PLBUYER APRIL 2011 The Ten Keys to Private Brand Success 4 Guest Commentary BY PATRICK RODMELL THE 10 KEYS TO PRIVATE BRAND SUCCESS: KEY NO. 4: COMMUNICATION OF PURCHASE DRIVERS Does your copy and imagery make your program look generic? H ere’s a quick quiz for you: packaging is vendor-supplied If I say “Extra Smooth,” or stock photographs. First, the what’s the first product quality and style of the images is category that comes to your mind? usually materially below national Shaving cream? Peanut butter? brand standards. Second, this Whisky? How about if I showed eliminates any possibility of you an illustration of a tropical creating a unique ‘style’ to imagery forest? Would you think of coffee? that can be proprietary to the Mixed nuts? Eco-friendly laundry retailer and convey the brand detergent? character you are trying to express The truth is words and images for the overall business. can conjure up many different Does this mean that imagery thoughts and emotions, depending should be consistent across an upon the context we see them in. entire private label program? Not Used effectively, they can readily likely. The emotional triggers that convey many pragmatic attributes drive purchase vary widely from of a product, for example, quality, category to category, even within a origin, or a specific feature, and category (kids vs. adult cereals), so even strike an emotional chord; assuming a consistent image style perhaps spark a fond memory, take across the entire range is unrealistic. Longo’s private brand packaging embodies image and character, setting it apart us to a different place, or connect And beyond photography, the use from competitors and other PL packaging. with our values. of a customized illustration style But on the flip side, a lack of is dramatically underleveraged in thought in the use of words and private brands. But a private brand package design this product for the first time?” images on packaging can be the Engaging copy, and the visual should last at least five years before Remember, a retailer’s private kiss of death for even the highest expression of it, is becoming a lost requiring a refresh. Over that time, label packaging is the most quality private label products. art in private label. Next time the upfront investment in thinking powerful reflection of the brand And regrettably, there are far too you’re in a grocery store, grab a few through the copy, crafting the that the shopper allows into their many examples of this still on national brands off the shelf and typography, and conceptualizing home – they should NEVER feel grocery shelves. take a close look at the typography imagery that will motivate trial will embarrassed to leave the package The most common error in they use to express their brand more than pay for itself. on the counter when the neighbors use of imagery on private brand and supporting statements. Now Repurposing imagery across drop by. Bland product descriptors, compare these to the private brand categories and even in-store bad typography and uninspired The 10 Keys to alternatives. In just about every signage also can extend the imagery are dead giveaways of Private Brand Success: case, you will find a huge delta upfront investment. I once generic private label that won’t even between the appeal of each. And counted nine different pictures make it off the shelf. 1. Strategic Brand Positioning private label’s overwhelming use of tomatoes in one grocery store; 2. Product Quality Management of product descriptors without any surely there were at least a few Patrick Rodmell (email@example.com) 3. Effective Pricing Strategies benefit or romance support copy only instances where the same image is president and CEO of Watt International, perpetuates this. The lack of benefit- could have been re-purposed! a Toronto-based integrated retail agency 4. Communication of driven product copy and use of Imagine the benefits of brand with more than 40 years experience in more Purchase Drivers generic typefaces remain one of the consistency that would also have than 40 countries around the world. The 5. Process Engineering most distinguishing factors between occurred with repurposing. company is well known for creating such 6. Product Innovation the packaging appeal of national and When selecting the imagery and landmark private brands as President’s 7. Performance Measurement private brands, more so even than words to use on a package, the first Choice, Great Value and Safeway Select, and 8. Associate Engagement discrepancies in image quality. and only question that really matters more than 100 other private brands world- 9. Market like a National Brand The rationale I hear most often is: “What are going to be the main wide. To read the first three of Patrick’s keys, to defend sub-standard copy, type pragmatic and emotional drivers go to privatelabelbuyer.com and look in the 10. Store Execution and imagery is a lack of funding. that will motivate someone to try PLBuyer Voices section.