Private Brands Win DBA Design Effectiveness Awards – Part 1

We are entering awards season and once again Private Brands find themselves represented among some of the largest and most compelling brands in the world. To start the year the United Kingdom based trade organization Design Business Association’s (DBA) announced the results of its annual Design Effectiveness Awards at the official DBA ceremony Thursday, February 17th, 2011. They are the only awards that use sales data as a key judging criteria. Winning case studies demonstrate that successful projects require the integration of the design brief with business aims and objectives from the outset. This sets the stage for a transparent and accountable relationship between client and designer that provides the best creative and commercial environment for success.

The case studies also serve to demonstrate the excellent value for money and return on investment that a coherent, well-thought-out and professionally executed design strategy can achieve. In a crowded marketplace, there is no place for one hit wonders; good design and good business are a long-term relationship.

This is the first in a series of posts on this years winners, of course Private Brands received a number of awards including the Grand Prix.

GRAND PRIX DBA Design Effectiveness Award
Waitrose Limited

AGENCY: Waitrose Graphics Design-Packaging Team
CLIENT: Waitrose Limited

Waitrose wanted to increase awareness of its Private Brand everyday products and raise the profile of its in-store identity. Looking for a clear entry price-point without any compromise on quality, they sought to broaden the appeal of their brand without alienating loyalist customers.

The Waitrose graphic design team was briefed to create an identity that would be bold, unique and consistent across all ‘everyday’ categories. They responded with ‘essential Waitrose’, avoiding the words ‘value’ or ‘basic’ to reassure customers of the ongoing commitment to quality. A new distinctive visual identity also reinforced Waitrose’s market leadership credentials, with simple white backgrounds accommodating both illustration and photography.

The launch of essential Waitrose delivered the most impressive results in the company’s history. In the first 12 weeks like-for-like sales grew by 16%. After 12 months essential Waitrose had become a £1/2 billion brand accounting for around 17% of sales, leading one commentator to suggest that Waitrose had “simply shrugged off the recession”.

View all of the winners.



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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.