This past week French hypermarket retailer Carrefour launched a new value tier Private Brand, “Carrefour Discount”. The new brand will compete head to head with English retailer Tesco’s Private Brand “Tesco Value” and is designed to give value shoppers another reason to shop Carrefour.
Carrefour is the largest superstore retailer in the world in terms of size, and the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue after Wal-Mart. Carrefour operates mainly in Europe, China, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and in the Dominican Republic, as well as North Africa and other parts of Asia.
In an interesting political side note, Carrefour launched the Private Brand “Produits libres” (free products — libre meaning free in the sense of liberty as opposed to gratis) in 1976. The brand consisted of more than 50 food products, including oil, cookies, milk, and pasta, sold in unbranded “Generic” white packages at significantly lower prices. According to Wikipedia the popularity of the new brand led conservative critics on the political right to charge that Carrefour was undermining capitalism by acclimating the population to generic (rather than brand name or specialty) foods. In particular, Jean Mothes, an executive at Perrier, wrote in Investir magazine that Carrefour did more to accelerate the change to a socialist-led government than socialist politicians and syndicalists like Edmond Maire, Georges Marchais, François Mitterrand and Georges Ségu. So according to the theory a “Generic” white brand ushered socialism into France.
Now that is Brand Power.