Ease the Switch for Consumers

May 13, 2015

Store Brands | May 13, 2015 – Daymon Worldwide recently funded a private brand inundation study to survey a demographically diverse and nationally representative group of consumers to track and record their experiences after two weeks of existing only on private brand products. Store Brands invited Daymon to share the key findings of the study with e-newsletter readers in the past two installments. This article is part three and the final article regarding study findings.

In the first two e-newsletter articles regarding Daymon’s private brand inundation study, we discussed the importance of waking up shoppers by positively disrupting their normal shopping routines so they are more aware and excited about the many advantages offered by private brands. We also discussed the importance of retailers working to avoid tier confusion by consistently and clearly communicating the differences between their various private brand offerings and the benefits they offer versus national brands.

Now that you’ve got shoppers’ attention, we want to share three additional insights that emerged from the study:

  • Consumers have given private brands “permission” to move into center stage for high-stakes occasions where national brands have traditionally dominated. One way to do this is to innovate in new categories primarily dominated by legacy national brands — for example, soft drinks (Coke and Pepsi), laundry detergents (Tide) and snacks/cookies (Doritos and Oreos) — and apply CPG-type approaches to building a lifestyle private brand. Another is to develop brand positioning that taps into consumer needs or emotions rather than a rational or functional benefit. Also, consider investing in packaging that stands out as attention-grabbing rather than as a “knockoff” of the leading national brand.
  • While stretching private brands into these new categories is possible, retailers must not lose sight of the importance of maintaining a foothold in commodity-based household staples such as flour and salt, where national brands have been encroaching with aggressive discounting and promotion. Retailers and suppliers should continue to communicate that their private brands offer the same quality as the national brands, but are a better value. They should also consider in-store sampling opportunities with head to head tastings. It’s important to note that value doesn’t always mean the lowest price, but providing a unique package size, bulk offering, an added amount for same price or a value-added bundle pack. Lastly, we must do a better job of maintaining private brand pricing below national brand pricing in line with the national brands’ promotional calendars.
  • It’s imperative to avoid slips in quality standards (including taste and texture), which puts a damper on consumer enthusiasm for private brand discovery. To do this effectively, we recommend putting a process in place to conduct regular quality assurance checks across categories and within all product lines. Consider employing an in-store sensory taste test program. To show you stand behind your private brand products, also consider offering a money-back guarantee for consumers who aren’t fully satisfied with their private brand experience, as it will help ensure continued trial and repeat business.

Retailers could truly leverage their private brands to meaningfully connect with core consumers, but it must be done with ingenuity to grab attention, clear communication about tiers and strategic stretching into new categories while maintaining a foothold in areas of strength. By ensuring high levels of quality and consistency supporting private brands, retailers make it easy for consumers to make the switch, and the rewarding experience will keep them coming back for more.

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