Kirkland Signature Named 2013 Breakaway Brand


Every year, San Francisco-based agency Landor measures sustained growth in brand strength over a three-year period using BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) data. The 10 brands that make up this years 2013 Breakaway Brands list show the greatest gains in relevance and differentiation, coupled with strong business performance. In 2012 the list included Lowe’s Home Improvement’s private brand Kobalt and this year it features Costco’s beloved Kirkland Signature.

By rethinking the way people experience their products and services, the Breakaway Brands of 2014 were able to stand out while forging stronger relationships with consumers. Positioning shifts and line extensions have helped this year’s top 10 brands win over consumers by enriching their everyday lives, giving them more choices, enhancing their performance, and providing them exceptional branded experiences.

“We’re seeing a resurgence of consumer appreciation for more tangible experiences,” says Mich Bergesen, global director of financial services at Landor. “While tech giants are still very strong, a more down-to-earth crop of brands has built the greatest brand momentum in the past few years.

“Another common characteristic among our leading brands is agility, meaning brands that are shaped by an ongoing conversation with consumers and employees, and more focused on relevance than consistency.”

The top 10 brands, ordered by greatest increase in brand strength, are:

  1. Samsung
  2. Chex
  3. Puffs
  4. Oakley
  5. MAC (cosmetics)
  6. Keurig
  7. Costco’s Kirkland Signature: Since 2009, when Costco significantly increased their Kirkland Signature product line, the brand has been able to position itself as not just a private label, but also a premium private brand. Kirkland Signature placed its trusted mark on products ranging from swimsuits to champagne, reminding consumers that Costco provides reliable items to complement every moment. With its wordmark gracing a cornucopia of quality products, Kirkland Signature saw its differentiation jump from the 10th percentile in 2010 to the 49th percentile in 2013. The Costco stock price mirrored this leap, increasing in value by almost 65 percent since 2011.
  8. Lea & Perrins
  9. Bounty
  10. Under Armour
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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.