Last Night, A Private Brand Saved My Life

This is the fifth and final article in a series introducing the new magazine Global Retail Brands. Throughout the week we have featured one article a day from the new publication – In this article Irene Tortorella …your customer discusses the impact of Private Brand son her life.

IRENE TORTORELLALast Night, A Private Label Saved My Life

Written by Irene Tortorella
My life story has never drawn inspiration from a lifestyle brand. Or this is what I supposed. I felt myself one of those 50,000 consumers who feels that if 70% of brands disappeared entirely I would not even notice (Meaningful Brands Survey, 2011). Actually I am a crank about Vivienne Westwood, but I was never able to afford to buy her creations and imagine myself dressed like Captain Hook’s bride. It is probably for this reason that I don’t have a lifestyle brand, but rather, I have hundreds of private labels that make my life easier, special and full of possibilities.

I am sure I would notice if all of sudden the closest Lidl store disappeared, with all those extraordinary private-label products. That’s why I started to mull over the importance of private-labels in the life of a 27 years old Italian expat, that is me. My mom is obsessed with household goods: her Kaufgut Fondue set has always been the feather in the cap of dinners with her friends. For me fondue was not just melted cheese with bread dipped in, it was the opportunity to gather sisters and cousins around a heaving pot of bubbling Zaini chocolate, just once a year, for Christmas.

Private labels keep my memories alive: I will never forget my father’s Endura watch, the Fabriano’s drawing book that my grandfather bought for me every Sunday, the conversations between my aunts about their dream for the opening of a Coop in Calabria. I had to wait for the university in Naples, in the north of my south, to see the importance of being a student living close to the best hard discount of the zone. “Marca pezzotta” or “marca scatò” is the youth’s way to rename white label products, good quality at a lower cost. All the out of town students identified, somehow, themselves with every marca pezzotta they went through. It was definetly a lot of fun cooking some pasta Baronia at 4 AM after drinking a bunch of “Beer” beers all night long. We were without a cent, but absolutely ready to conquer the world.

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