Global Retail Brands Magazine

The Power of Social Media


The following is the fifth in a series of guest posts from the latest issue of Global Retail Brands and this is my contribution to the magazine. Throughout the week we will feature one article a day from the new publication – please take a few minutes and click-through to the site – read the entire article and see what the rest of the world is up to.

Engaging the Connected Consumer: The Power of Social Media

Today’s technology-driven environment continues to have staggering effects on shopper behavior, shifting the power of purchase from retailers to consumers. A quarter of all purchases of FMCGs are influenced by exposure to one form of social media or another and this proportion is growing. Retailers have to establish a social media presence in order to stay connected with consumers.

Social media is giving voice to brands and providing a continuous two-way conversation with the target consumer. Retailers aim for a comprehensive and integrated Social Media Strategy.

The various social media outlets can be utilized for targeted marketing campaigns that will touch consumers at each stage of the purchasing continuum, from pondering brands and products through the post-purchase experience. 37% of grocery shoppers access stores’ social media sites and seven out of ten European shoppers, who own a smartphone or tablet, would like promotions sent to their mobiles based on the items they tend to buy.

Additionally, social media is emerging as an essential tool to observe, respond, magnify, and guide consumer behavior. Retailers can monitor their private brands in terms of what is being said, where, and how the conversation is influencing others. The polarity, intensity and volume of each conversation can also be measured. This insight into consumers’ thoughts of a product or brand can be early warning of potential changes, both positive and negative, in shopper activity, and allow for the retailer to react real-time to consumers needs.

Read the entire story.


Global Retail Brands Magazine

Hiding The Obvious: Should Retailers Fake It Or Fess Up?

\"HidingThe following is the fourth in a series of guest posts from the latest issue of Global Retail Brands and this is my contribution to the magazine. Throughout the week we will feature one article a day from the new publication – please take a few minutes and click-through to the site – read the entire article and see what the rest of the world is up to.

Hiding The Obvious: Should Retailers Fake It Or Fess Up?

By Perry Seelert

Around the world, retailers’ private brands have proven that they are part of shoppers’ everyday routine, lexicon and share of wallet, and they literally own some of the biggest categories. Milk, bread, eggs and cheese are private brand dominant, and they are all in the highest volume and most frequently purchased categories globally. However, these four categories are perceived commodities, where the advertising investment is minimal, and existing brand equities are low.

So, one of the biggest strategic Private Brand marketing questions we face in the future is how to attack the most advertised, fragmented and frequently purchased categories? We don’t want to be prominent in just the big, commodity-oriented categories, we want to be impactful in categories which are more brand and image driven, or have real segmentation issues that lead to fragmented shares. When you consider all three of these characteristics together, (size, advertising and fragmentation), it makes for an incredible challenge for retailer owned brands.

One category that has all three characteristics is beer, and it is one of the largest categories in the world. Heineken by itself produces over 170 different brands of beer, and InBev over 200, so there is no shortage of choice. And there is no shortage of consumer interest too, especially if you’re Czech, where per capita consumption is 132 liters per year (tops in the world).

Beer is universally loved, with over 35 countries having every person drinking at least one liter a week, and China and the U.S. leading total national consumption. Yes, we all love the “suds”, but beer is also one of the most highly advertised and fragmented categories, and this is why many retailers have avoided it from a Private Brand point of view. In the U.S., retailers’ own brands amount to less than 1% share within the category, however there is a recent shift in desire to improve upon this penetration, but how do you best do it? Which segment do you target? How do you brand and name it? How do you market Private Brands in a category where every leading brand is heavily advertised? How do you as a retailer stand behind your brands?

Read the entire story


Kroger Expands Private Brand Beauty – Mirra


Cincinnati based supermarket chain Kroger is continuing its push into the beauty side of HBC by increasing the penetration by double-digits of its Private Brand Mirra that was launched late last year.

According to an Associated Press article:

\”This was a very big leap for Kroger,\” said Susan Scherer, who manages its beauty business. Kroger, with nearly 2,500 stores in 31 states, has made store brands a high priority, saying the products build customer loyalty. Store brands also usually have bigger profit margins than national brands. Corporate brands account for 34% of Kroger grocery items sold and 26% of grocery revenue.”

Kroger offers more than 20,000 store brand items, a 25% increase in the last two years. Fewer than 100 are under the Mirra brand that includes shampoos, face creams and accessories such as makeup brushes and loofahs. But that\’s up from 41 three months ago.

