5 marketing lessons retailers can learn from Lidl…

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 06 Feb 2015 by Carla
Other | Social Media

In the past, Lidl’s marketing campaigns have always relied quite heavily on door drops and leaflets as a way of getting its message and products across to customers. Lately, however, they have taken some exciting steps into the world of social media. As part of their desire to increase their UK customer base, Lidl invested £20M on a more consumer focused brand awareness campaign. They used TV ads and social media to turn their customers into all-important brand advocates.

Lidl know their brand. They know that often, once people give them a try, they are surprised by the quality and value for money of their products. As such, their campaign was aptly named #LidlSurprises, with all marketing avenues having the same hashtag.

Here are 5 reasons why we think Lidl got it spot on:

Changing the focus onto the customer

The whole purpose of this campaign was to change people’s perceptions of the brand and to encourage consumers to give them a try, as low cost doesn’t always mean low quality.

Any business will tell you that recommendation and word-of-mouth are very powerful, so rather than the brand blowing their own trumpet, Lidl used the most powerful instrument in their orchestra, the customer, to do it for them.

This simple, yet effective strategy promotes interaction, a new positive awareness of their brand and products, sales and new customers, and also amazing engagement with their audience!

Using customers’ tweets

By actively encouraging customers to tweet about their #LidlSurprises, the brand have invaluable, user-generated content (or tweets) to do the marketing for them, acting as powerful testimonials from real customers that are using their products.


Lidl have been using the #LidlSurprises hashtag and tweets in print ads, in-store, website and billboards, where the ads don’t even look like ads, but instead like customer testimonials.

Using videos showing real customers

The reaction on social media to Lidl’s TV ads and online videos was fantastic, with some of them tipping 50,000 views, these videos even gave the company’s Christmas ad, with just over 1m views, a run for its money.

The key to the success of these videos was the genuine, user-generated content; the videos show the public expressing candid surprise at Lidl’s combination of high quality and low-low prices. This is a formula that many viewers can actually relate to.

A favourite of ours was a couple who, to their surprise, had just enjoyed some particularly tasty quail.

Website and Social Media

Lidl tactically splashed the hashtag across the top of the website’s homepage, the sidebars include tweets praising the retailer’s products and low prices, and their ‘About Us’ section includes a page describing the campaign.

Besides using the hashtag #LidlSurprises and sharing and retweeting content from users with the hashtag, Lidl did an excellent job of integrating all of their social media channels into the campaign, therefore you can see continuity in the campaign across Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

Not only that, they have also been providing excellent customer service on social media; frequently retweeting any mentions of the brand or hashtag, both positive and negative, from questions about products, to complaints about service in-store, to people simply mentioning that they have shopped in Lidl.

Joined up

We often see TV ads with ill-thought-out hashtags added on as a sloppy after-thought, or social media campaigns which, when you visit the website, are completely off-point – Lidl, however, got it spot on. Everything has been joined up; from their TV campaigns to their in-store ads, the customer gets a consistent message, whichever channels they choose to use.


Lidl have effectively created a brilliant brand campaign by combining word-of-mouth marketing and customer views. In its own words, the company has “handed the voice of Lidl over to the people who matter”.


What do you think about the #LidlSurprises campaign? Are there any others that have caught your eye recently?

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