In late February The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Stores Magazine published an article on private label titled, “THE REBIRTH OF PRIVATE LABEL: Retailers increasingly use their own brands to stand out from the competition.” The piece includes a number of quotes from My Private Brand President Christopher Durham and an interesting slant on its place in retail today.
The article, unfortunately, closes with the (perhaps) unconscious bias which continues to say that a brand owned by a retailer is something less than one owned by a manufacturer or marketer.
“(Carol)Spieckerman has seen the industry move from private label — just putting a different label on the same product — to private brands with significant investment being made on the part of retailers. Many retailers then began to favor the term “owned brand,” which attested to how retailers viewed their brands as assets to be monetized.
“Now, thanks to Amazon, we’re arguably moving to yet another evolution of private brands: secret brands. That is, brands that detach from that pride of ownership in order to build massive scale, particularly in the digital space.”
Whether the brand is private or secret, there is no doubt that more and more retailers are relying on them to drive profits.”
A private brand that does not carry the name of the retailer is not a “secret” brand, it is a brand. The retailer is using all the tools of marketing and branding to create and position a portfolio of brands that can solve their customer’s needs. This is no more nefarious or “secret” than Clorox, P&G or Unilever owning hundreds of brands.
The “secret” is out retailers must use every tool at their disposal to survive and win. Private Brands are in all shapes and forms are often there most powerful tool.