Leadership: Do You Have What It Takes? – Global Retail Brands

The following is the second in a series of guest posts from the latest issue of Global Retail Brands. Throughout the week we will feature one article a day from the new publication – please take a few minutes and click through to the site – read the entire article and see what the rest of the world is up to.

Perry Seelert
Leadership: Do You Have What It Takes?

By Perry Seelert

In life and business, let’s face it, the followers outnumber the leaders; it’s a fundamental truth. The word “follower” shouldn’t have a negative connotation, but in business we sometimes interpret it as tepid and risk-averse, when actually it is strategically wise. Apple basically created the market for tablets today with its iPad, but you wouldn’t call Amazon and Samsung unwise for seeing the width and opportunity within this still emerging category and capitalizing on it.

For years, retailers and their private brands have been more about following than leading, but globally this is changing across all retail channels, and it begs the question, what does it really take to lead? Here are four attributes that are important if you want to lead:

Conviction & Attitude
Leaders act with conviction and swagger. They operate with a command of the facts, but leave room for reasonable intuition. In private brands we often want a “sure thing” in launching a product or adding to the brand portfolio, but you have to leave yourself open to experimentation if you are to lead. Across every “best in class” private brand program there is not just a willingness to take reasonable risks, but also a leader who is empowered in the organization at a high level, not a surrogate with thin infrastructure.

Know Your Path
Having a penetration and share goal is good, but many organizations don’t know how to arrive at the target for private brands. Leaders have done their homework on where the “white space” is and how they will take advantage of emerging consumer trends. To lead, the vision must be resoundingly clear to your own organization and understood by your suppliers. There should be two-way dialogue in creating the path, and once it is charted, report progress frequently.

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Walmart Private Brand Portfolio

My Private Brand SIGHTLINE
The 2013 Walmart Private Brand Portfolio
For a thorough analMPB SIGHTLINE - Walmart -croppedysis of Private Brands at Walmart watch for the new series of challenging, insightful and in-depth reports of retailers’ Private Brand portfolios and the business strategies that make them successful called SIGHTLINE. My Private Brand President Christopher Durham has collaborated with retail branding expert, Perry Seelert, to cut into the world of Walmart’s own brands like no one has ever done before. This unique SIGHTLINE  will take a look at Walmart’s Private Brand portfolio beyond Great Value, it will tell the untold story of the Walmart Private Brand portfolio and present an analysis spanning more than  300 pages dedicated specifically to Walmart’s 50+ Private Brands, including:

  • An overarching look at the Private Brand portfolio across each department as well as each brand role in the Private Brand architecture.
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  • The first ever marketing, merchandising and design analysis of the Walmart Private Brand portfolio

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SIGHTLINE: THE 2013 WALMART PRIVATE BRAND PORTFOLIO report will be available within the next few weeks – Stay Tuned!

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The MPB SIGHTLINE: The 2013 Walmart Private Brand Portfolio report will be available soon in limited quantities and may quickly sell out. Join our no-obligation reservation list to get first crack at ordering the report and receive a 10% discount off the regular $4,999. As soon as the report is ready, we’ll email you your coupon and you’ll have 30 days to purchase a single unit at the reduced price. There is no obligation to purchase.

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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.