy, marketing, loyalty, digital at Giant Tiger, says that the brand has never told a story that focuses on the perspective of its customers, and never showcased the inside of its physical stores, but is doing so now to emphasize its low-price family fashions, groceries and household necessities.

“We wanted to be clear and simple, and let people find out the reality of what a Giant Tiger actually is,” Steele says. She says with the messaging, it also wanted to convey that its locations are a fun place to shop, not just a place that’s sought out because of low prices. Steele tells strategy that “#SeeYourselfSaving” is an opportunity to better connect with customers by putting them front and centre in a comedic way.

She says that having a “mom on a mission” in the grocery aisle as one of the shopper archetypes (the other two include deal-finder “investigators” and one-stop-shopping “calculators”) is a reflection of the brand’s insights that young moms are the majority of its shoppers. Part of the marketing plan with “#SeeYourselfSaving,” she says, is to tell people that the retailer has fresh grocery offerings and that it has been adding fresh meat to its stores, something that has been a big traffic driver and is sought out by its multi-tasking target.

Giant Tiger’s goal is to increase awareness, increase store frequency and let consumers know that they can shop in-store or digitally. The brand’s ex-VP of marketing, Karen Sterling, has said that Giant Tiger has expanded its e-commerce offerings to include 6,000 products, which comes amid the launch of a loyalty program and a plan to add between 10 to 15 stores to its retail network (which already numbers over 250) every year.

Giant Tiger isn’t the only discount retailer looking to expand. Dollarama now has over 1,300 stores across Canada, and China’s Miniso plans to reach 500 locations by 2021. here is a lot of competitors in the space. However, Steele says Giant Tiger’s value proposition is that, as a network of franchisees, it’s also community-based and Canadian, as its store owners live and breathe in the communities the stores are in (at the end of the spots in the new campaign, Giant Tiger employees are prominently showcased).

Debuting yesterday, the campaign elements will run in English and French across national broadcast and online. Huge, which was named creative agency partner earlier this year, handled the creative elements, its first effort with the brand. Steele says Giant Tiger is a low cost operator, so getting the basics down is key when communicating with customers. “Blowing the bank is not who we are,” she says, with respect to the level of ad spend.