As Walmart continues to evolve its Private Brand portfolio, this article from AdAge presents an interesting twist for their long-term strategy. It also begs the question, Should retailers invest heavily in Private Brands whose marks are licensed or owned by another party? Walmart may be faced with a brand they cannot control and multiple unrelated parties who have different ideas for building the brand.
Could Sale of White Cloud Name Lead to Brand’s Resurgence?
Former Partner Walmart Retains Control of U.S. Trademark Baby-Care Category
The company that took control of the White Cloud brand years after Procter & Gamble Co. discontinued it and helped turn it into a Walmart private label is putting the rights to the brand name up for sale — albeit for uses outside paper products in the U.S.
White Cloud Marketing, originally known as Paper Partners, acquired the White Cloud trademark in 1996 and relaunched it nationally with Walmart in 1999, six years after P&G discontinued what was then a toilet-paper brand in a 1993 efficiency move.
The brand logged $600 million in sales last year, according to Carl Marks Advisory Group, New York, the investment bank handling the brand sale.
That, however, was before Walmart removed White Cloud from its diaper shelves in March, though the brand remains for sale there in training pants, baby wipes and toilet paper. The brand got a mere $1 million in measured-media support in 2007 and 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence.