By Jamie Sershon

What is your perception of private label or store brands? Do you think of them as lower quality? Or do you consider them the same quality as their national brand counterpart with a lower price tag? The stigma private label products have carried of being lower quality is becoming a thought of the past. Private label products have come a long way, especially in innovation. Out of all of the private label brands that we have in our database, only 41% of them have a national brand they compare to. That means 59% of the private label items are either a similar item but in a different count or are an innovative product unlike any national brand that it could be compared to.

Many private label lines have focused on building their “brand.” Instead of designing their packaging to look similar to a “compare-to” brand, they are designing unique, uniform packaging for the entire private label line that is often very appealing. Because of this, customers that previously equated private label with lower quality may not recognize the products are actually private label, and could unknowingly purchase and fall in love with them.

Many private label lines have created a sub-brand for their more premium items. For instance, Quality Choice® created the Nirmala Naturalsare-you-pro-private-label by Quality Choice® line of natural skin care products. The packaging differs from the usual Quality Choice items, and there is no compare-to callout to suggest that it is a private label brand. Customers are able to purchase these premium items at a lower cost than well-known national brands.

Private label has become more appealing than ever to consumers. Shoppers are recognizing that store brands are generally the same or better quality than their national brand counterpart. They appreciate that there are more options available at a cheaper price point. The percentage of private label shoppers should only increase going forward.

Make sure you are stocking a good variety of private label items. Consider limiting the lines to one, and limit the generic options where you are also offering a private label. These two types of items compete with each other and can cause confusion for the customer. Make it known that you stand behind your store brand to increase non-private label shoppers’ trust so they feel comfortable transitioning to a loyal private label consumer. The ability for a retailer to sell a great private label item for a higher margin but lower retail price point than a national brand is a win for both the retailer and the consumer.

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