Publication: My Private Brand

Questions with the Vertex Judges: Rick Barrack

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January 8, 2015

In preparation for the judging of the annual Vertex Awards International Private Brand Design Competition I sat down with each of the judges and asked them five questions about Private Brands, package design and differentiation – their answers present a unique global perspective and depth of knowledge of the retail brand space.

The competition closes January 15th so ENTER TODAY.

Today’s conversation is with Rick Barrack, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner, CBX New York, United States

What was your first memory/experience of Private Brand? My mom serving me Kroger’s Frosted Flakes.

What does the future of retail owned brands look like? In the future, I predict that “retail owned brands” will be hardly distinguishable from national brands. We’re seeing more and more that retailers are treating their owned brands as importantly as their national brand counterparts. Take Walgreens – this summer they created a TV ad to promote the Ology brand. Does that sound like a national brand move or what?

How important is strategy to the success of a Private Brand? Strategy is incredibly important – at CBX we like to say that without strategy, design is just a bunch of pretty pictures. But arguably even more […]

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2014 Vertex Awards Judging Panel Announced

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December 11, 2014

“In naming this year’s Vertex Awards judging panel, we have expanded the international voice,” said Christopher Durham, founder of My Private Brand and Vice President of Private Brand, Theory House. “We have added judges from China, Canada and Japan to expand the global perspective of the judging panel.”

Durham, and competition co-sponsor, Phillip Russo, Publisher, Global Retail Brands, searched out design luminaries from eight countries and tasked them with holding entrants to a higher standard for private brand design. “Every year we strive to bring together the creative dream team of packaging design. Several of last year’s winners agreed to come back this year as judges.”

Click here to see the judges for this year’s competition.

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How Do You Measure Success?

May 20, 2014

By Todd Maute

Private label emerged when retailing was still relatively straightforward. Today, the proliferation is such that we are no can longer rationalize creating a new brand for countless categories. “I have 21 brands and I don’t know what half of them are,” an executive recently said to me. “If I don’t know what these brands mean, how are our shoppers going to?” Every private brand in a retailer’s portfolio needs to tell a compelling story. They also need to have a strategy that addresses consumer mindsets, as well as items that give shoppers a reason to return.

As consumer trends have diversified, product categories have expanded to the nth degree. Historically, with each new trend (organic, natural, gluten free, low fat, high protein, etc.) came a new private brand. And with time, this strategy resulted in extreme brand proliferation. Now that companies have upwards of 10 to 20 unique brands in their private brand portfolios, they should start to consider a new paradigm. Move away from product-led strategies and instead focus on brand-led strategies that deliver against business goals. Instead of creating a new brand for every product, consider developing a brand centered around a role, purpose or […]

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The Vertex Judges: Rick Barrack

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January 7, 2014

To start off the New Year and lead up to the judging of the first annual Vertex Awards International Private Brand Design Competition I sat down with each of the judges and asked them five questions about Private Brands, package design and differentiation – their answers present a unique global perspective and depth of knowledge of the retail brand space.

Today’s conversation is with Rick Barrack, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner, CBX of the U.S.

1. What do you look for in great Brand design? Breaking through the obvious. Design that communicates a clear and concise message with a point of difference. Something that differentiates in the marketplace and from the competition. Don’t just push product with basic product shots, benefit statements and a cheaper price. Look to make a paradigm shift in a category, celebrate your brand’s unique difference in the marketplace.

2.How can Design help retailers and their brands differentiate? Retailers all have some attributes that are unique to them — whether that be the way the arrange their goods, the way they make their goods, their service, etc. Design shows how to put those unique attributes on a pedestal — make those unique elements the hero […]

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Private Brand Could Supercharge Private Equity Returns

November 12, 2013

The key is a sharp focus that extends to often-ignored customer-facing side of the business, writes veteran CBX brand consultant in the October issue of M&A magazine.

Private equity’s disappointing investments in several specialty retailers have led some pundits to question whether retail “category killers” are simply a bad bet for Private Equity investors. But in a column published in the October issue of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine, branding agency CBX’s Todd Maute reframes the question to focus on whether investors pay enough attention to the customer-facing side of the retail business.

“When most private equity firms invest in retailers, they typically focus on ramping up efficiencies and reaping the benefits of scale,” Maute writes. “These backend changes hinge on taking a hard look at headcount, systems, real estate, warehouses, the supply chain—just about any process improvements that could make the company more profitable. But the customer does not usually see or feel these changes directly.”

In the piece “The Secret to Success in Retail”, the consultant points to the central importance of brand strength and customer loyalty in today’s marketplace. Retail acquisitions that build a sterling reputation for both, he notes, tend to yield a higher return.

