Great Brand, Great Pizza, Great Value?


As promised in my post from Friday, “Redesigned Walmart Great Value Pizza In Store.” I have spent the last few days mulling over the impact of the new Great Value pizza on Walmart Private Brand strategy. What can we learn, imply or simply guess about the strategy that will unfold over the coming months? As I said on Friday there are more questions than do you think of the design?
Overall this first example is just OK, it does not rise to elegant simplicity & humor of Publix Private Brand, nor is it as basic as Loblaw’s No Name Brand. The printing and photography seem well done; the only downside here is a rather flimsy box. All that being said a year from now this design could be a stroke of genius, in the sea of exclamation points and loud design that are national brands, Great Value could be a welcome change.

How did they taste?
They taste pretty good, a nice crust for a frozen pizza and a nice variety of flavors. If anything the taste brings the question back to positioning and portfolio architecture. These pizzas seem over spec’ed for Great Value.

What is the Great Value brand positioning?
Not a clue on this one as I said the product seems over spec’ed for Great Value, it more closely matches the quality and pricing strategy that has been exhibited in the Sam’s Choice recent redesign. If there is an emotional positioning associated with the new Great Value it remains to be seen.

How does Great Value fit into the portfolio architecture?
I have more questions than answers; this pizza is clearly, closer to California Pizza Kitchen than Digorno. This is a category that could support three levels of Private Brand Product.

Premium – California Pizza Kitchen – Sam’s Choice
National Brand Equivalent – Digorno – Great Value
Value – Totino’s – ???

And here is where it get’s interesting Walmart has been implementing a two tier architecture and they appear to be repositioning what most considered a Value brand as something more. Great Value certainly fits well into the long list of Value brands: Kroger Value, Tesco Value, Clear Value, Guaranteed Value, but that does not appear to be the strategy Walmart is taking. So what are they doing? National Brand Equivalent/Premium or perhaps Great Value will attempt to span the pricing and quality continuum.

Stay tuned this  should get interesting.


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.