Address the social media threat — and opportunity
With national brands making substantial investments in social media, digital coupons and other alternative marketing channels, product marketing has become a “new game” with “new rules.” One of the greatest drivers behind the new marketing game is the rising power of the millennial generation — a generation that communicates mostly digitally. And retailers who aren’t in the game or don’t understand the rules could find themselves in an uphill battle to achieve further private brand growth, suggested Jim Wisner, president of Libertyville, Ill.-based Wisner Marketing Group.
“The biggest threat to continued private brand growth will revolve around how successfully retailers and private brand manufacturers adapt to new technologies,” he told attendees at the Collaboration Summit, produced by Stagnito Media and Private Label ⇨ Store Brands.
But the biggest threat to store brand growth also represents the biggest opportunity for retailers and manufacturers, Wisner added during his Sept. 18 session, titled “Will Social Media Burst the Store Brand Bubble?” From including store brand items in the loyalty card-downloadable coupon mix to inviting feedback on selected own-brand items via social media, “opportunities are everywhere,” he stressed.
Wisner highlighted a number of impressive retailer digital and social media efforts — including Harris Teeter’s Taste & Tell store brand-themed promotion, Sobeys QR codes designed for seafood traceability and more. But many other retailers are slighting their private brands in digital and online initiatives.
Going forward, to make such initiatives work, retailers must dedicate staffing to them and realize that “not everyone will understand,” he said. And they cannot expect to achieve an immediate measurable return. But a wait-and-see attitude just won’t cut it.
“If you do nothing, I guarantee you will have share losses,” Wisner said.
He advises retailers to “watch, listen and learn” to what the national brands and other retailers are doing here. He also recommends that they collaborate with their store brand suppliers — who could help them craft the “stories” behind the private brand products — to build a plan together for this new marketing game. — K. Canning
View 2013 Summit Photos
Back to Summit Updates