5 Questions with the Vertex Judges – Loe Limpens

Leading up to the judging of the fifth annual Vertex Awards International Private Brand Design Competition 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.
Standard entries close January 15th
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Today’s conversation is with Loe Limpens, Managing Partner, Yellow Dress Retail
The Netherlands.

Over the last year Amazon, Whole Foods, Lidl and Jet have made aggressive moves into private brand, what impact are you seeing them have on your private brand clients and their brands?

The near future will hold a 50 /50 balance between national brands and private brands, so everybody moving into this space will want to take a piece of the pie. In addition to this, the non-brick retailers moving into conventional brick & mortar retail space, will force brick & mortar to re-evaluate their business model, as their margins for home delivery are a lot lower than their online competitors. They will have to reduce the number of shops drastically and focus on home delivery logistics.

What role should strategy play in solving retail problems?

It is a key topic. In the fast moving and changing environment, you can only foresee the near future, if you know your products, the market, your competitors, etc. and based on this define your own role, eg. Strategy.

What are the most common mistake retailers make with their brands?

Retailers who put a product on shelf without a clear proposition (eg. better price, better quality, special variant, etc.) and anyway hope it will sell. On shelf is where the job starts, how to deliver the (private brand) message/promise to the customer.

What advice do you have for retailers trying to take their brands to the next level?

Private brands, should be the formula 1 of your store, speed to market is a key success factor. This is only possible when you use specialists, both internally and externally, on all levels.

What will private brands look like 10 years from now?

They will be divided into real and virtual brands. The retailer will use both to play it’s online/offline platform, differentiating it’s private brands from national brands.


Loe Limpens
Managing Partner
Yellow Dress Retail
The Netherlands

Loe Limpens studied Fashion design at the Academy of applied arts in Maastricht and Design Management in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

In 2001 Loe joined Albert Heijn (Ahold/Delhaize) first as Design Manager and later on as Senior Marketing Manager Visual Identity.

He was responsible for the successful visual repositioning of Albert Heijn in the 2001-2008 period, in which Private Label packaging design played a vital role. During this period Loe supervised the restyling of more than 10.000 Private Label SKU’s. Key elements in the success of this operation were speed to market and cost-effectiveness.

In 2009 Loe started Yellow Dress Retail, an agency specialized in Retail communication, Retail design and  Private Label Packaging design, with offices in Holland and India and clients in Austria, Zwitserland, Germany, Belgium, Holland and India.

Loe has become a leading expert in retail Design and retail Brand architecture. He is co-author of “Private Label Uncovered”, a 2011 released overview of mayor Retail Brands developments and “Managing Private Labels”, its 2015 released successor; Sharing knowledge from research and practice.

Loe is trained in the creative and strategic side of private label packaging and retail design and is a Jury member for several packaging design awards and a sought-after keynote speaker on Design and Private Brands

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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.