Is Private Brand – Brand Malpractice?

This in your face headline from an Adweek article by Terri Goldstein is intriguing in its dated discussion. Although Private Brands of a old may have fit neatly into this mold however over the last couple of years Private Brands from retailers at every level have begun to differentiate themselves with traditional branding techniques and quality. Let’s face it, for every relevant national brand on America’s retail shelves there are three to four manufacturer brands pretending to be national brands.

As we emerge from these trying economic times it is imperative that retailers use every tool in their arsenals to engage consumers and create loyal customers.  They must create or recreate unique and differentiated retail brands and use their Private Brands to reinforce their retail brands.

Take a look at the article and let me know what you think.

adweekBattling Brand Malpractice
The economy has spurred retailers to use private labels over national brands, but at what cost?

With private label brands currently accounting for more than one-third of all shopping cart purchases in the U.S., it’s safe to say that our depressed economy has done wonders for the private label sector.

But at what cost to name brands? A national or retail brand imbued with its own positioning, a unique selling proposition and a one-of-a-kind look and feel is a gold mine. However, the fact that retailers have access to the newest products and latest positioning by leading national brands enables them to steal valuable colors, shapes, symbols and keywords for the design of their own private label brands — a phenomenon that can and should be described as “brand malpractice.”

Adding insult to injury is the fact that many of these same retailers play God with consumer product manufacturers by selecting their own shelf placement.

Retailers would do well to acknowledge that they can’t be good at everything. With studies showing that an average of five parking lots are visited during a typical shopping day, it’s clear that consumers will cross-shop if iconic brand — and increasingly their line extensions — are muscled out of retail.

Read the entire story.



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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.