Albert Heijn

Supermarket, retail
The Netherlands
Company name: Albert Heijn
Company size: Large
Company web site: http://www.ah.nl
Date of Foundation: 1887
Nr. of Employees: 250<

Case summary:
Albert Heijn is the biggest Dutch supermarket chain that had to deal in the near past not only with a “supermarket war” among Dutch competitors but also with a crisis within its own holding company. The Brand started aRepositioning project in 2003 (it was perceived as exclusive and expensive Brand by Customers) and has, in the last years, more than doubled the budget for Packaging Design. The supermarket chain also undertook a severe Change in Design strategy going from a specific two and three-dimensional pattern for own-Brand Design to product category codes.

Supermarket War Won With the Help of Design
With over 4,500 own-brand articles, supermarket chain Albert Heijn (AH) is one of the leading design agency customers in the Netherlands. However, the brand recently had to deal with a supermarket war and a crisis within its holding company. A change in strategy was in desperate need, as customers considered AH to be too expensive. The revised brand name positioning also meant new product packaging for its own brand name products. This played an important role in contributing to the change in brand name perception.

Loe Limpens is AH’s Senior Visual Identity Manager and responsible for the brand’s visual identity. The essence of his job is “to ensure that the consumer is confronted with a uniform and consistent image of Albert Heijn. No discrepancies may exist between packaging, store fitting, advertisements or website.” Within the Marketing department, design plays a crucial role, given the fact that AH is, not only the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands with a market share of almost 30%, but also because of its high number of own-brand articles…

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