Publication: Store Brands Decisions

CBX Wins Multiple Honors In Top Package Design Competitions

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May 5, 2016

Firm cited in from Graphic Design USA’s American Package Design Awards 2016 and Vertex Awards competitions.

CBX, the brand agency and retail design consultancy, was honored for its work on behalf of a variety of clients in Graphic Design USA’s 2016 American Package Design Awards and The Vertex Awards, a global competition devoted exclusively to the art of private brand package design.

The American Package Design Awards, a national design competition conducted by the editors of Graphic Design USA, recognized CBX for its work on behalf of Proctor & Gamble’s The Art of Shaving Lexington Razor in the Beauty and Personal Care category, and for the redesign of TOMY’s The First Years line of infant and child products in the Babies & Children category.

In the Vertex program, CBX was recognized in the Redesigned Brand Category with Silver and Bronze awards, respectively, for its work on BJ’s Wholesale Club’s Berkley Jensen line of laundry detergents and fabric softeners, and BJ’s Wellsley Farms grocery items. The Vertex Awards were created by Christopher Durham, the founder of My Private Brand and the vice president of retail brands at Theory House, and Phil Russo, the publisher of Global Retail Brands. Entries are […]

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Name That Brand

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April 20, 2016

Retailers that approach the private brand naming process thoughtfully will be better able to build consumer trust and loyalty.

A badly chosen brand name can kill a product or product line. 7-Up soda, for example, likely would not have survived had it retained its original mouthful of a name: Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. And the fast failures of Colgate Kitchen entrees and Bic underwear prove that a brand name that works successfully in one segment doesn’t necessarily extend well to another.

But sometimes the reasons for brand name failure are not so obvious. Retail private brand teams, therefore, need to understand how to fine-tune the brand-naming process so they can build brands that truly connect with their shoppers.

Study your shoppers As store brands evolve, brand name is becoming more important to overall program success.

“We now need to communicate about brand and value,” explains Rachel Bernard, vice president, verbal strategy for New York-based CBX. “Consumers aren’t looking to buy private label products anymore; they’re buying into private label as a brand and as a concept.”

And the brand-naming process begins with consumer insights. Retailers need to gain an understanding of how consumers (particularly their own shoppers) view both their […]

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Freshen up product imagery

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March 18, 2016

Well-executed on-pack product imagery could make a positive difference in private brand sales.

When it comes to packaging design, product imagery is often the first thing consumers look at when comparing products. For decades, national brands have been leveraging sophisticated on-pack imagery to entice consumers to purchase. Retailers, though, were much slower to adopt such practices on store brand packaging. However, in recent years, there has been a significant trend among retailers to not only match, but also outdo national brands when it comes to on-pack imagery. Why?

Because retailers have come to better understand what the national brands have known for a long time. “Consumers eat with their eyes,” says Charley Orwig, vice president marketing services, Sailpointe Creative, Arlington Heights, Ill.

Beautiful images stimulate the appetite and consumers’ interest in the product, agrees Jim Kohlhardt, president, Digital Color Inc., Waukesha, Wis. Plus, the use of strong images on product packaging increases the likelihood that a consumer will try the product for the first time.

“Images are the doorway to our emotions, and the majority of purchase decisions are made emotionally,” says Jean-Pierre Lacroix, president of Toronto-based Shikatani Lacroix Design.

But imagery doesn’t just sell the product; it also communicates the brand’s personality, says Liz Reese, creative director, Kaleidoscope, Chicago. Imagery can tell a story and create a meaningful consumer experience that leads to brand loyalty.

This is especially […]

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It Takes Two to Innovate

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February 2, 2016

Retailers and suppliers that develop true innovation-focused private brand partnerships could reap numerous rewards.

Much has been said in recent years about the need for true retailer-supplier partnerships for the store brand market to realize true innovation. Still, such partnerships remain the exception instead of the norm.

Noting that advantages often are “measured in very small increments” within the store brand industry Steve Fay executive vice president with Berner Food & Beverage, Dakota, Ill, believes that retailers are hesitant to bring suppliers into their internal processes for competitive reasons.

“I believe there is also the thought that too much involvement with a supplier may break down their ultimate negotiating position for price and support,” he says. “In other words, and probably accurately so, retailers view suppliers as adversaries. So the question is how to bridge two parties that on other levels are adversarial to a point of collaboration.”

Other obstacles

That adversarial view isn’t the only stumbling block. The traditional procurement mindset many retailer own-brand decision-makers still have also is an obstacle to collaboration, notes Todd Maute, a partner with New York-based branding agency CBX. And a couple of external factors come into play here as well.

“The economy is […]

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Get Ready to Wow Them

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October 1, 2015

When it comes to premium own-brand packaging, retailers should leverage current trends to create a unique consumer experience.

Whether they feature high-end ingredients, a one-of-a-kind recipe or an exotic country of origin, premium foods and beverages are perceived as being a step above common grocery fare. But if the specialness of the packaging falls short of the specialness of the product, the premium message won’t get through to consumers.

One way retailers could communicate the specialness of premium own-brand products via packaging is by tying into some current premium packaging trends.

“We see premium as more of a mindset than anything: Consumers reconcile the cost implications with a perceived value for that spend,” says Chris Ertel, managing director for Kaleidoscope, a brand consultancy with offices in Chicago and New York. “Because of this, we see several high-level trends that influence consumer choice for premium: ceremony, story and authenticity.”

Within the ceremony trend, Ertel points to trends in structural design that are driven by “the rise of ‘unboxing’ and packaging as badge value.” For instance, the Boxed Water brand was able to create a high badge value by communicating its “entire proposition” via its structure and brand name.

