King at Sainsbury’s: communications is the king

Justin King leaves Sainsbury’s in a hail of praise: but probably for the wrong things.  His real strength was corporate communications: a simple message clearly delivered from the top.

He has been praised for reinvigorating Sainsbury’s after 10 years of transformation.  Sainsbury’s is now challenging Tesco for the top slot in retailing.

Five reasons for success?

The BBC’s Chris Stokel-Walker identified five things he had done at Sainsbury’s to achieve this success:

1                     Look in wards: solve the problems of internal processes to get items on the shelves as people want them;

2                     Build: expand in the right places;

3                     Make the shopping experience for customers convenient;

4                     Balance quality and value; and

5                     Keep the big names as your ambassadors.

Communication should be number 1

More important than all of these was the ability to communicate these values to Sainsbury’s employees in a consistent manner.  It is all very well to have a plan at the top but it has to be transmitted to everybody in the organisation.

The mantra of corporate communications is a set of simple consistent messages constantly communicated.

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