Phantoms & Secrets The Australians Are Afraid of Private Brand

Yesterday Australia’s number one news website ran a provocative and slanted article the article, “The rise of the supermarket phantom brand — secret private label products.” The piece looks at what they rather spuriously call “Phantom Brands” or private brands that do not carry the retailer’s name.

“But a new breed of secret private labels is growing. Called phantom brands, they look like real labels but they’re actually homebrand (private label) in disguise. Sometimes not even the small print reveals the retailer’s name.”

The author goes on denigrate the retailers, there brands and the strategy as “cloak and dagger” “no-name phantom brands” and “deceptive” never once mentioning the global conglomerates that “secretly” own so many of the world’s brands.

In an increasingly competitive environment, it is imperative that retailers use every strategy and tool at their disposal. The best retailers are now building portfolios of brands that speak to different customers, fulfill different business needs and solve different customer problems. Where appropriate some of those brands may carry the banner name, while others may be freestanding brands that can become valuable weapons in the fight to survive and eventually assets that can increase the corporate value.

Private brand history in the U.S. has more than 100 years of history of retailers building great brands including Eight O’Clock Coffee at A&P, Craftsman at Sears, Simple Truth at Kroger, Kindle at Amazon and most recently Cat & Jack at Target.

The message is clear private brand building creates differentiation and adds value, it is no longer optional it is the new retail imperative

Read the article “The rise of the supermarket phantom brand — secret private label products”

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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.