“Consumers will pay […]

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Pining for Purity

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September 22, 2015

Reassure consumers with a package design that conveys trustworthiness, craftsmanship, joie de vivre and simple goodness.

Whatever food, beverage, over-the-counter (OTC) remedy or health and beauty care (HBC) product is in that box, bottle, can, pouch or jar, it’s going into or onto a consumer’s body. So that consumer needs to know that everything’s going to be OK with that product.

Industry experts agree, therefore: It’s important to be authentic, upfront and direct with your package design. Evoke purity and innocence. Convey vibrancy and joy. Build trust in your own brand.

Companies are embracing a more welcoming, friendly appearance on packaging to connect with consumers on a more personal level, says Deborah Ginsburg, founder and CEO of Oakton, Va.-based Strategia Design. Handmade artisanal looks with stripped-down styles, shapes, patterns and easy-to-read fonts bolster this image, Ginsburg declares.

The market-driving, influential millennial generation of young adults is drawn in by authenticity and innocence. They want products that are good to them and good to their earth.

“Everyone wants to believe in something,” observes Jennifer Gaeto, creative director of Equator Design, Chicago.

Eco-friendliness is considered the norm to members of this generation, who seek genuine value from the things they purchase, Gaeto […]

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Reconsider packaging design

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July 30, 2015

Get results through a more nuanced approach to cost containment

Day in and day out, managing costs is part and parcel of the retail business. For retail chains, this means always being on the lookout to do things such as ramp up backend efficiencies or trim the bottom 10 percent of underperforming stores in the portfolio. Call it “cost-consciousness.” It’s a strategic imperative that retailers must maintain if they want to survive in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

The same holds true when retailers develop their private label packaging; the question is: Does this need to be core to a private label’s DNA?

Most retailers make a practice of asking manufacturers to keep the component costs of store brand product lines under tight control. Those costs certainly include the package. After all, every component of the package and its design — the box, the ink, the artwork, you name it — comes at a cost, right?

True enough, but being competitive in today’s retail market is also about building and leveraging private brands in ways that differentiate retailers and cement customer loyalty. In that context, building your brand is clearly about much more than containing costs.

In fact, going to […]

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Engage them

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August 27, 2014

While they’re loyal to their favorite brands, millennials reserve the right to cheat on them, says Nancy Brown, managing partner at New York-based CBX. Early adopters who constantly look for “the next new thing,” millennials want to be the first of their friends to try the latest, greatest product — and are willing to switch brands to do so.

Millennials also are savvy shoppers who love a good value, says Jennifer Gaeto, creative director for Chicago-based Equator Design. And being used to having unlimited choices among brands, they have no problem turning to high-quality and unique store brand products, which already have a large following among this group.

But retailers need to do more than develop high-quality, unique products for these shoppers. They also need to focus on designing packaging that speaks to and engages with millennials to help build a solid relationship with this consumer group.

Be unique, interactive

Previously, packaging’s only purpose (beyond product protection) was to help a product stand out on the shelf, Brown says. But today, millennials want more than just attractive packaging — they also want packaging that engages them. An engaging package persuades them to learn more about the brand.

According to Gaeto, […]

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Duane Reade Expands UpMarket Offerings With Fro-Yo

January 31, 2012

Walgreens continues efforts to innovate its retail stores with the latest addition of Fro-Yo frozen yogurt bars at Duane Reade in New York.

The renovated Duane Reade located at Broadway and 52nd Street reopened this week with the chain’s first self-serve frozen yogurt bar. UpMarket Fro-Yo is part of Duane Reade’s plan to become a total health, beauty and daily living destination, according to Duane Reade president, Joe Magnacca.

The UpMarket brand debuted last year at Duane Reade’s 40 Wall Street location with a sushi bar and juice bar. The addition of frozen yogurt is a continuation of the chain’s strategy to develop neighborhood-centric niche offerings and part of parent company Walgreen’s efforts to reinvent the drugstore experience.

Walgreen’s opened a flagship store in Chicago in January featuring UpMarket offerings including the Fro-Yo self serve frozen yogurt bar. Other store features include a juice bar and fountain for made-to-order smoothies and milkshakes, fresh hand-rolled sushi and sashimi prepared daily, and hundreds of fresh food items including produce and on-the-go meal options such as wraps, sandwiches and salads.

The store also features a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine capable of dispensing 130 varieties of Coca-Cola fountain drinks, a selection of more than […]

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How to Develop a Private Label Expression Aligned with Retail Brand Strategy

August 6, 2011

By Todd Maute:

A private label brand portfolio can be one of a retailer’s most powerful marketing tools, helping to keep its merchandise mix fresh and relevant in a rapidly changing marketplace. When the brand portfolio is properly aligned with the store experience and other marketing messages, it also helps foster a clear brand positioning in the minds of consumers. By creating private label as a marketing tool rather than just a price alternative, retailers gain the opportunity to tell a complete brand story while simultaneously boosting customer loyalty.

Successfully achieving this objective requires a retailer to understand who its customers are and when, why and how they shop. They need to study the market and the competition intimately and to develop a strategy that targets key customers while at the same time drawing in new ones. Retailers that can execute flawlessly will be in a good position to leverage private label as a tool to build their desired brand image.

Perhaps no retailer in recent memory has executed on a private label brand strategy as successfully as Duane Reade, the venerable New York City drug store chain that was subsequently acquired by Walgreen Co.

Duane Reade launched an extensive […]

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