We previously spoke about the Online Banking brand Monzo, and how they maintain their brand identity on various social media platforms. Monzo provided a great example of how a brand can use different platforms strategically while maintaining its consistent brand identity. Another brand that does this incredibly well is Aldi.
For supermarkets, Aldi has one of the largest social media presence. Instead of posting the expected content advertising product releases and informative posts on every platform, Aldi has adopted a lot of humour in their marketing strategies. They think outside the box and definitely take a lot of risks. From here, hopefully, you can analyse their tactics and take inspiration for your own social content.
Twitter- The Caterpillar War
When taking a dive into Aldi’s Twitter account, it would be rude not to talk about the famous ‘Caterpillar War’ between them and Marks and Spencer (M&S). The two supermarkets kept us busy during the pandemic with their social media content. The war began in 2019 when Aldi released ‘Cuthbert the Caterpillar’, which resembled M&S’s well-known Colin the Caterpillar cake.
This resulted in a legal battle that ended in 2021, but the social media ‘digs’ did not end there. Aldi began by posting a picture on Twitter of their ‘packaging update’ with Cuthbert behind bars and the hashtag #FreeCuthbert was born. This continued with a series of comical tweets, which even prompted other supermarkets to get involved.
This online (and legal) battle amused many social media users and supermarket go-ers. Many UK consumers felt a sense of the personality behind the supermarkets that they have known their entire life. This was a viral occasion that was adored by many, and it certainly provided Aldi with a lot of recognition and praise.
Key Takeaway: We are obviously NOT advising you to land yourself in a very public legal battle with one of your competitors. I’m sure this was not Aldi’s plan when they first released Cuthbert. However, it is a great example of how a brand utilised a not-so-positive event to its advantage. They were fully aware that the legal battle would be public and would be talked about. So, they decided to take the initiative to talk about it themselves and add humour to a typically serious event. This is an iconic event in social media history, and it is likely one that we will remember for a very long time.
Aldi’s TikTok account has a variety of content. They post about their product releases on a weekly basis, which is a big yes for the TikTok algorithm. TikTok series is what typically drives people to return to your account, so Aldi knows exactly what they are doing with their ‘Aisle of Aldi’ weekly series. They also acknowledge their budget-supermarket nature by sharing ‘Budget Christmas Cupboard Fillers’, which will appeal to those customers who are looking for a bargain at this time of the year. They also regularly share cooking videos, utilising their products, inspiring their consumers with more homely content.
Their humour, however, is not lost on this platform. Far from it. Recently, Tesco requested their shoppers to duet a TikTok video in hopes of finding the new voice of their checkouts. The hashtag #TescoVoiceofCheckout received 48.3M views (at the time of writing) and so Aldi jumped on the viral trend. As they are clearly not shy in throwing shade at their competitors, they quickly duetted the video and their audience loved it!
Key Takeaway: Once again, we do not want you to start filling up your feed by trash-talking your competitors. Aldi’s social media team reference their competitors in a comical way. However, if they did it too much, it would certainly be seen as distasteful. Instead, they pick their moments and make it seem almost effortless. Humbly and openly talking about your competitors on social media is definitely a brave thing to do, but it is also something that supermarkets do more than most. Aldi, however, demonstrates a great way to have fun with it- showing personality and the brand’s strengths, whilst not coming across as rude. It is a talent.
When you think of Aldi’s social media, you probably don’t immediately think of its LinkedIn presence. Their viral posts are more commonly found on the likes of Twitter and TikTok because that is where they seem to be more ‘relatable’ to their consumers. Their LinkedIn account is where they demonstrate their professional side, which is common for many brands. They focus on Aldi careers, encouraging people to apply for job vacancies.
Key Takeaway: This is a clear example of a brand using the various platforms to its strengths. Aldi’s marketing team want to show professionalism and staff stories on LinkedIn because they know that is where people are likely to look for job opportunities. They are able to show their personality and be a lot more personable on other platforms, whilst still maintaining competency where it is needed most.
Whether you are a regular Aldi shopper, or you have never stepped foot in one of their stores, you cannot deny that their marketing team are very talented and aren’t afraid to take risks. They stick to their brand values and build their content around that. Businesses of all sizes are finding that social media marketing is a great way to improve your customer’s perception of you- if you do it right. Well done Aldi, we are really impressed and we look forward to more great content.
What is your opinion on the caterpillar cake war? Was it a genius marketing strategy or did it go too far? We’d love to hear what you think.