A Closer Look at Walgreens New Private Brand – Ology

Value Tier: Un-named “Sunny Smile Brand, NBE: nice! and ology

Late last week (Nov. 1)I ran the story, “Walgreens Launches New Private Brand & New Magazine” which was a first look at the retailers new Private Brand Ology and their new advertorial magazine “Happy And Healthy, Your Guide To Living Well With Walgreens.” That Friday they released the following press release officially announcing the new brand which was created by the NYC based branding agency CBX. If it looks familiar many of the major news outlets (Reuters) picked it up either completely or in part.

DEERFIELD, Ill., November 05, 2012 – Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) announces the launch of “Ology” the first nationally accessible and affordable brand formulated to be free of harmful chemicals. Exclusive to Walgreens family of companies, the Ology brand features a line of baby and personal care products, as well as household cleaners and is the solution to the growing consumer demand for products free of harmful formulations.

Furthermore, several consumer groups helped drive support for the U.S. Senate’s recently approved chemical reporting bill – “The Safe Chemicals Act.” If passed, it will be the first overhaul of the federal chemical law since 1976 and consumers are taking note. The new bill would require that ingredients be determined safe for human health before being used in everyday consumer products. The pending legislation has led several industry leaders to pledge to remove potentially harmful and carcinogenic chemicals from several offerings over the next several years.

“Walgreens is proud to be leading the charge by providing ‘Ology,’ the first nationally accessible and affordable line of household liquid products free of harmful chemicals available in our stores,” said Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions for Walgreens. “Ology reflects our dedication to innovation, our constant drive to improve our customers’ quality of life, and our ongoing commitment to help people get, stay and live well.”

“Increasing evidence shows that the chemicals included in everyday products could be contributing to children’s diseases and behavioral disorders, including asthma, autism and cancer,” says Gigi Lee Chang, CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, one of the nation’s leading independent non-profit organizations dedicated to the empowerment of consumers and the protection of children from harmful chemicals. “Until the U.S. adopts better regulations around product safety—like we do in other countries—parents are left to bear the burden of protecting their children’s health by educating themselves and making conscious purchases. With the help of Walgreens Ology products, concerned consumers now have easier access to affordable and safer solutions.”

Select Ology brand products are available at Walgreens and Duane Reade locations, as well as online. Items will be available nationwide by early November and are value priced compared to conventional formulas of leading brands. Ology liquid products are free of harmful chemicals and include:

  • Baby Care – lotion and 2-in-1 body wash
  • Laundry – liquid detergent and fabric softener
  • Cleaners – glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaner
  • Personal Care – adult shampoo and conditioner

Ology brand products also include light bulbs and paper products that are 100 percent tree-free and made from readily renewable resources.

  • Paper – bath and facial tissue, paper towels and copy paper
  • Lighting – compact fluorescent light bulbs

For more information about the Ology brand, please visit: www.walgreens.com/ology

Ology has begun to appear in store –its distinctive color and packaging structures stand out in the cluttered aisles of the drugstore.

There was no additional in store marketing or signage for the brand although there was a makeshift display at the front of the store next to the register.

All products are priced aggressively to encourage trial lets hope the low cost does not degrade the perceived quality of the brand.

My wife expressed the concern of a beauty buyer and mom when she observed that the uniform brand architecture, design and colors made the products hard to distinguish – it would be easy to confuse the baby wash and lotion.


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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.