Brand Packaging MagazineThe latest issue of trade magazine Brand Packaging features a cover story on Private Brand written by editor John Kalkowski. The story “ARISE Private Brands Emerge” includes my thoughts on the changing state of private brand.
ARISE Private Brands Emerge

Retailers hope to gain share by taking their own product lines to new levels of sophistication.

These days, most retailers prefer that their own line of products be called private brands, not private-label products. Many might even call these products a store brand or own brand. Indeed, there has been considerable evolution in this segment of the market.

Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham, Founder of My Private Brand

No longer are retailers slapping a rather generic yellow label on a can or box and pricing it well below national brands. Private brands cross all segments of consumer packaged goods—from food and beverage to hardware. In many cases, they rival national brands in quality, design and breadth.

In recent years, many retailers have redesigned their product lines so that they truly are brands with their own value propositions, quality specifications, logos, packaging standards and pricing strategies. These private brands may even be formulated to appeal to different consumer groups. These may include value brands based on low prices to premium brands that appeal to upscale audiences built on exciting, new fl avors or personal needs, such as gluten-free.

Private brands have experienced substantial growth since the recession hit in 2008-2009. A Nielson study shows that the private-label share of retail sales grew from 16.2 percent to 17.4 percent. This is attributed to hard-hit consumers who turned to the private brands in their search for value as earnings stagnated or dipped during the recession.

Read the entire story

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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.