Are Private Brands on the Edge of Breakthrough?

I have always been viscerally anti-status quo so change and innovation are of particular importance to me.  And there is no doubt there’s a lot of change when it comes to the increasing importance of private brands in the lives of consumers triggered by the “Black Swan” economic shift of the last few years.

With his usual dose of alacrity, Paco Underhill, notable author of Why We Buy and What Women Want and CEO of Envirosell, launched the Private Brand Movement conference sponsored by IIR USA. Laying out some key principles of packaging and selling in the 21st century (e.g., consider purchase frequency, emotional attachment, facilitate the sale, consider context, functionality first – pretty second), it became clear there is a significant change taking place in shopping requiring a marriage of consumer research and packaging design that hasn’t been seen before.

And then Mark Andeer, VP Brand Strategy at OfficeMax showed how they have created and designed a private brand (check out these fashionable file folders), reached millions of consumers (are you one of the more than 400 million that have visited ElfYourself?) and grown their private brand business in a down economy.  Not an insignificant accomplishment.

So, are Private Brands poised for a breakthrough with consumers?  With the innovation we’ve seen so far, many people here would likely say ‘yes’.  Hmmm… I wonder.  I’m looking forward to hearing more.