To illustrate […]

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Private Brand as Media: Using Your Brands to Build Customer Loyalty

October 31, 2013

By Todd Maute

With upwards of 12 million viewers, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” certainly gives advertisers access to hordes of American consumers. But of course, it all depends on the target demographic you’re trying to reach. If the agency is peddling the likes of Ax Body Spray, the new “Assassin’s Creed” videogame or the Hollywood remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” then buying time on a show filled with brain-eating zombies is … well, a no-brainer. After all, “The Walking Dead” is a massive hit with the 18-to-49 rating. But of course, if you’re pitching products such as Celebrex or subscriptions to Readers Digest, you might want to steer clear of horrific gore fests and go with the kind of traditional sitcoms and dramas proffered by CBS.

Reach plus the target demographic. It’s advertising 101. And yet even as they spend vast sums on both traditional and digital media buys, many American retailers could reap powerful benefits by using private brands to deliver targeted messages right to their most valued customers. The key is to start thinking differently about the role of those private brands. Yes, these are products. But private brands also represents a medium of mass communication unto itself—with […]

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A Closer Look at Walgreens New Private Brand: Ology

November 6, 2012

Late last week (Nov. 1) I ran the story, “Walgreens Launches New Private Brand & New Magazine” which was a first look at the retailers new Private Brand Ology and their new advertorial magazine “Happy And Healthy, Your Guide To Living Well With Walgreens.” That Friday they released the following press release officially announcing the new brand which was created by the NYC based branding agency CBX. If it looks familiar many of the major news outlets (Reuters) picked it up either completely or in part.

DEERFIELD, Ill., November 05, 2012 – Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) announces the launch of “Ology” the first nationally accessible and affordable brand formulated to be free of harmful chemicals. Exclusive to Walgreens family of companies, the Ology brand features a line of baby and personal care products, as well as household cleaners and is the solution to the growing consumer demand for products free of harmful formulations.

Furthermore, several consumer groups helped drive support for the U.S. Senate’s recently approved chemical reporting bill – “The Safe Chemicals Act.” If passed, it will be the first overhaul of the federal chemical law since 1976 and consumers are taking note. The new bill would require […]

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Walgreens Launches New Private Brand & New Magazine

November 1, 2012

Deerfield, Illinois based drugstore Walgreens announced the launch of Happy And Healthy, Your Guide To Living Well With Walgreens, which debuts on Sunday, November 4. The magazine will be issued bi-annually, and the première edition is holiday-themed and includes entertaining and gift ideas, as well as Taylor Swift on the cover. The high-quality, glossy, 28-page magazine will be available in English and Spanish. In NYC the magazine replaces the popular Duane Reader, but I have to say it lacks the personality, relevance and sense of humor of the Duane Reader. The magazine delivers content, such as healthy living tips, relevant offers and Balance Rewards loyalty program promotions to its readers. It also provides a unique way to highlight Walgreens private brands. This issue includes a two-page spread on their newest Private Brand “Ology” the brand was created by the NYC based branding agency CBX. The new line of healthy household products combines the best of green, organic and natural with a modern text based visual language that rethinks the cliched traditional category focused language of green. “We are thrilled to bring Happy and Healthy magazine to our customers, and we look forward to providing them with relevant information and articles […]

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“Stand Behind Your Brands, Market Them With Confidence”

October 11, 2012

Well-executed branding strategies for Private Brands can help convenience stores set themselves apart, bolster shopper loyalty, improve price perception and, ultimately, boost their bottom lines. And yet the industry still has a long way to go when it comes to taking full advantage of private label’s powerful potential, said Todd Maute, a partner in the global branding firm CBX, during a panel discussion at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual expo and convention.

The NACS Show, held October 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, highlights products and services for the convenience and fuel retailing industry and is one of the top 50 trade shows in the United States, according to the Trade Show News Network.

“Private label is a hot commodity and is in the news a lot these days,” Maute told the audience during “Private Label Profit Puzzle,” a panel discussion featuring c-store and branding experts which included Maute and three retailers. “But much of its recent growth has been driven by the sluggish economy and is the result of consumers ‘trading down’ in search of better price values.”

During the panel discussion, Maute underscored the need for the industry to adopt a new attitude about […]

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Duane Reade & Good & Delish Invade Wall Street

July 6, 2011

On Wednesday, the New York-based Walgreens-owned ubiquitous drugstore Duane Reade opened its new flagship store bring the brand vision “New York Living Made Easy” to life in a vibrant neighborhood that is establishing its upscale identity. The roughly 22,000-square-foot store is the largest Duane Reade ever built. The store, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is located in close proximity to the New York Stock Exchange and features the first introduction of their parent companies brand into a store “Powered by Walgreens Pharmacy Network”; an expanded beauty department centering on the award-winning Duane Reade LOOK Boutique; a unique fresh food, beverage and snack department; sushi bar, a shoe shine area, the largest Duane Reade/HP digital photo center and daily fresh flowers for sale. As well as an in-store salon will offer blowouts for $35 to $45 and manicures for $10; “Find Your Look,” a computer that takes your photo, lets you scan in makeup items, then retouches your photo to show how you would look in those products; a juice bar where employees whip up made-to-order $4.99 smoothies and a Coca-Cola machine that dispenses 130 drinks at the touch of a computer screen.

And […]

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