Private Brands & Social Media – The Loyalty Challenge

The third annual FMI Private Brands Summit Began on Monday at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago on Monday. The summit featured a variety of speakers including:

  • Pat Walsh, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Education and Research, Food Marketing Institute
  • Joe McKie, Vice President, Private Brands, Food Marketing Institute
  • Ralph Fischer,Group Vice President, Foods Merchandising, Meijer Inc.
  • Kevin Hunt, Co-Chief Executive Officer and President, Ralcorp Holdings, Inc.
  • Jill Hollingsworth, PhD., Food Safety Expert
  • Sue Borra, Senior Vice President, Communications, Food Marketing Institute
  • Jay Marshall, Vice President, Center Store, Hy-Vee, Inc.
  • John Stanton, Professor of Food Marketing, Saint Joseph’s University
  • Bill Bradshaw, Vice President, Sales, The Buxton Company
  • Lanny Curtis,Shopper Marketing Manager, Foods, Meijer Inc.
  • Ralph Fischer,Group Vice President, Foods Merchandising, Meijer Inc.
  • Joe McKie, Vice President, Private Brands, Food Marketing Insitute
  • Patricia Nicolino, Vice President, Marketing,  Clement Pappas & Co., Inc
  • Howard Brandeisky, Vice President – Global Marketing, Innovation and Customer Solutions, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc
  • Dan O’Connor, President and CEO, RetailNet Group
  • Matthias Queck, Research Director, Planet Retail GmbH
  • Keith Anderson, Senior Analyst, RetailNet Group
  • Todd Hale, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Shopper Insights, The Nielsen Company
  • Kathy Weber, Kantar Retail
  • Thomas Sullivan, President, VideoMining
  •  John Graham, Chief Customer Officer, Clement Pappas & Co., Inc.

And of course yours truly, the following is the Private Label Buyer story on my presentation.

Conference Coverage: Retailers Must Use Social Media to Create PL Brand Connections

“Empowered customers are out there [on their computers] talking about things and are doing so in overwhelming numbers,” says Christopher Durham, founder of the private label blog Mypbrand.com and a member of PLBuyer’s editorial advisory board, during FMI’s Private Brands Summit Monday in Chicago.

“Private brands have the potential to build loyalty and differentiation and bloggers online know it,” he says. “Positioning, personality and tone are brutally important when promoting your brands through social media. Your brand has got to work hard for you, so when you finally do get it to Facebook it makes sense. Right now retailers are not fully engaging consumers on a social level.”

With the number of consumers joining social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare growing each day, retailers must learn to be a part of the conversation or get left behind, he argues. “Consumers are trying to talk to you and there isn’t a good way to do that right now. If you are the solution to their problems they will continue to come back to you. If you can be part of the conversation happening on social networks than you can be part of the solution.”

Retailers must learn to engage, listen, invest and use social media as a means of genuine communication with consumers. According to a Food Marketing Institute study, 62 percent of shoppers buy items recommended to them on social networks. “I think we must realize that days of the weekly circular aren’t dead, but they have certainly turned into a zombie. They will keep going very slowly until it eventually sputters off and dies. The retailer that figures out how to combine retail loyalty and social media will win,” he explains.

Read more coverage of the FMI Private Brand Summit from Private Label Buyer

Conference Coverage: Level of Retail Concentration Directly Impacts PL Sales

PL’s Future Is Transparent, FMI Speaker Contends

Conference Coverage: As PL Sales Stall, Retailers Need to Step UP PL Efforts

Conference Coverage: Retailers Should Work With PL Suppliers to Ensure Product Quality

Conference Coverage: Hy-Vee Puts Nutrition Keys Cost at $3.5 million

Conference Coverage: Meijer Plans New Value PL Line, Expanded PL Efforts, Speaker Says

Conference Coverage: Partnerships Needed to Develop Next Gen PL, FMI Speakers Agree



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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.