Strategies & Insights

Is Private Label Still 'Private'?

Posted: September 27, 2009 by
Ron Romanik

Are today's savvy consumers as savvy as we think? Does the typical shopper know which brands are private label store brands and which are not? Moreover, does the typical shopper even care about this distinction anymore?

The short answer to the third question is, most likely, "not really." With the quality of store brand products getting better and better, and the quality of the packaging improving as well, many consumers are viewing store brands just like any other brand. If that 's the case, then package designers should probably start treating store brands just like any other brand.

Statistics compiled by the Private Label Manufacturing Association show that consumers have noticed the increased quality of the packaging and that they are willing to "destination shop" for the store brands they trust. Their statistics also show that higher income shoppers are more likely to be increasing their interest in—and dollars spent on—store brands in the coming years. For more insight into store brands, see our Cover Story on Staples ' recent strategies and the accompanying side bar on store brand exclusivity and extendability.

A common design strategy with store brand packaging is using icons to help shoppers shop. This month 's Designer's Corner explains the ins and outs for making icons communicate a brand promise quickly and efficiently. Other features this month include resources that may help you meet the demands of high-volume store brand design projects. An examination into digital asset management breaks down the options for design firms small and large, and an overview of the latest plastic bottle color effects may help you find eye-catching package solutions on a budget.

If you weren't able to attend our "Designing for Sustainable Packaging" webinar that aired this past December 5th, don't despair. Please visit our Sustainable Packaging Update on page 34 to learn how you can order a copy online. As always, feel free to share your sustainable packaging case studies with us, so we can share them with our readers.

Ron Romanik