New Year, New Beginnings, New Actions


Amazon WarehouseThe following is the first of a five-part series from my friend and colleague Perry Seelert. 2013 is a year of change and new opportunities  for Perry – it should be exciting to see these come to life.

New Year, New Beginnings, New Actions

The New Year always brings a sense of energy, optimism and fresh eyes on accepted routines, and for this reason, it is always really welcomed in my family. This year I embraced the newness and retrospection more than ever (especially as I look to new career opportunities), and there are five facets to retail and retail branding that will be especially important in 2013.

Amazon is a freight train
When you look at an Amazon warehouse it is logistically awe-inspiring, and the idea of overnight service and immediate gratification (starting with premium membership and Staples “lockers”) will eventually be the universal expectation.

Just 12 years ago Amazon was a $1 billion company and today it is $48+ billion, and there is no end in sight. Ask the people at Walmart what their greatest fear is, and Amazon and the B-to-C digital experience is what they will mention, and it is also the reason why they are investing so heavily in

While the distribution infrastructure is mind blowing, it is really the consumers’ acceptance of digital that requires equal thought and consideration. The barriers to purchase are gone. I look back at my holiday shopping in 2012 and virtually all of it was done digitally, and I barely even entered a store. All of the in-store merchandising for impulse, all of the holiday theater, all of the Burl Ives background music had absolutely no effect.

With the shoppers’ continued acceptance of digital, there are huge considerations for the marketing of private brands. The side-by-side pricing comparisons, the story-telling and the communication behind the reasons to believe all need to be retrofitted for the digital shopping experience. The way we “push” these stories in a digital environment versus relying solely on “pull” will need to have a new balance, something Amazon will need to learn if they want to sell more private brands.

IMG_6618-Edit-2-5Perry Seelert is retail branding and marketing expert, with a passion for challenging conventional strategy and truths. He is the former co-founder of united*, CMO of Daymon Worldwide and VP of Saatchi X and has strategically partnered with retailers and CPGs like Lowes Home Improvement, Pepsi, P&G, CVS, A&P and many others. If you would like to reach Perry you can contact him at his new email,

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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.