Stores Magazine “The Rebirth of Private Label”

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.

Read the entire article.

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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.