Private label and copycat brands and other brand murderer’s.

by | Jul 2, 2018 | Branding with impact

Private label and copycat brands and other brand murderer’s are taking all the cues that brands have invested millions of dollars in over the years. They are upping the ante and creating products and packaging designs that the “brand agnostic” consumer is buying in droves. Whilst supermarkets have been running with private label products for many years, now they are now taking on the big brands.(See Coles Doubling Down Strategy and Coles wants to lift private label penetration to 40%.)

Product successes and failures

The big super market chains own fast paced product sourcing and product pack design turn-arounds means Home Brand’s Private label and copycat brands are easily able to constantly refresh and rapidly change themselves to gain shelf attention. Its easy for them to make snap decisions based on based on what’s working and what’s not. These large private labels are able to access and utilise their own shelf sales data to quickly determine category gaps and product successes and failures.

Private label and copycat brands have resources, you don’t!

Today’s major Home Brands and Copy cat brands have the resources and flexibility to easily and quickly experiment and thereby rapidly change their packs based on their shelf sales results. They can opt in and out of markets, categories and design trends in a heartbeat. They can easily drop products from their portfolios and pick up others with a ruthlessness that brands simply just don’t have the luxury and flexibility of doing.

This means it’s become an imperative for established brands to push their brands and their packs forward a whole lot quicker, if they want to compete. To get ahead and stay ahead of the Private label and copycat brands, existing Brands need to ride three to five years ahead of the pack, keeping all of their competitors in tow…including the Home Brands.

How to tackle Private label and copycat brands ?

How to tackle the increasing threat of Private label and Copycat brands is one of the biggest questions facing a Brand Marketer today. Because along with having to deal with the issue, today’s Brand marketers are having to juggle multiple internal pressure balls as well as their ailing brands.

These pressures include:

  • Management of internal politics, ever changing expectations, pressure from global investors and moving goal posts.
  • Increased staff churn.
  • Increased power and influence of Procurement across their domains.
  • Corporate culture instability.
  • New brooms wanting to sweep clean syndrome” with the NEW BROOM looking to put their own stamp on the brand.
  • Slashed budgets.
  • Less innovation
  • Less inclination for risk – Hence less innovation  and product speculation
  • “Do more with less” syndrome.
  • Let’s not forget the endless meeting’s which eat up so much time.

All of these create brand pressure and instability. The end result is often a costly, reactive response to both the market and internal forces.

Working with a clear map and clear road signs.

To remain successful and sustainable in the face increased Private label and copycat brands competition, brands will need to operate under a clearly laid out four to five year evolutionary strategic growth plan.

A four to five year evolutionary strategic growth plan will enable brands to not only stay ahead of their competition and also retain their consumers. They’ll do this by by taking them on the journey…

  • A journey that keeps them one step ahead of all the competition.
  • A journey that keeps the brand relevant.
  • A journey that attracts and acquires new consumers continuously.
  • A journey which allows them to flex with market trends and regulatory changes.
  • A journey of consistent revenue growth

By working closely to a clearly defined plan with clearly defined journey path road markers indicating “it’s time to change”, brands will no longer have to endure through the pain and high costs that come from being reactive.

Avoiding risk, pain and cost of being reactive.

So…what’s the difference between those brands that undergo a refresh triggered by a predetermined Evolutionary Strategic Brand Plan road marker, versus the way that so many brands are currently provoked to refresh today?

Without a predetermined, evolutionary strategic brand plan, a brand is subject to the ebbs and flows and whims of the market.

Along with the ZERO OPTION conditions which force brands to change, there are an additional 10 market questions that the answers to which determine whether a pack change would be worthwhile.  A brand operating under an Evolutionary Strategic Plan will use the ten indicators below as roadside markers to determine IF the next stage of the strategy needs to be enacted.  

The fine balance when challenging Private label and copycat brands

Keeping your brand fresh and relevant and enticing new consumers, without confusing, alienating or losing existing customers is always a fine balance. 

HENCE…The evolutionary strategy needs to take the consumer on the refresh journey. This will allow them to still stay connected to the brand whilst being disruptive enough to attract and appeal to a host of new consumers.

NOTE: It’s important to keep in mind that, typically, when a package design changes, consumers’ will tend to wonder if the product inside may also have changed at the same time. Refreshing/redesigning your brand or pack design requires a high degree of experience, knowledge and skill to be executed effectively.

Whilst these signs are relevant, the unplanned brand marketer will tend to use these “changes” as the “excuse” to justify modification, because there is no evolutionary brand strategic plan.

Innovation – Change or be changed!

Innovation is everything. When you’re on the forefront, you can see what the next innovation needs to be.  When you’re behind, you have to spend your energy catching up.

Robert Noyce (Founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel Corporation)

The risk of simply following the conditions listed above is that you are no longer in control of the destiny of the brand… rather change will come at the behest of market conditions. You’ll end up chasing your competitors and incurring all the high costs associated with that, as opposed to leading from the front.

A brand or pack refresh sparked by a predetermined, Evolutionary Strategic Brand Plan road marker is proactive whilst a traditional refresh is most often only being reactive to current market conditions. A predetermined plan allows for both changing market conditions and trends as well as those occasions when brands are forced to make new labelling changes.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CREATING AN Evolutionary Strategic Brand Plan – Contact us here at Jam&Co by CLICKING HERE