“I would like to see all of us obliterate the language of private label”

It is a beautiful crisp morning in Chicago and Fuse started out with a visceral and compelling presentation from Fred Kleisner of the Morgans Hotel Group title “The World Needs Interesting.” It was a fascinating and compelling look at the brands of the sexy boutique hotelier.

What followed was a panel conversation that was moderated by Stephen Dupuis of the Dupuis Agency and included: Kristen Lynch, CMO – Quaker Food & Snacks; John Denham, VP of Design – Kraft Foods; Bobby Calder, Professor – Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern and Moira Cullen, Senior Director of Global Brands – Hershey. It was a fascinating conversation titled, “Through the Keyhole: The Inexorable Link between Design & Marketing.”

The lively conversation included fascinating moments of respect for Private Brands. With

Kristen Lynch, CMO – Quaker Food & Snacks commenting on the emergence of Private Brands, “I would like to see all of us obliterate the language of private label, we have to view them all as branded competitors. (The question becomes) How do we compete in that new branded worlds.”

And in a subsequent interview with Cheryl Swanson of Toniq and Phyllis Aragaki the Creative Director of Target, Cheryl asked Phyllis what her favorite project at Target has been and not surprisingly for the Creative Director at Target Private Brand was her answer. “We worked with Wolff Olins and reinvented the Up & Up brand, it felt like such an untapped potential and eventually our   took it over and executed all 900 sku’s. I  particularly loved it because of the combination of strategy and design and its impact across the store.”

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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.