10 Tips for Growing Private Label

cereal_at_target

Yesterday Tom Pirovano of the TheShopperWonk published a story entitled “10 Tips for Defending Your Brand from Private Label” Here is my take on a similar list for the other side. “10 Tips for Growing Private Label”

  1. Health Claims
    First look for claims you can make without reformulations, Low Fat, Antioxidants, etc. Then consider minor reformulations, can you make a better tasting, better for you,  “blue box” macaroni & cheese
  2. Unique Packaging
    Identify the low hanging fruit. Where can you add convenience or value. Bacon in a clam shell or potato chips with a zip lock. Identify packaging best practices from other countries, milk in bags, sous vide and take advantage of them. Follow Target’s, Archer Farms Cereal example and create great packaging.
  3. Line Extensions
    New Flavors, New Tastes, New Colors. Partner with your vendors and encourage new extension. Use shopper data to uncover unique ethnic or regional preferences and create line extensions to capitalize on them.
  4. Promote a Cause
    Use your Private Label to promote local causes. Create coordinated programs that engage the shopper at shelf, at register and at home. Harris Teeter ties their VIC Card to Private Label to generate funds for local schools.
  5. Odd Ounces
    Add value by adding size or quantity.
  6. Create and Promote A Value Brand
    Not to be confused with a National Brand Equivalent this is a true value brand. Products in this brand should have consistently good quality and consistently great prices.
  7. Local Ties
    Your stores are in the community take advantage of that. Your associates engage with the community everyday. Look for local flavors and tastes and turn them into products. She Crab Soup, Hop n’ John, Gumbo, Tri Tip, Loose Meat Sandwiches, etc.
  8. Differentiate Yourself
    Compete with National Brands like you compete with any other brand. Set your brand apart with a clear case for why it’s worth more than the National Brand.
  9. “Green” Sizes
    Offer “value sizes” or “club packs”. Large pack sizes use less packaging by nature. Combine the value message with the green message and this will reinforce virtually any retailer’s brand. Save money and help the planet.
  10. Keep Innovating
    Never stop innovating. Innovation will create differentiation. Give shoppers a reason to spend a more time in your store and further engage with your Private Brands. Use your personal connection and local relevance to speak to your customers.


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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.