Store Brands

APR 2016

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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1 2 Store Brands / April 2016 / Cover Story: testing a peg-top nut program, Langlands says. "This is the first time we have entered the food or snack category, and we are very excited to see the results," she adds. Always improving Currently the retailer works with about 30 manufacturers offering its members access to approximately 700 store brand SKUs. And it works hard to either add or refresh products each year. In 2014 and 2015 alone, it added 140 new SKUs. "As national brands change and upgrade, we are continually changing our products to improve our quality and align our offerings," Langlands says. The role the retailer takes in product research and development, however, largely depends on the product category. For example, when developing an over- the-counter (OTC) product, Pharmasave's supplier partners own the product in terms of regulatory requirements and comply with all Health Canada Guidelines, she states. However, when it comes to a product such as a cream or lotion, Pharmasave has considerably more input into areas such as formulation development, fragrance and packaging. The retailer also works hard to communicate its private branding message to shoppers. "The branding message to our customers is value, quality and trust," Langlands adds. "We stand behind our products, offering our consumers a satisfaction guarantee." Considering that many of Pharmasave's customers are health-conscious consumers who are either patients or caregivers for their families, engendering trust is key, she notes. And while many of its competitors offer their customers a multi-tier private brand program, Pharmasave deliberately made the choice to go forth with a one-brand strategy, Langlands says. The products are said to be national brand equivalent or better in quality but are sold at a value price. This strategy reflects what Pharmasave's independent owners expressed to the retailer: They feel it is "very important" for the corporate brand and the banner name to be the same. "In fact, this was so important to many of our owners that our private label department name was changed from 'Private Label' to 'Pharmasave Brand,'" she adds. And the brand's treatment has not gone unnoticed. "I think that Pharmasave has done an admirable job with their current private label programs," says Scott Lindsay, president of Toronto-based Product Development Plus, a private brand development expert who has worked on brands such as President's Choice, Duane Reade and Walgreens. Simple, direct design While independent owners had their say when it came to brand naming, customer feedback has been a major driving force when it comes to Pharmasave's own-brand packaging design. "We've learned that our customers are looking for packaging with clear, easy-to-read information," Langlands says. "This feedback was instrumental in developing our packaging style guide. We also look at trends and, where applicable, key our color choices from the national brand equivalents." According to Lindsay, the retailer's current own-brand packaging's design is "consistently executed and does a nice job using color cues to help consumers understand the key-off to drive value recognition." Additionally, the process for developing packaging varies based on the category. For instance, OTC medicine and vitamin manufacturers have to establish stability and

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