Yesterday Australia’s number one news website news.com.au 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