Let’s talk for a minute about private labels—or as they may be called, store brands. From clothing to ketchup, many shoppers once equated store brands with “cheap knock-offs” of their brand-name rivals, a low-quality, generic imitation, and a blatant and poorly executed attempt by the retailer to steal away some market share from the major brands.
But according to a recent study by private label broker Daymon, approximately 81 percent of shoppers will purchase at least one private brand product on every shopping trip. Retailers like Target, Costco, and Walmart are not only finding major success with their private label products, but private labels at large are becoming a market disruptor. By working closely with suppliers and manufacturers, these major retailers have used private labels to champion innovation and improve quality. And now you can too!
Stand (Out) for Something
One major misconception about private labels is that retailers need to skimp on things like advertising, marketing, branding, etc. in order to keep costs low; however, as market perception shifts in favor of private labels, this can no longer be the case. Private labels offer a unique and powerful branding opportunity for retailers and a way to build customer engagement and loyalty.
Packaging for private labels should look every bit as clean, professional, and engaging as national brands, because first impressions (especially in retail) are everything. Once you’ve established the branding element behind your private label, talk it up everywhere! And don’t be afraid to innovate as you do so. Private labels provide an excellent opportunity to innovate. This goes beyond the scope of just product development, but also in how those products are displayed, merchandised or advertised. Promote your private brand in emails, newsletters, print and on television. Take a page out of Costco’s book and provide your version of a “free sample.” Shoppers are looking for something new, so it’s important to meet them where they are already looking, searching for the items they may want to purchase.
Showcase the Quality
In conjunction with your marketing and advertising strategy, one of the biggest hurdles you’ll need to overcome with market perception of your private label is demonstrating product quality. Remember, many shoppers still believe that store brands sacrifice high quality for a low price. It should come as no surprise that private labels from top retailers boast quality that is just as good if not better than that of many national brands. They know it, their suppliers and manufacturers know it, but how do their customers know it?
This is where your products’ content strategy really comes into play. Whenever you’re devising content for your private label, you must keep quality in mind. Product descriptions, videos, glamour shots, and other marketing collateral all need to speak to the quality of the products. Price-sensitive shoppers are already listening; they’re not the ones you need to necessarily convince. All of this content strategy is aimed specifically at shoppers who would otherwise invest in competing brand name products.
Content strategy for your private label goes beyond just making your products look good; you’ll also need to make sure that all the claims your content makes about your products (including nutritional information and other important attributes) are being represented as accurately as possible. Nothing will sink your private label faster than a misrepresentation suit.
Choose ItemMaster to Host your Private Label Assets
ItemMaster is the ideal partner for helping get the word out about your private label products, tracking their success, and making strategic, data-driven decisions and adjustments. Consider the following tools from ItemMaster as you develop your private label strategy:
- The All-Commerce Product Record: Through ItemMaster’s All-Commerce Product Record, you can provide full product content to all your retail functional teams (thus putting everyone on the same page, internally), as well as offer a best-in-class shopping experience that is both SmartLabel-ready, and digital voice–enabled. A full-basket item detail page for each product will ensure that your product messaging is clear and verified. This product record allows all corners of your organization to leverage the content including Planogram, Merchandising and of course marketing and eCommerce!
- Content Creation Solutions: Our flexible content creation solutions allow you to apply “enhanced content” to your products, allowing you to anticipate and answer any questions or concerns shoppers may have regarding your products.
- Unlimited Distribution: ItemMaster provides unlimited distribution of your Private Brands to all functional teams—send the right private brand asset to the right team at the right time! And it’s only distributed to those who should get the information through our gated syndication.
- Insights: ItemMaster provides its private brand partners actionable assortment tools that report and track availability, accuracy, and performance.
Private labels are in the middle of a renaissance; now it’s the big, national brands that find themselves struggling to maintain market share. If you want to take your private label to the next level, remember, it’s all about quality – on all aspects of the product. You invest in product development ensuring it stands on its own two feet when consumed. Ensuring customers can find and learn about your products is just as important. How and where the product messaging is delivered and received is vitally important to your private label’s success.
To learn how ItemMaster can help you with your private label success, click here.