CEO David B. Dillon said Kroger identified health and beauty as an underdeveloped area among store brands.

\”The kind of customer that we have comes to us for things they need on a regular basis,\” Dillon said in an interview. \”Health and beauty items, you don\’t consume them like food items, but you do use them up pretty regularly; so you go back for replenishment, and those are the kind of items that are our forte.\”

Meanwhile, Kroger\’s next additions to Mirra\’s lineup will be anti-wrinkle products with retinol-A, with more new products next summer, Scherer said. Marketing that has so far relied on in-store demonstrations and word-of-mouth will step up this fall with national advertising inserts and coupons.

Read the entire article.

Just Food

Private Brand Growth and the Switch


\”Just food\” the food information and insight websight presents this management brief, much of it is built from existing research from GFK, PLMA, Booze & Company and Planet Retail, however there are some insights from food marketing customer service expert Dr Richard George as well as a high level overview of European and Indian Private Brand.

The just-food management briefing – private label

The economic downturn has led consumers to turn to private label for greater value. Own label has been a significant sector in Europe for decades but US consumers are now looking to store brands more regularly – and emerging markets are starting to catch on, too.

Private-label is a crucial tool for food retailers. Not only does it give retailers more control over costs and quality, it allows them to market their own brand whilst making sales.

The practice has been long-established in Europe and it is becoming increasingly popular in the US. \”Today [in the US], approximately one out of every four food and beverage products in a supermarket is a private-label/store brand,\” New Jersey, US-based food marketing customer service expert Dr Richard George tells just-food.

According to data from US trade body the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), private-label units were up by 6.4% for the year (2009) compared to a decline of 1.7% for national brands.\”

The statistics clearly show that private-label is having no trouble gaining traction in the US food market. And although, the recession has helped drive private-label sales because they are considered good value, it is not the sole factor in their growth.

Read the entire briefing.

2010 Supervalu


\"\"A couple of postings from Minnesota based SuperValu, it will be interesting to see how SuperValu fills these roles in the wake of their dismissal of Daymon Worldwide. The Brand Manage position seems to be tailored to classic CPG experience with a heavy slant toward marketing, positioning and consumer insights. Particularly noteworthy is the omission of any retail experience requirement, as retailers struggle to build branding and Private Brands as a core competency it will be imperative that they also discover  how the branding model evolves to take advantage of the retails inherent connection to the customer and to account for the highly matrixed retail world.

Private Brands Brand Manager

SuperValu: Eden Prairie, MN

SUPERVALU’s vision is to become the industry’s Private Brands leader.  Driving competitive advantage by innovating and taking intelligent risks to create an experience that continually over-delivers on the consumer’s trust, confidence and loyalty and drives them to seek out our Private Brands.  The Brand Manager of Private Brands will play a key role in building that experience by leading the development and building of consumer meaningful brands within our Private Brand’s portfolio.

The Private Brands, Brand Manager will be responsible for leveraging consumer insights in developing annual marketing strategies and tactics as well as bringing the brand positioning and equity to life in all elements of brand communications.  They will also be responsible for leading the efforts against innovation; identifying consumer insight driven strategies and linkages to the brand equities within our portfolio.

Job Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

  • Lead the development and execution of yearly marketing plans in support of business goals:  marketing objectives, strategies and tactics and the rationale to support
  • Guide in-depth consumer understanding and translate consumer insights into actionable marketing strategies and tactics, including consumer driven innovation on product and packaging
  • Lead the development of brand equity statements, brand positioning, and brand identity guidelines and ensure adherence in all aspects of brand communication
  • Direct the execution of brand positioning via packaging and all consumer directed communications (in collaboration where applicable with Private Brands Packaging Design, Product Management and Marketing)

Lead high performing teams (marketing, packaging, project management, in-house designers/creative agencies, research & analytics, merchandising, etc.) to deliver on-strategy brand marketing elements and initiatives; including managing priorities, budgets, timing, and resources of cross-functional teams

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business/Marketing or related field. MBA preferred
  • 4+ years Brand Management/Marketing experience in CPG company
  • Must have proven track record of understanding the consumer, translating insights into winning strategies and a high degree of creativity to find new, compelling ways to build brands
  • Proven leadership and collaborative skills including the ability to lead and motivate cross-functional teams to successfully achieve results
  • Proven experience building brand equity from positioning through communication execution
  • Possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Takes initiative and is self-motivated
  • Excellent time management and follow-up skills
  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint
  • Experience and knowledge of retail merchandising and operations desirable


