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waitroseOr why my loyalty isn't all about price

In an age where price checks, price matches and multibuys are prevalent it takes real balls to think a little differently.

Of course it's very easy for Waitrose to win me over; I love coffee but am not enough of a snob to care too much about it, I love cricket too and as I write this, drinking my free Waitrose coffee, England have reduced India to 8 for 4 at Old Trafford so I'm feeling pretty good about that. I quite like the Guardian sports coverage and I've got that in front of me too in the form of my free copy from Waitrose.

Now, I reckon I've spent about £12 today and to my mind I have at least £3.30 of free, relevant product as a direct result of that spend. I think I'm a winner (regardless of the prices I paid – perception, remember is our only reality)

Sure, I had to spend £10 to get the newspaper but the coffee I could have just strolled in and collected with a wave of my Waitrose card. The real reason I'm hit for an over the pavilion six by Waitrose isn't the price – this is Waitrose after all, it's emotional. At last a major grocer is speaking to me and making shopping and promotions a bit of fun, more than just a constant reminder of how they can make the cost of the shop a little less painful. What they're doing isn't new, they've taken a tried and tested added value sales promotion technique and made it relevant to their audience and their offering. Clever, strategic thinking about what shoppers want has managed to break through a decade of noisy price messages that have become so much wallpaper.

It will be interesting to see how Tesco and Sainsbury respond, almost as interesting as how India will respond in the Test Match.