Fifty2, The MPB Project: Sears – Kenmore

Kenmore Front“Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project,” will present a carefully curated look at the best Private Brands in the U.S. across all retail channels. The weekly series looks at each great Private Brand with insight, analysis and original photography. In early 2014, these will be published as my first book along with several new chapters that focus on strategy, packaging and design learnings from the included brands.

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 and innovation.

To submit a brand for consideration please email

Kenmore, the now iconic Sears Private Brand, is celebrating its birthday 100 years after it made its debut in 1913, first appearing on sewing machines. In 1927, it appeared on an agitator type, wringer washing machine and by the 1950’s more than 10 million Kenmore branded products had been sold. Today, nearly a one in three American home contains a Kenmore appliance.

On March 12, 2010, the Kenmore brand launched its first interactive “Kenmore Live Studio” in Chicago. The Kenmore Live Studio is an interactive Private Brand experience that brings together live demonstrations and video and social media capabilities. Equipped with cameras that broadcast video via the Internet, studio visitors, chef demonstrations, and presentations and unveilings of new products are shared in real time with those following the Kenmore brand via its Facebook page. Unlike traditional Sears stores, the “Kenmore Live Studio” specifically promotes only Kenmore products.

In 2009, the brand underwent a total revamp, re-launching approximately 450 new or improved Kenmore appliances with an updated contemporary feel.  Each new appliance was developed to fit the lifestyle of today’s consumers with a focus on providing style and forward-thinking features and innovations that will change the way consumers interface with their appliances.

The redesigned modernized branding included:

  • A new Kenmore logo designed to symbolize the blend of the brand’s rich heritage, a more modern, fresh image, and continued innovation leadership.
  • Updated the visual identity to include spirited language, bright colors, and simple, yet modern designs to help the brand stand out and demonstrate a bold, witty and fresh personality.
  • Leverages the word ‘more’ from within the brand name to create emotional interest: Kenmorepop, Kenmorechill or Kenmoresizzle.
  • New commercials with the tagline “Kenmore. That’s Genius,” which built upon the revitalized brand image while bringing the new brand vision to life in full color.

Product design played a key role in Kenmore’s reinvention. The brand created and incorporated a new product design philosophy that was carried throughout the development of all the new large and small appliance lines. The philosophy focused on streamlining modern design to fit in any home, incorporating the new logo, custom font and sound palette while offering premium customer touch points and featuring user-friendly interfaces conveying premium technology.

The Kenmore brand, like its Sears Private Brand portfolio mate Craftsman, continues to demonstrate that relevance, differentiation, loyalty and even love are possible in the best Private Brands.

Brand: Kenmore
Brand Focus:
Retailer: Sears Holdings
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
2011 USA Retail Sales ($000):
2011 Stores:

To submit a brand for consideration please 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.