The Lion Alters Its Roar

Higgins, Kevin T.
September 2003
Marketing Management;Sep/Oct2003, Vol. 12 Issue 5, p14
The article presents an interview with Michael Haaf, Food Lion's vice president of sales and marketing, about changing the company's direction and redefining its value equation. With 1,200 stores, Food Lion is far more than a regional player, though. It is the heart of Salisbury, North Carolina-based Delhaize America Inc., the $15 billion U.S. division of Belgium's Delhaize Group. Marketing, according to Haaf, is the art and science of identifying, capturing and growing profitable customers. Advertising is the art of marketing, and that gets the most focus. His mission is to create value and to build a structured environment where new concepts are generated, tested and rolled out. Haaf's title was amended to include corporate strategy to reflect marketing's impact on that aspect of the business. In the heavily competitive Southeast, Wal-Mart has had a significant impact in recent years, and the everyday low pricing strategy of Food Lion was no longer sufficient. The company is doing a brand equity study to produce a portfolio approach on how to go to market and address different things in different markets. Understanding brand equity is based on understanding store brands. Food lion adopted a scaled-down, convenience-store concept for use in smaller markets.


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