Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project: CVS Gold Emblem

Gold Emblem front

At My Private Brand, New Year’s is always a time of evaluation, renewal, reinvention, growth and change. This year is no different. Over the next few months we will introduce a number of exciting new columns, products and services, beginning with “Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project,” my new weekly column. In early 2014, this carefully curated look at the best Private Brands in the U.S. across all retail channels will be published in its entirety as my first book.

Each week presents a great Private Brand with insight, analysis and original photography. I am looking for retailer-owned private labels that are BRANDS. Brands that bring their positioning and business purpose to life through:

  • Great design
  • Purpose
  • Expertise
  • Confidence
  • Emotion
  • Lifestyle
  • Innovation

To submit a brand for consideration please email

1: Gold Emblem

Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based drug retailer CVS originally registered their food and consumables brand, Gold Emblem, in 1995. On Thursday, December 13, 2012 the retailer announced the redesign of the 260 Gold Emblem sku’s at its annual Analyst Day in New York City. The much-needed redesign and refocus on quality in late 2012/early 2013 revived the aging brand.

At the event, Mark S. Cosby, Executive Vice President and President of CVS Pharmacy, provided a closer look at the evolution and optimization of the Private Brand portfolio as a core differentiating retail growth strategy.

“In 2013, we are redefining our Gold Emblem consumable brand. The brand has been rebuilt to provide improved taste appeal and a new contemporary packaging design. We will update the packaging in all 260 of our SKUs, and we’ll improve the product quality in 25% of those SKUs based on taste and quality test assessments. The brand will be relaunched in stores in January, just in time for the Super Bowl.”

The redesign of Gold Emblem is a fresh and modern take on the traditional National Brand Equivalent Private Brand. The brand voice and identity is shifting from dated and old to organized and confident, separating itself from the CVS identity to stand alone as a Brand. The brand architecture is expanding to include two tiers: Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem Select (stay tuned; no Select was on shelf at this date).

The redesign of Gold Emblem enables the CVS Private Brand portfolio to compete more effectively in food categories.

Brand: Gold Emblem

Original Trademark Filing:

Price Tier:
National Brand Equivalent


Woonsocket, Rhode Island

2011 USA Retail Sales ($000):

2011 Stores:

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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.