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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Consumer Insights 2 2 Store Brands / April 2016 / badly chosen brand name can kill a product or product line. 7-Up soda, for example, likely would not have survived had it retained its original mouthful of a name: Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. And the fast failures of Colgate Kitchen entrees and Bic underwear prove that a brand name that works successfully in one segment doesn't necessarily extend well to another. But sometimes the reasons for brand name failure are not so obvious. Retail private brand teams, therefore, need to understand how to fine- tune the brand-naming process so they can build brands that truly connect with their shoppers. Study your shoppers As store brands evolve, brand name is becoming more important to overall program success. "We now need to communicate about brand and value," explains Rachel Bernard, vice president, verbal strategy for New York-based CBX. "Consumers aren't looking to buy private label products anymore; they're buying into private label as a brand and as a concept." And the brand-naming process begins with consumer insights. Retailers need to gain an understanding of how consumers (particularly their own shoppers) view both their banner brand and their private brands, Bernard says. "They should also understand how their customers shop across key categories," she adds. "Are they focused on price in paper products yet care more about benefits in hair care products, for example?" Retailers also should gain insights into which categories are most important to their most valuable shoppers. Some categories might warrant a "new name that tells a distinct story," Bernard notes. Insights gleaned from consumers will help direct retailers not only in brand naming, but also in determining how many unique brand names they need, Bernard says. Roger Beahm, co-executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University School of Business, Winston-Salem, N.C., agrees, but adds to the list of shopper insights needed. "You need to think about them not just demographically, but also in terms of psychographic considerations — what's important to them, what they value, what their lifestyles are like, what they connect with," he stresses. "Behavioral characteristics, too — how often they buy, what places they shop, how much they buy on different shopping occasions." Of course, retailers also need to think about the product or product line itself. They should ask themselves, Beahm says, about Name that brand Retailers that approach the private brand naming process thoughtfully will be better able to build consumer trust and loyalty. By Kathie Canning

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