Packaging changes, line extensions and cause marketing are just some of the ways for marketers to protect their brands from private label. These tactics and others are listed below:
1. Health Claims – “Now with More Calcium”, “Good Source of Antioxidants”, “Natural”, “Made with Real Sugar”. First look for claims you can make without reformulations. Then consider adding nutrients to add perceived value.
2. Unique Packaging – Consider Dean Milk Chugs in a category dominated by private label. Older shoppers may appreciate packaging that easier to open, easier to re-seal, and easier to read without glasses.
3. Line Extensions – Look at the soda category with only 6.1% private label share. Every year we see many new soda flavors, but very few really “new” brands. In most stores, private label is left with limited SKUs and shelf space.
4. Promote a Cause – Don’t just offer a percent your profits. Build awareness. Educate the consumer about a cause you can really embrace. Let them know how they can get involved.
5. Odd Ounces – It’s easy for store brands to copy products sold with the same package size year after year. Shifting a 12 oz. package to 15 oz. makes it difficult to compare prices to store brands. Going metric makes the price comparison even harder.
6. Offer Your Own Value Brand – Look at the hair care category with only 2.2% private label share. National value brands make it difficult for store brands to get a foothold.
7. Local Ties – Each year have your sales force apply labels to packages in the store, reminding shoppers when a product is grown locally, processed locally, or warehoused locally. In today’s environment, shoppers are likely to support the local economy.
8. Differentiate Yourself – Compete with private label like you compete with any other brand. Set your brand apart with a clear case for why it’s worth more than the store brand.
9. “Green” Sizes – We used to call them “value sizes” or “club packs”. Most large pack sizes use less packaging by nature. Combine the value message with the green message. Give shoppers a way to help the planet while saving money.
10. Keep Innovating – Be a moving target. Make your brand difficult to copy. Give shoppers a reason to spend a little more on your brand. Whether it’s packaging, labeling, health claims, or new flavors, use your brand equity and category expertise to push the category forward.