Giving private label a personality: best practices

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 12, 2006

Giving private label a personality: best practices

The future of private labels belongs to a new crop of innovative designs that stand out from the competition, rather than traditional meek store brands that rely on pricing and mimicry of national labels to attract customers, according to packaging design firm Philippe Becker Design.

Successful private labels bear their own personality, define a distinct point of view, and create a memorable experience, according to Philippe Becker, creative director for Philippe Becker Design (PBD). Becker highlights the Whole Foods Market's 365 brand as an example: a bold, four-colour logo grabs the shopper's attention in the grocery aisle, and is intended to communicate an image of both nature and everyday value.

Becker says: "If you look around the marketplace, there are many retailers with brands that fade into the background. In the current world of private label, there are much more effective ways to market store brands. And one of the most effective tools is developing a strategic and extensible approach to label design."

Three best practices The company has developed three simple best practices for designing more successful private label brands:

  1. Stand for something and communicate it on the package By offering a unique point of view, stores can raise the status of their label beyond that of leading national brands and increase consumer loyalty to both the private label and the store as a whole.  
  2. Use design to define the brand family and their relationships Packages that contain mixed price and quality cues lessen the effectiveness of the brand strategy. Unclear branding can undermine the perceived value of the entire range of store labels and turn away confused shoppers.  
  3. Connect with customers The label has about three seconds to grab a shopper's attention and tell them what and why. To accomplish this, the brand must be immediately relevant and differentiated. Becker advises using designs with strong personalities that appeal to consumers.

According to Becker, the goal behind innovative packaging is to get consumers actively seeking the brand in the aisles because they have 'connected' with it. The whole trick lies in convincing the consumer that the brand fulfils a functional need or an emotional benefit, he says.

Successful branding Evidence from the marketplace suggests that this strategy is working. From Safeway to Trader Joe's to Target, consumers are filling their carts with products bearing the kind of innovative branding Becker advocates. But beyond selling more products, a successful store brand strategy has the potential to transform a supermarket from just another place to buy groceries into a desired shopping destination.

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