Though the pandemic has brought store brands roughly 75 million new shoppers, national brands are once again investing in promotions and the gains private brands made has all but disappeared, according to new insights from Catalina.
“The pandemic created a decade’s worth of trial in a few weeks,” said Wes Bean, senior vice president of Catalina’s U.S. retail network. “As the predicted recession sets in, retailer 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.”
Catalina’s insights suggest that there is particular opportunity among families with young children, bakers and breakfast makers, and natural and organic seekers, with the last group offering the biggest opportunity. The firm’s research has found that “strong” and “very strong” natural and organic seekers have been attracted to private brands for the first time. Additionally, there are opportunities around baby needs, with baby clothes and accessories seeing huge growth among existing and new private brand shoppers.
“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."
The shopper intelligence company noted that there are five ways retailers can focus on their private brands to keep their new consumers coming back, particularly among value shoppers in an uncertain economy: Thinking strategically about marketing, building 1-to-1 conversations along the shopping journey, reminding new buyers of relevant private brand products throughout a portfolio, setting specific growth goals for private brands, and knowing the underlying household preferences and behaviors driving potential buyers’ interest and repeat participation. The firm also highlighted how making their private brands into lifestyle brands can make a big difference in terms of consumer interest.
The complete report can be found on Catalina's website.