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Modern Marketing Brand Strategy Aldi

Aldi doubles down on idiosyncrasies to spur global growth


By Webb Wright | Reporter

October 13, 2022 | 5 min read

Aldi has climbed the ranks to become a leading global grocery store brand. Continuing The Drum’s Globalization Deep Dive, we look at how it has prioritized a commitment to authenticity all throughout its journey.


Aldi is rolling out its new tagline, ‘It’s an Aldi thing’ / Aldi

Founded in 1961 in Essen, Aldi was once a modest discount store in a small German city. Don’t let its history of low prices and friendly marketing slogans fool you, however. The brand is relentless when it comes to expansion, growing in recent years to become one of the world’s largest multinational grocery chains.

When it comes to number of stores and total square footage, Aldi is the fastest-growing grocery chain in the United States and, as of April, is now the third-largest, behind Walmart and Kroger, boasting 2,158 stores. The National Retail Federation (NRF) published data in March that listed it as the fourth-largest retailer in the world.

Throughout its decades of growth, Aldi has strategically aimed to position itself as a brand that both offers lower prices than its competitors and – in true European style – keeps the size of its stores to relatively modest proportions.

“We will never waiver from the core of our identity: saving people time and money with a simple, affordable, convenient shopping experience,” says Scott Patton, vice-president of national customer interaction services for Aldi USA.

“While other grocers build stores that practically have their own zip code, we continue building efficient stores stocked with exactly what our customers want, when they need it … no one wants to spend more money than they have to on groceries and the Aldi model works for shoppers wherever they live.“

Now, the brand is gearing up to launch a new tagline, created in partnership with Leo Burnett, that is designed to lean into its core identity and garner a feeling of kinship and community among its customers: ’It’s an Aldi thing.’

A wink to the brand’s devotees (either you understand the Aldi shopping experience, or you don’t), Patton explains: “We believe that simple line succinctly captures the understanding of every Aldi fan who shops our stores.”

’It’s an Aldi thing’ is also a celebration of the quirks that, in Aldi’s view, set it apart from its competitors. Its cart system, for example, requires customers to deposit a quarter, theoretically incentivizing them to return it once they’ve finished shopping. It is a system, the brand says, that is implemented in order to save money on extra employees to go collect carts.

Some customers might feel irked when they arrive at their local Aldi and realize they don’t have a quarter to use a cart, but with its new tagline the brand is choosing to double down on such idiosyncrasies, rather than falling in line and conforming to the modi operandi of other leading grocery store chains around the world.


In addition to its new tagline, Aldi is also preparing to launch its ’Tiny Billboards’ campaign, which is exactly what it sounds like: miniature billboards 12″ wide, attached to a pole 12″ off the ground. These will be placed in strategic areas in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Dallas, while Aldi fans outside of those three cities will be able to download a digital Tiny Billboard.

Patton hopes the Tiny Billboards will “show off [Aldi’s] fun and engaging personality” while also underscoring its commitment to saving money.

“Aldi is all about finding intentional ways to save shoppers money, and downsizing billboards to redirect savings to shoppers does just that,” he says.

For more on what marketers and their partners need to do to succeed on a global level, check out The Drum’s Globalization Deep Dive.

Modern Marketing Brand Strategy Aldi

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