Walgreen Launches Nice! Private Brand

Deerfield, IL based drugstore Walgreen continues the evolution of its Private Brand portfolio with the launch of Nice! a Private Brand that solidly occupies the National Brand Equivalent space with a playful attitude and a refreshingly memorable name and a direct tagline, “Smart quality. Everyday.”

This stands in stark contrast to many of the Private Brands launched over the last few years whose names seem to be generated by a “private label” random name generator composed of generic words. While the design clearly fits into the American Private Brand school of white-based package design it is clearly closer in both intent and attitude to Publix’s much award Private Brand then to the original stark sometimes-awkward Great Value from Walmart

The brand occupies a portion of the space formerly held by both Walgreen and Deerfield Farms branded products, the move comes as Walgreens attempts to tighten and further define its Private Brand portfolio. “You will see a lot of transition within Walgreens brand portfolio over the next 12 to 18 months,” says Maurice Alkemade, divisional vice president, general merchandise manager for private brands in an article for the trade publication  Private Label magazine.

“I believe the Walgreens brand means health and wellness. That’s where it should live. We will slowly move away from the W brand and transition that back to the Walgreens brand that will be dominant in health and wellness. You will not see it in categories that aren’t health and wellness.

In non health and wellness categories, Walgreens is now going through a very disciplined approach to determine what brands belong in which categories for its existing portfolio of private brands, according to Alkemade. “That’s what I mean when I talk about brand positioning. It’s creating homes for each of these brands so that everyone understands what fits in each one and what doesn’t. As a result, it will be easier to market — easier to communicate to our consumers exactly what each of these brands represent.

“We are working on determining what is the role of each of our existing brands and determining what new brands we can develop that have better potential. But we are in the early stage of this process.”

The introduction of Nice! gives Walgreen the ideal companion to the premium food Private Brand Good & Delish, originally developed for Duane Reade.

The initial sku’s are in dried fruit, white rice, baking soda, canned soup, tomato sauce, tea bags and macaroni & cheese however I expect to see a large influx of newly branded products over the next few months. Nice! is currently supported with instore marketing including: ceiling, signs, aisle violators and instore radio. If you look carefully you will also find a few items appearing in the weekly flyer including Nice! Honey and Nice! Macaroni & Cheese.

Nice! work.


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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.