Barnes & Noble Brandweek

Sarah Jessica Parker B&N Private Brand Diva

\"\"America’s largest book retailer, New York City based Barnes & Noble has enlisted iconic Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker to as the spokesperson for its Private Brand NookColor eReader in launch TV commercials which began airing nationwide today. The ads were created by New York based agency Merkley + Partners.

The campaign for the e-reader is revolutionary for the Private Brand world, which is accustomed to brands and products with little or no ad budget. The creative commitment and financial investment to the brand by a retailer is impressive, Miss Parker certainly does not come cheap. The campaign will focus on TV. Print advertising, featuring the reader displaying an array of materials — from books to newspapers — positions the tablet as \”The Ultimate Reading Experience.\”

According to an article in Brandweek:

\”At Barnes & Noble, we\’ve taken all we know about reading and put it here,\” says the actress in the first commercial as visuals take viewers zooming through a B&N store to focus on the new eReader with a full-color screen.

That spot, \”Love of Reading,\” then shifts to a montage of lifestyle images. Women are seen using the Nook \”anytime, anywhere,\” such as in the kitchen, at the hair salon and reading kids bedtime stories.

B&N is predominately targeting women \”who really love reading everything,\” said Sasha Norkin, vp, digital marketing at the chain. \”It\’s really a product for the voracious reader. This ad was meant to capture this excitement.\”

Parker was enlisted for the voiceover \”because we think she\’s perfect,\” especially as a mom, Norkin said. \”She is smart, loves reading everything — she is engaged and enthusiastic. She brought a special spark to the advertisement.\”

\”We really wanted to capture the amazing content and the features you can get on NookColor, but also [show] how the device fits into people\’s lives,\” said Jean Batthany, creative group head at Merkley. \”It was about balancing the technology and the humanity.\”

The commercial opens with images of a B&N store to fuse the brand equity of the retail chain with the delivery of the eReader, added Joanna Jacobs, group account director at Merkley. \”The only people that can bring you such an amazing reading device are the reading people who are Barnes & Noble,\” she said.


Consumer Reports Continues to Make Waves

This report from KIMA-TV, Yakima, WA CBS affiliate takes a look at the recent taste test by Consumer Reports of Private Brands.

Brandweek Nielsen

Private Brand Pizzas Take Market Share


Private Brand continues to be the focus of many articles in the major trade magazines including this article from Brandweek detailing areas of growth for Private Brand.

\"Brandweekchart\"Consumers Have Appetite for Unbranded Pizza, Snacks

In a year when consumers were looking to cut back anywhere they could, private label made inroads in a lot of categories, but took the biggest slices from segments like baby food and frozen pizza.

According to a report compiled by the Nielsen Co., unit sales of private label baby foods grew 22.3 percent for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 3. (Data cited is culled from the food, drug and mass merchandiser channels, including Walmart. Nielsen execs said that since prices have dropped from their year-ago highs, units are a better measure of private label\’s growth than dollar sales. Brandweek is owned by Nielsen.)

Other categories that were hard hit by private label include salad dressings and mayonnaise, snacks, and candles and incense.

Read the entire story.


Private Brand Trick or Treat


This story from Brandweek compares Private Brand candy sales to national brand sales and not surprisingly concludes that Private Brands compete poorly in the Halloween market. At 8.1% share, Private Brand candy sales are minimal in comparison to other food categories and with the addition of significant marketing and pricing support from national brands this is more common sense than a surprise.

Private Label Halloween Candy Sales Frightful

Costumed kids might think it’s a trick if they receive store-brand candy. While consumers are embracing private label brands in most categories, candy isn’t one of them. In fact, private label candy sales are expected to shrink in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

During the year, store brands make up an 8.1% share of candy sales, but in the weeks leading up to and including Halloween, the store brand average dips to 5.6%, per Nielsen.

On a unit basis, private label only made up 5.1 percent of candy sales for the year ended Sept. 5. In all other categories in food, drug, mass including Wal-Mart, private label made up 21.6 percent.

“It speaks to the marketing muscle and brand equity brands in this category have,” said Todd Hale, svp, consumer and shopper insights for Nielsen. “They have spent a lot of money on advertising and new product development. It shows in terms of loyalty and their overall share of market.

Read the entire story.

Brandweek Duane Reade

DR Delish Takes Over New York


In a follow up to yesterdays post on the New York drug chain Duane Reade the following interview from Brandweek discusses the changes at Duane Reade and it’s new Private Brand with acting chief marketing officer Joe Jackman.

It sounds like they have exciting plans for both their retail brand and their Private Brands. With the introduction of DR Delish they have eliminated the dated 5th Avenue Private Brand and solved for food but their core health and beauty business still remains to be seen. Can a redesigned Duane Reade – DR (could those initials be better for a HBC brand) be far behind – perhaps with a very New York minimalist Kiehls feel to it?

\"delish_drizzles_lg\"Here is an excerpt from the interview:
What made Duane Reade decide to launch its own private label brand? Where did the insight for the idea come from?
Joe Jackman: For the last year and a half, we’ve been doing a lot of research with customers. You might call a lot of it formal research—both quantitative and qualitative—and a lot of it was informal research, in the sense that we reached out to consumers in stores, in some cases asking for things that they were concerned about and wanted to see us offer, and they told us, “We’re looking for healthier products” and “We’re looking for tastier products that we feel are more interesting and present great value.” And so, we took a hard look at the products we have under our own labels and we said, “There is something we can do about that.” We’ve been reaching out to the vendor community and finding there is just a terrific interest in working with us, partly because we serve the needs of New Yorkers on a day-to-day basis and also, New York is an amazing place to launch new ideas and so, we’ve been busy working on products that satisfy those needs that consumers told us [they’re concerned about], which are healthier, tastier products, and ones that are interesting and offer great value.

BW: How did DR Delish test with consumers? Did you test market it in stores before announcing its metropolitan launch?

JJ: We had a number of different brands in the past. They could be anything from DR, our private label brand, and some that were under a range of names previously, but which we’ve decided to consolidate under a much more exciting brand called DR Delish. We think the name says it all and so, this is a new brand that we just launched this past Saturday and today, it’s 25 items. By the holidays, it will be many, many more. Our focus was really on snacks and beverages and making them healthier. In some cases, [that included] things like gluten-free, no trans fat, reduced calories, natural ingredients—the areas or things we really focused on in our sampling with various customers and also ones that work inside our own business. There is a whole community of New Yorkers that work within the business. The feedback has been very positive. We did not pre-launch [in test markets.] We believe that New Yorkers/our customers will vote with their pocketbooks. And if we’ve got a winner, we will know whom they are and if we’ve got someone we need to work on a little more, we’ll work on that.

Read the entire interview.