What does it take to Build a Powerful Control Label Brand?

In-house brands have come a long way since their original purpose of playing second fiddle to national brands. Today, they provide value beyond price, build loyalty and often outshine their national counterparts in quality and innovation.

In the past, private labels emulated national brands, offered lower cost alternatives in the commodity category, provided acceptable quality and featured little innovation. As such, organisations made negligible efforts to build the brand and emotional equity in it.

But today’s control labels have evolved almost beyond recognition: many provide value besides low cost, including in the premium category, challenge or surpass national brands in quality and feature innovation. They often drive differentiation and establish an emotional connection with consumers.

Key success factors

Build a brand not a product. Bring a customer perspective into the organization, invest in building the brand to become a strategic asset exclusive to the organization and leverage its unique positioning to create brand equity. In foreign markets, sell the brand to similar retailers that carry your products.

Treat private label as its own business. Create control labels’ own strategy that aligns with the corporate’s, including portfolio strategy, value proposition, market position, product guidelines, pricing and promotion. Unleash the entrepreneurial spirit to run it.

Manage the product portfolio based on consumer needs. Review the strategic fit to portfolio strategy and stretch the product portfolio across relevant territories.

Establish a relevant scorecard. Monitor the metrics that reveal a healthy and unhealthy brand performance.

Canada’s Control Label Front-Runners

Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC). The organisation’s Moto Master and Mastercraft drive 30-70% of sales in all banners. CTC has recently accelerated acquisitions and development of in-house brands with Woods, Helly Hansen, Paderno & Vermont Castings. This has enabled CTC to offer exclusive designs and act as Canada’s control brand, as well as offer these brands globally, spread overhead costs and reap incremental revenue.

Loblaws’ President’s Choice (PC). As the owner of Canada’s best known, trusted and much-loved control brand, PC, Loblaws has turned “value” products into a premium brand. The company has leveraged quality and innovation to understand where it can successfully stretch across food, finance, loyalty and household goods, among others. Loblaws’ powerful brands excite consumers, generate interest across various banners and are integral to the customer experience.

At Level5, we understand the important role that a control label plays in your branding strategy. Contact us to learn how we can help you deliver profitable growth by leveraging the power of your in-house brand.

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