Private Brands Assistant Manager
Eden Prairie, MN

SUPERVALU is a premier food and drug retail powerhouse with world-class supply chain and support services. We are the nation’s third largest grocery provider, with a diversified portfolio of regional retail banners, locally managed and branded, spanning the nation, coast-to-coast and border-to-border. As the largest food distributor to retail stores in the United States, we also provide a robust suite of supply chain services to serve both our own retail banners and thousands of independent retailers.

Combined, SUPERVALU’s two lines of business provide a wealth of diverse opportunities to grow and to contribute to a thriving enterprise

Our Philosophy:
Ongoing pursuit of excellence is a way of life at SUPERVALU and a key to our success. To achieve excellence, we seek associates who will contribute innovative business solutions. We embrace change and welcome others who do.

Our employees are as diverse as our opportunities – representing all ages, backgrounds and parts of the country. What they have in common is: talent, passion, sense of urgency, focus, standards, integrity – and an unsurpassed customer orientation. They form the foundation of our SUPERVALU Advantage – the key to our continuing success.

The Private Brand Assistant Manager is responsible for supporting the Private Brand team and Business Development Manager (BDM) in growing, developing, and carrying out the Private Brand category they support and overall Private Brand goals.  Responsible for coordinating team activities that support PB categories in a customer facing business model.  Through execution of the category strategy, the PB Assistant Manager works to meet and exceed sales, margin and penetration expectations. As directed by the BDM and PB leadership, this role will coordinate the forecasting, execution, shelf and item metrics for PB products. Oversees the measurement of promotion/distribution execution as well as supports BDM with Plan-O-Grams.  Supports assortment planning decisions for PB and National brands to advance the PB and company objectives.


  • Supports BDM’s in development and implementation of category business plans
  • Works with BDM and PB management to oversee promotion and promotional demand forecasting during both steady and demand time frames Focuses on the development of PB categories- closely monitoring the sales and brand impacts
  • Reviews sales, margin dollars and penetration for PB products and makes recommendations to improve
  • Acts as contact person for seamless interaction and conduit of information with PB team
  • Interacts with category BDM to correlate PB into appropriate merchandising activities
  • Works with BDM and PB merchandising to optimize own brands in the category and ensure we are providing the right assortment in merchandising plans and to efficiently set them in the Plan-O-Grams
  • Reviews metrics by banner against execution for PB products in their category
  • Acts as PB banner interface for category on any issues
  • Assists in planning, directing, implementing and monitoring PB merchandising programs
  • Supports execution of PB category strategies and initiatives; delivers against period, quarterly and annual forecast; interacts with PB merchandising and BDM to provide input to the development of a strategic PB Business Plan and execution
  • Coordinates working plan for PB team derived from annual & quarterly category merchandising strategy based on evaluation of past performance, consumer and competitive/company trends
  • Leveraging analysis and actively review scorecards to bring consumer insights and trends into actionable plans that drive weekly, quarterly and yearly sales and gross profit dollars
  • Works collaboratively with PB team and represents PB as BDM determines strategy for PB in each category
  • Participates in review of full assortment; reviews and gives input into national and PB recommendations
  • Works in collaboration with regional and banner merchants to collect PB category performance feedback

Relevant Experience, Education, Certification, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.  Relevant work experience preferred.
  • Greater depth of specific category expertise may be required on a case-by-case basis.
  • Experience or exposure to retail environment preferred
  • Understanding of category management methods, store format marketing techniques, marketing research methods and interpretation
  • Must have a strong knowledge base in supermarket retail and an understanding of consumer behavior in relation to product performance
  • Must have detailed understanding of cause-effect relations between operational levers and performance (assortment/price vs. volume/margins) by utilizing financial, statistical, marketing, merchandising, and/or consumer research background
  • Strong planning and organizational skills
  • Leadership, strategic thinking and ability to analyze and interpret market data
  • Good verbal and communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skill to interact effectively at all levels of the company and in the business community
  • Well developed computer aptitude with proficient skills and knowledge of Microsoft Office. Must be able to adapt to and learn new systems quickly