How ALDI Creates a Buzz

There’s lots of stories of ‘ALDI Store Mania’, where people line up for hours out the front of the store before it opens, and rush into like it’s the running with the bulls.

Arguments, injuries and fights are not uncommon.

While the fights aren’t cool, the question remains: How does ALDI create such a buzz?Today I wanted to share with you, and tell the story of ALDIs marketing and a little reason why they create such a buzz.

And of course, how you can borrow the same concept.

A quick story for anyone who doesn’t know who ALDI is.

ALDI is a grocery store. They are in 18 countries. And they have over 10,000 stores. Needless to say now, they are a big company.

To be honest, I didn’t know how big they were until I looked that up on wikipedia .

What’s great is that, when you see the 400 people deep lines outside an ALDI store on the news, and the mania that follows running into the store, be happy that you don’t have to be a 10,000 store company to use the same tricks.

If you’re a regular shopper at ALDI, the term ‘Special Buys’ will be NO news to you. Personally I prefer avoiding grocery and order the bulk of our stuff online. And usually only pass through whatever I’m closest to and pick up some garlic, or some beef, or whatever is missing from the kitchen.

Walking around the aisles while pushing a trolley and hoping I don’t, but knowing that I will forget something IS my idea of a terrible, terrible time. So my wife and I order online most of the time.

If you haven’t tried Woolworths or coles shopping delivery, I suggest giving it a go. You do need to be more prepared with what your weekly meals, but that’s not a bad thing is it?  No, not at all.

Getting back to ALDI Special Buys. Like I said, I don’t shop at ALDI but from what I know, ALDI has a ‘Specials Buys day, two days a week. I think it’s Wednesday and Saturday every week.

The company sells one or a few products at a low on sale price. And sometimes (not “rarely”, but sometimes) they have something that really does sound like a great buy. And there’s a clue in that – it does actually help your business if you are selling something during a sale that is actually a good buy.

I remember hearing about one that was a big screen TV at a very attractive price. Personally, I think with TVs you really do get what you pay for as long as you stay around the middle of the range.  My brother actually just dodged a bullet with this which proves my point. He was asking a sales rep about the a 65 inch LCD TV, the sales rep says look “I can give you $200 off if you buy it today”.  My brother is going to get one when he gets a new house so wasn’t ready to buy then anyway.

The very next week, the new brochure for that store (shall go unnamed – but it’s one of the big ones) arrives and that very same TV is $2,000 cheaper! Crazy right? That’s why I say stay away from what’s new and overpriced with TVs and such, and stay away from the low end too because the quality of picture just isn’t there.


It’s these Special Buys that they launch an entire advertising campaign around. If you’re selling 40 inch LCD TVs for $399, that is going to cause some hysteria. (I don’t know how much the TV was, but it was something like that).

Advertising something of seemingly HIGH VALUE, for a surprising low price, will get people’s attention. And that’s a big part of a successful marketing campaign.

If you can’t get your potential customers attention, it’s impossible for them to walk into your shop. Or to go to your website, or to enter their email address, or to do whatever it is you want them to do in your situation.

ALDIs special buys get people to line up and to come in the store.

It seems that they then have a very limited supply of what they’re selling which you might find odd, but having people miss out is NOT a bad thing. And ALDI knows this.

Having people miss out will only grow the crowd bigger and earlier the next time they have something special on sale.

It’s the snowball effect. And if you think it’s not true or it doesn’t work like that. Just remember ALDI have 10,000 stores around the world.

Having a special buy like this, and going out to the market to advertise it could be considered both a Lead Magnet and a Tripwire. These are two common marketing tricks that have been used for over a hundred years.

They are not new. In fact, no trick in marketing is “new”.

I’d call this a Tripwire offer, more than a Lead Magnet because there is money involved, it’s not a free thing they are advertising.

A Lead Magnet would be something for free, Something like a free ebook or a ‘Fact Sheet’, or a ‘Free Seminar’.. Something like that which is just used to get sales leads into a business. There is not any money transferred as of yet.

It’s something being used as a magnet, to attract people who are likely to be your customer.

For example, a Cafe could have a ‘Free Coffee’ campaign for locals. One free coffee for every new local  customer. If the cafe provides 100 free coffees to locals, that’s now 100 people who know the cafe, have been there, have tried their coffee and hopefully have had a good experience with the staff. That is a great quality sales lead.

A tripwire usually has money involved. The same Cafe could offer small cappuccinos for just $2. If they were to advertise that I’m sure they’d get more people in the door to purchase. So the tripwire has done its job.

With a tripwire offer though, it’s now very important that staff at the cafe turn that $2 cappuccino into a $2 cappuccino and a full breakfast. That’s where the $2 cappuccino will all be worth it.

In ALDIs case, someone comes in to buy the cheap LCD screen… maybe they end up getting the OTHER LCD screen which is right next to it, which is an even BETTER T.V and it’s only $199 more!

Or maybe the customer grabs 3 other ‘Special Buys’ while they are in the shop. Or of course, the person who came in for the cheap TV realise that ALDI actually sell all the groceries they need and at a cheaper price! Maybe ALDI has just won a new customer for life.

The 2nd worst case scenario for ALDI is that the customer lines up, rushes in, buys the cheap T.V, doesn’t buy anything else that day, but they get the seed planted that is “gee, ALDI is pretty good”, and they come back for a regular shop one day soon.

The worst case scenario is that the customer just gets the T.V and never comes back. But with 10,000 stores around the world, I believe ALDI aren’t worried about that. It must happen LESS than what the alternative does.

Nothing is 100%, you just need to know your numbers and be confident it all works out positive at the end of the day, or the month. Or the year even.

Depending on what industry you’re in, depending on your customers buying cycle, or ‘time to buy’ might be longer than others.

Yes I admit that offering these deals is not the only thing that ALDI does to win a customer. But for a small business, offering attractive deals like this can be the difference between keeping the lights on and going out of business.

I’ve never seen a business that could not use this same trick that ALDI is using. I shouldn’t even call it a trick, it’s more like a marketing principle that shouldn’t be ignored.

So how does this apply to your business? How can you use it in your business? Maybe you already have an idea of what you’ll do in your business.

If you want my help to put together your own Special Buy for your own business, you can contact me here where I can help you in a more one on one situation. 

The principle behind this episode is powerful. I hope you don’t brush it off as only something a big company can do. There’s actually a good argument in me saying: the smaller the business, the better this would work.

Go ahead and give it go. See what happens. I’m not making promises, but even if you lose $50 testing something out, at least you’ll be one step closer to finding what does work.

Good bye.

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