METRO GROUP launches umbrella brand communication

3 May 2011

  • Internationalisation, customer orientation, industry leadership and sustainability are the key brand values
  • The reputation of the umbrella brand METRO GROUP and the name recognition of the sales brands are to benefit from each other
  • Three elements: online "retail portal", dialogue formats as well as press and outdoor advertising
  • Communication especially addresses opinion leaders: the exchange with politicians and NGOs is to be intensified

In the 15th year since its founding, METRO GROUP is launching a new umbrella brand communication. The communication offensive will mainly be conducted via a knowledge and opinion portal on the Internet, various dialogue formats as well as press and outdoor advertisements under the claim "Made to Trade". The campaign focuses on opinion leaders from politics, industry, financial markets and social stakeholder groups.

"METRO GROUP is the most international retailer worldwide and generated record earnings in the financial year just ended. We are now also underscoring this strong position with an intensified umbrella brand communication", says Dr Michael J. Inacker, Head of Communication, Public Affairs and CSR of METRO GROUP. The campaign will focus on communicating the aspects internationalisation, customer orientation, sustainability and METRO GROUP's claim of being a pioneer in trade and in political issues related to trade. Moreover, the performance and economic relevance of METRO GROUP are to be highlighted. To this effect, various communication platforms such as traditional advertisements, novel online instruments as well as creative public dialogue forums are being combined.

The extended umbrella brand communication will also document the diversity of METRO GROUP with its sales brands Metro/Makro Cash & Carry, Real, Media Markt, Saturn and Galeria Kaufhof. They are to benefit from a strong METRO GROUP umbrella brand that uses its reach to promote the exchange between the company with its sales divisions and all stakeholder groups. The umbrella brand METRO GROUP in turn benefits from the high name recognition and public appreciation of its sales brands.

Right in time for the Annual General Meeting on 6 May, METRO GROUP is launching a comprehensive online portal for retail knowledge under the Internet address zumhandelngeschaffen.de, that highlights both, the economic and also the social significance of the retail sector. "The portal underscores the retail competence of METRO GROUP and specifically addresses opinion leaders from politics, industry and society", says Inacker. Numerous trade articles and reference tools offer data, opinions and background information about trade and retailing.

With the launch of the umbrella brand communication, METRO GROUP will also intensify its dialogue with the opinion leaders. This includes in particular the exchange with politicians and NGOs. "As an international retail group, we are in the focus of public attention. In view of the high expectations regarding a sustainable corporate management the dialogue with our stakeholder groups is of central importance", says Inacker. The new dialogue activities will supplement the established Mittwochsgesellschaft (Wednesday Society of Retail) in Berlin hosted jointly by METRO GROUP and the German Retail Federation (HDE). This dialogue forum is currently also being extended to other countries.

The advertising series which conveys central brand values with eye-catching motifs will be published in leading national and international media. In addition, thematically matching advertising space will be booked for selected events. On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, METRO GROUP will also publish a supplement with the campaign motifs in leading daily newspapers. The company's outdoor advertising will concentrate on large advertising spaces at Düsseldorf airport. During the Eurovision Song Contest, METRO GROUP will be present at central points in the city of Düsseldorf with large billboards. The new elements of the campaign will be closely aligned with existing successful communication formats. This includes the sponsoring of the METRO GROUP Marathon on 8 May which will this year for the first time be designed in the colours yellow and blue. 

In the framework of the internal communication, the umbrella brand communication will be supported by the international magazine for executives "Trade". This magazine will be published for the first time in mid-May in German and English.  

For the promotional communication, METRO GROUP commissioned the agency BBDO Proximity. The content-related support of the communication with opinion leaders is managed by the Düsseldorf-based communication consultancy Deekeling Arndt Advisors.  

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most international retailing companies. In 2010 the Group reached sales of around € 67 billion. The company has a headcount of over 283,000 employees and operates more than 2,100 stores in 33 countries. The Group's performance is based on the strength of its sales brands which operate independently in their respective market segment: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale, Real hypermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn – European market leader in consumer electronics retailing, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.