Packaging changes, line extensions and cause marketing are just some of the ways for marketers to protect their brands from private label.
By Tom Pirovano
- Health Claims - “Now with More Calcium”, “Good Source of Antioxidants”, “Natural”, “Made with Real Sugar”. First look for claims you can make without reformulations. Then consider adding nutrients to add perceived value.
- Unique Packaging - Consider Dean Milk Chugs in a category dominated by private label. Older shoppers may appreciate packaging that easier to open, easier to re-seal, and easier to read without glasses.
- Line Extensions - Look at the soda category with only 6.1% private label share. Every year we see many new soda flavors, but very few really “new” brands. In most stores, private label is left with limited SKUs and shelf space.
- Promote a Cause - Don’t just offer a percent your profits. Build awareness. Educate the consumer about a cause you can really embrace. Let them know how they can get involved.
- Odd Ounces - It’s easy for store brands to copy products sold with the same package size year after year. Shifting a 12 oz. package to 15 oz. makes it difficult to compare prices to store brands. Going metric makes the price comparison even harder.
- Offer Your Own Value Brand - Look at the hair care category with only 2.2% private label share. National value brands make it difficult for store brands to get a foothold.
- Local Ties - Each year have your sales force apply labels to packages in the store, reminding shoppers when a product is grown locally, processed locally, or warehoused locally. In today’s environment, shoppers are likely to support the local economy.
- Differentiate Yourself - Compete with private label like you compete with any other brand. Set your brand apart with a clear case for why it’s worth more than the store brand.
- “Green” Sizes - We used to call them “value sizes” or “club packs”. Most large pack sizes use less packaging by nature. Combine the value message with the green message. Give shoppers a way to help the planet while saving money.
- Keep Innovating - Be a moving target. Make your brand difficult to copy. Give shoppers a reason to spend a little more on your brand. Whether it’s packaging, labeling, health claims, or new flavors, use your brand equity and category expertise to push the category forward.
Published in NielsenWire - on May 6th 2009