Nielsen Offers National Brands Private Label Protection
By Tom Ryan
Writing in Brandweek,
Tom Pirovano, director of industry insights,
The Nielsen Co.,
listed ten ways for marketers to protect their brands from private label – including
packaging changes, line extensions and cause marketing.
The first suggestion
involved touting “Health Claims” such as “Now with More Calcium.” Mr.
Pirovano wrote, “First
look for claims you can make without reformulations. Then consider
adding nutrients to add perceived value.”
The second emphasized
using “Unique Packaging.”
He noted Dean Milk Chugs’ success in a category dominated by private label.
Mr. Pirovano also said older shoppers may appreciate
packaging that is easier to open, re-seal and read.
For the third, “Line
Extensions,” he pointed out that the soda category has only 6.1 percent
private label share. Wrote Mr. Pirovano,
“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.”
The remaining seven tips
Promote a Cause: Avoid
just donating a percent of profits to a cause. Focus on building brand
awareness and getting customers involved.
Odd Ounces: Shifting
a 12 oz. package to 15 oz. makes comparing prices to store brands harder.
Own Value Brand: Mr. Pirovano pointed out that the
hair care category (only 2.2 percent private label share) has worked
this strategy particularly well.
Remind shoppers with packaging labels when a product is grown, processed
or warehoused locally.
Differentiate Yourself: Do
more to show “why it’s worth more than the store brand.”
Green Sizes: Formerly
known as “value sizes” or “club packs,” larger sizes
provide a value as well as a green message since most large pack sizes
use less packaging.
Keep Innovating: Whether
packaging, labeling, health claims or new flavors, changes “make your
brand difficult to copy” and “give shoppers a reason to spend
a little more on your brand.”
Which of Tom Pirovano’s suggestions do you
think are generally most effective for national brands looking to hold
market share against private labels? Do you have additional suggestions
of your own?