PL Buyer: Turn on the TV!
By Randy Hofbauer
special arrangement, what follows is a summary of part of the May cover
story, “Spying on the Neighbors,” from Private Label Buyer, presented here for
Canadian and European
retailers don’t just settle for the Sunday paper to promote their private
label goods – they come up with clever television commercials, too.
According to Tom Stephens, founder of the Canadian consulting firm Brand
Strategy Consultants, this isn’t something as commonly done by U.S. retailers.
“[This is] because
[U.S. retailers] haven’t had the penetration to throw off the money,” he
said. “You need the money. It’s marketing 101 in terms of if you want
to be in the media, you’ve got to have money.”
president of the Private Label Manufacturer’s Association, also believes
the money these retailers are making from their private label stretches
a little further in Canadian television advertising than it would in the
“You can buy Montreal
television for a fraction of what it costs to advertise in Chicago,” he
said. “So it’s affordable.”
Mr. Sharoff also
is quick to comment on how clever Canadian and European retailers’ store
brand advertising is.
Does this prove that
it is important to get excellent marketing personnel in one’s private label
program? Quite possibly. According to Mr. Stephens,
marketing is just as important as sourcing. And one thing European and
Canadian retailers have done to position their store brands well is to
bring in classically trained marketing professionals.
“You know, the
[U.S.] private label buying department was not a place where you would
put your highest-flying people into,” Mr. Stevens said. “Private
label is a combination of sourcing, quality assurance and branding and
marketing. And you don’t find these people at the back of a grocery store
unpacking the boxes in the receiving environment.”
Sainsbury’s and Tesco
have been very active in advertising their store brands, especially on
the food side, Mr. Sharoff added. They’ve put a lot of money into clever advertising
that even features celebrity chefs and famous actors.
Mr. Stephens believes
there’s no question this advertising is being driven by volume. The more
you make from your store brands, the more you have to spend on advertising.
“That’s why Loblaw’s
had an approach that said: ‘We’re going to market
this stuff like crazy. We’re going to be on television every day,'” he
said. “And they built the model with an inherent marketing cost built
into it. But it required volume to do it – you cannot do this without
volume because you just don’t have the money to spend.”
This is something Mr.
Stevens thinks the United States will see over the coming years as volumes
Are many U.S. retailers at a point where they should be more aggressively
advertising their private label brands or does private label development
work differently in the U.S. market than in Europe? Have you noticed
any compelling private label advertising efforts in the U.S.?
on the Neighbors – PL Buyer
- Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury’s Feed
your family for a fiver – YouTube
- Christmas, A Time To Be Gorgeous
(Boots Girls) – YouTube
- Tesco, “Fred and Florence” Advert