CVS Debuts – Just the Basics

This week as promised Woonsocket, RI based drug retailer CVS introduced its much-anticipated entry into Private Brand value/basics brands with the appearance at shelf of “Just the Basics” The brand name was initially registered with the USPTO August 4, 2010 with the following goods and services covered by the application: all-purpose cleaners; ammonia for cleaning purposes; antiperspirants and deodorants for personal use; anti-static dryer sheets; baby wipes; bar soap; body wash for personal use; cotton swabs for cosmetic purposes; dish detergents; facial cleansers; glass cleaners; hair gel and hair spray; hair shampoos and conditioners; hand soap; laundry detergent; mouthwash; pine cleaners for wood floors; shaving creams; skin moisturizer.

Official word came of the development and launch of the new brand on October 8, in New York when Mike Bloom, EVP merchandising and supply chain spoke to analysts during the retailer’s 2010 analyst meeting, He revealed several strategies aimed at growing the company’s $18 billion front-end business.

Among the strategies was the new Private Brand “Just the Basics” slated to be composed of more than 100 products.

“The first thing we did is we conducted customer focus groups where we identified the need for an opening price-point value brand. We then defined that the brand would consist of everyday essential products that would help get her through her day,” Bloom explained.

“Just the Basics” was designed and executed by Anthem Worldwide, a global brand strategy and strategic design agency.

Bloom also stated that CVS has intentionally chosen to separate their retail banner name from  “Just The Basics”. As a key part of defining CVS’ new portfolio of Private Brands, the company has positioned the CVS brand as a “healthcare expertise” brand; therefore products which do not support the positioning will move to existing or new brands in their evolving portfolio.

“Just the Basics” represents a modern next step for the retailer. The clean white packaging is both fresh and basic, leveraging the extreme value positioning of white-based packaging that Walmart’s Great Value has taught the American consumer while creating an approachable engaging brand that is not embarrassing to put in your basket. The large iconic “b” has the liberty to morph, serving as a color-coding and design device that simplifies the shopping experience. The product photography playfully integrates with the logo… popcorn and graham crackers weave themselves around the “b”. This seemingly simple logo device may be the revolutionary concept of 2011, giving other retailers the permission to use their Private Brand logos as something more than a static placeholder.

Nice work!

Just the Basics food products are included in this weeks 10/$10 mix and match promotion
Just the Basics alongside the CVS brand and the earth friendly brand Earth Essentials. Can a redesign of the CVS branded cleaner be far behind?

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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.