Sam’s Club Reinvents Member’s Mark

From pure Italian-sourced olive oil to honey from a bee cooperative, the revamped Sam’s Club Member’s Mark, Vertex Award winning, private brand now features hand-picked ingredients and premium products across both food and general merchandise categories.

The reinvented Member’s Mark private brand is the result of heavy investment over the past year streamlining 21 private brands into one. But this is more than just slapping on a new label. As part of the overhaul, the company formed a dedicated team of product developers, culinary experts and food scientists to ensure each item emphasizes quality and value.

“In the past we made sure we were competitive with national brands,” explains Chandra Holt, Vice President of Private Brands for Sam’s Club. “But in today’s environment, a lot of our members want better than that. Our goal is to make sure every Member’s Mark item is developed based on what our members want today.”

Alongside seasoned buyers, the private brand team travels the globe tapping experts – including top sommeliers in France and local olive and tomato farmers in Italy – to procure best-in-class ingredients and processing methods. The Member’s Mark team is constantly searching for hidden treasures around the world as well as from America’s backyard.

One example of an item developed based on member feedback is the new Member’s Mark All Natural Pulled Pork. The company worked with world renowned pit masters from the Kansas City Barbeque Society to create a pre-smoked barbecue with just a few simple ingredients: pork, water and seasoning.

This year, Sam’s Club is introducing 300 brand new items while renovating twice that number. The company plans to add about 300 new items per year. The product lineup will span from fresh food to apparel and to health and wellness, where members will find a breadth of daily essentials for their home or business and surprising finds.

New items under the Member’s Mark brand include:

  • Sea Salt Caramels – Handcrafted caramels covered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt.
  • Honey – Sourced from a U.S. bee cooperative representing hundreds of independent beekeepers
  • Wines – Worked with award-winning wineries to produce Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet
  • Donut Shop Coffee – Fair trade certified K-Cups.
  • Lasagna – Created from an amazing Italian family recipe from a woman-owned business.

Members won’t just find improvements inside the container. The Member’s Mark brand also received a fresh design – a new modern, bold and stylish look with a unifying logo. Sam’s Club worked closely with design and branding experts to ensure the outside of each item reflects the quality inside.

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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.