Products manufactured by one company but sold under the brand name of a retailer.

Private label, also known as private brand or store brand, refers to a good that is manufactured by a third-party company but sold under the brand name of a retailer [1, 2, 3]. In essence, the retailer acts as the brand owner for this product, even though they aren’t directly involved in its production.

Here’s a deeper dive into the reasons behind private label products, the benefits they offer to both retailers and consumers, and some of the considerations involved:

Why Do Retailers Use Private Labels?

  • Increased Profit Margins: Retailers can often negotiate lower production costs with private label manufacturers, allowing them to sell the product at a lower price than national brands while still maintaining a higher profit margin.
  • Greater Control over Branding and Quality: Private labels allow retailers to design the product packaging, choose the ingredients or features, and ensure quality control according to their standards.
  • Enhanced Brand Image and Customer Loyalty: Strong private label offerings can differentiate a retailer from competitors and encourage customer loyalty, as shoppers may associate the store brand with quality and value.
  • Filling Product Gaps: Retailers can use private labels to fill gaps in their product assortment or cater to specific customer preferences not met by national brands.

Benefits of Private Label Products for Consumers:

  • Competitive Prices: Private label products are often priced lower than national brands, offering consumers a more affordable option for similar quality items.
  • Quality and Value: Many private label products are comparable in quality to national brands, providing consumers with good value for their money.
  • Variety and Innovation: Retailers can develop private label products with unique features or cater to local preferences, offering consumers a wider variety of choices.

Considerations for Private Label Products:

  • Maintaining Quality: The success of a private label hinges on consistent quality. If the product falls short of expectations, it can damage the retailer’s brand image.
  • Cannibalization of National Brands: Strong private label sales can cannibalize sales of national brands carried by the same retailer, potentially affecting overall revenue.
  • Marketing and Customer Perception: Private label products may require additional marketing efforts to overcome consumer perceptions that they are inferior to national brands.

Examples of Private Label Products:

  • Supermarkets often offer private label options for a wide range of products, including groceries, beverages, household goods, and personal care items.
  • Drugstores may have private label equivalents for over-the-counter medications and health and beauty products.
  • Major department stores might carry private label clothing lines or homeware collections.