According to which? magazine Fairy Liquid has held the number one slot in their washing up liquid category since 1985. Quite an achievement – but they have just lost that top slot to a product from Lidl.
So what went wrong?
The Lidl product, and several others, have been cheaper than Fairy Liquid for some time but have not been so effective at what they do. Perhaps the team at Fairy Liquid got a bit complacent. They not only reduced the pack size twice while holding the price but also tweaked the formula so the foam would not last quite as long. This could be to reduce costs or an attempt to get customers to use more. Either way the net result is that they lost their valuable which? number 1 slot to a retailers own brand.
With retailers like Lidl and other supermarkets increasing the quality and performance of their own brand products the relationship between brands and retailers will change. Brands need to be adjust to this new environment which means thinking differently about their products but also their relationship with retailers. There is scope for both brands and retailers to gain by working closer together rather than an adversarial model.