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Private-Label Growth. Here to Stay?

I recently read an article in Marketing Daily, about the growth in private-label products. No surprise there, right? The figures were pretty compelling with consumers saving 33% off their grocery bills by purchasing all private-label products. I have followed the trend, trying more private-label products than I have in the past. While I haven’t gone all private-label, I have more private-label in my basket now than big brand names.

The question is will consumers stay with these private-labels once the economy gets back into the comfort zone? My opinion is that some consumers, myself included, will go back to major brand names and some will continue to purchase private-label. Recently, while shopping at Target, I went to purchase Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads. Ok, so I can get 2 of the Sonicare replacements for 24.99, ouch. Or, I can purchase the Target brand at 3 for 29.99. I decide to try the Target brand. Big mistake. One of the replacement heads didn’t work on the handle at all; another broke off completely after the second day. Needless to say, I took them back and purchased Sonicare. The Sonicare brand has value to me, now more than ever, and I can justify paying more for better quality.

Another example, I bought Target brand baby powder while normally I am a Johnson and Johnson fan. The powder didn’t seem different from one brand to the next – heck, it’s powder. But the lid on the Target brand doesn’t open properly and when I use it I never know what to expect. No powder, a gush from heaven knows where, a small pouf? My life has enough excitement without wondering if the powder will land in my shoes, as I want it to, or all over my black pants. A small detail, but when I am able, I am going back to J and J.

So the national brands need to keep talking about what makes them unique and living up to their brand promise. Maintaining their distinction will be what compels consumers to pay higher prices for their brand over a private-label.

If you need help determining or communicating what makes your brand unique, Force 5 can help! We have two certified Brand Strategists on hand and a crew of left brains and right brains to bring your brand to life!