Private brands have an urgent opportunity to keep some of the 75 million new shoppers they gained during the pandemic. But that window is closing quickly as national brands begin investing their promotional dollars again.

Wes Bean

While 30 million shoppers made repeat purchases, trends from Catalina’s Buyer Intelligence Database show that overall private brand sales share gains have disappeared.

Wes Bean, senior vice president of Catalina’s U.S. retail network previewed his upcoming Velocity Global presentation Understanding Shopper Motivations in a Sea of Change. “The pandemic created a decade’s worth of trial in a few weeks. As the predicted recession sets in, private brands need to start behaving like national brands, leaning into marketing across channels to promote the value of these products and the innovative portfolios they’ve developed. One-off campaigns won’t win the day.”

Specific types of shoppers with whom private brand has had big wins during the pandemic include:

  • Families with young children
  • Bakers and breakfast makers
  • Natural and organic seekers

Yet even these shoppers are gravitating back to some manufacturer-branded products, like flour and pancake mixes. The biggest opportunity lies with the natural and organic seekers who are changing their overall buying patterns. The data shows many “strong” and “very strong” seekers have been attracted to private brands for the first time.

“New shopping habits and tighter wallets require closer integration with an investment in marketing communication to drive loyalty with these new private brand shoppers,” Bean said. “This isn’t a case of pulling out the 2008 Recession playbook and hitting repeat.”

Bean recommends five ways retailers can invest in their private brands before to maintain sales share, they gained:

  1. Think strategically about how marketing can improve their business across the store, not just with one-off campaigns for this month’s new product.
  2. Start building effective 1:1 personalized conversations along the shopping journey. Do not rely solely on promotions and unnecessary discounts when data analytics can identify those willing to pay full price for the value private brands represent.
  3. Remind new buyers of relevant private brand products throughout a given brand portfolio. Now, price, variety, cost, and differentiation can better stand up to buyer demand with value that addresses their unique needs. All that hard work has already been done.
  4. Set specific growth goals for each private brand that goes beyond just sales and sales share. Consider metrics like sales per trip and trips per household. Align marketing efforts to these specific goals.

Join Wes At Velocity Global Virtual Conference August 4-5

Velocity Global: the My Private Brand VIRTUAL Conference is a 2-day curated virtual event focused exclusively on retailer-owned brands. Our goal is to bring together the brightest minds in private brand from around the world to give talks that provoke conversations that matter. Our exciting virtual platform will present unmatched opportunities for networking and business development.

August 4-5, 2020, on-demand to all registrants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next 365 days.

TICKETS: Standard $495 USD, Retailer $95 USD