Speaking to Marketing at a press conference this morning where the beleaguered retailer announced a £6.38bn loss, Dave Lewis said the accelerated pace of the discounters' investment concerned him.
"It concerns me at one level," he said, "but where we are at the moment is taking a step back and [looking at] what is driving the brand experience - it’s in store. I’m not interested in share of voice type conversations. I’m interested in what the [customer] experience is first and foremost."
He said Tesco would build its marketing strategy around "quality" rather than "quantity" following the appointment of BBH as it looked to "rebuild the brand."
"What I’m learning in retail is the biggest single impact you can have on somebody’s appreciation of a brand in our business is the experience when they walk through the door," he told Marketing.
"I’m not saying that forms of communication like advertising don’t have a role to play, but they can’t make up for a poor experience in store.
"So what we’ve done very deliberately in terms of building the brand is make that experience better. And then what we’ll do with BBH is articulate the brand in a way that brings it to life."
Tesco would look to reconnect with consumers in a way "we haven’t in the last few years" he said, and would focus on improving brand perceptions by investing in a better in-store experience.
Consumers were already beginning to view the brand in a more positive light, he claimed.
"I’m encouraged that some of the brand measures have been quite positive over the past few months."
"Our priority is and always will be investing in the customer," he stressed.