Vertex Zhou Wenjen

Leading up to the announcement of this years Vertex Awards International Private Brand Design Competition winners I sat down with each of the judges and asked them five questions about Private Brands, package design and differentiation – their answers present a unique global perspective and depth of knowledge of the retail brand space.

Winners will be announced March 23, 2015

Today’s conversation is with ZHOU Wenjun, Founder, Creative Director & Architect, 524 Studio, Beijing, China.

What was your first memory/experience of Private Brand?
Personally, I believe if you have a shopping experience, you must also have the Private Brand experience. In China, most consumers experience Private Brand not from the well-known local retailers, but from the big international retailers such as IKEA, Wal-Mart, Carrefour and others.

What does the future of retail owned brands look like?
The current trend of retail brands’ development indicates the necessity of high quality, added to unique product design and the unity of visual image and brand orientation from the customer’s viewpoint.
How important is strategy to the success of a Private Brand?

An outstanding brand strategy, which includes brand orientation, product design, overall image design and strong marketing and advertising strategies, is critical for the development of the brand.

What role should design play in solving retail problems?
In order to deliver a better service, design will play a significant role in providing quality enhancing brands and products. Furthermore, it’s not only about the beauty of the product, but also the viability and the reliability it offers.

What advice do you have for retailers trying to take their brands to the next level?
First, the leadership team has to not only understand and support a viable brand plan, they also have to put the necessary resources (people, budget, marketing, etc) in place for success. Second, there must be a strong brand – and product – image plan that has been created and communicated with the design team or a trusted outside designer. Simultaneously, complete a User Experience survey and build a product and brand roadmap. Finally, plan and schedule advertising. A customized, thorough after-sale service program is a contributing factor to building trust and a solid reputation. It also provides considerable advantage when designing the brand image by reinforcing the recognition and functionality of the product and the retailer.

ZHOU Wenjun, Founder, Creative Director & Architect, 524 Studio
Beijing, China
Wenjun is a Cube-awarded member of the Art Directors Club, and focuses on product design, art and photography. His work has earned numerous awards including, One Show Design Pencil, Red Dot, Cannes Lions and HKDA Global Design. His work has been published and exhibited globally.



Previous articleWalmart Launches “Women Owned” Brand
Next articleCat under the sun
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.