Retail Leverage – An Agency Executive’s Perspective

By Vincent Young The battle for power at retail often provides very black and white perspective to those on the brand side, or the retailer side.  Let’s face it – we both think the other needs us more than we need them – unless of course you are a challenger brand, in which case you […]

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All Hail the Kings of Retail Leverage – Monster Cable

The strategy is nothing short of genius – find a high-demand, high dollar consumer electronic product category and profit by selling the low-cost, high-margin accessories that complement the device and make it actually work.

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Forget Perfection – Just Worry About Good Enough

By Ben Smith So I thought I had  come up with this revelation, but apparently I’m not the only one.  The good news is that as you read this you’ll likely realize you’ve had the same thoughts too.  Type A personalities might want to stop reading now. We are in the age of “Good Enough”. […]

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Product Specification: A Shield in the Battle Against Private Label at Retail


As long as I can remember, only two brands of toothpaste have mattered – Crest and Colgate. I use Crest. Why do I use Crest, you ask? Because, as a very young child, our family dentist used Crest during my annual check-up and he then gave it a tacit recommendation that we should be using it too when he gave me a sample tube of Crest (along with floss and a new toothbrush). From that moment on, my Mother would look for the Crest brand of toothpaste for our family to use. When a brand is either directly or indirectly specified as “appropriate for optimal effectiveness” by an expert or by a complimentary good, then your brand’s ability to wield assortment, pricing, and promotional power at retail increase significantly. Sounds like a recipe for Retail Leverage (or inoculation against private label).

So how do you protect yourself?

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Understand Retailer Private Brand Strategy By Watching Football

I never pass up a good analogy to help myself understand a complicated story, and spice up a boring one. The growing use of private brands (or private label) by retailers has become the key story of this new era in retail marketing. There are so many different stories and perspectives floating around, I think what gets lost in the buzz is the underlying reason of why retailers have turned to private brands. So what does retailer’s private brand strategy have to do with the NFL?

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The Retail Leverage Principle of Physics – When Two Opposing Brands Are Better Than One

By Vincent Young Most categories at retail have room for a “good-better-best” stratification of category players. In today’s culture at retail, the retailer is predisposed to seek ownership of the “good” position by introducing an opening price-point category alternative under a private label or house brand. As a result, branded suppliers typically feel compelled to […]

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Warning! Brands at Retail – Your Product Development Process Is Harmful To Your Health

This is an excerpt; To read the full article, click the title.


Typical 5 Step/Gate Product Development Process:
1. Discovery/Scoping
2. Building the Business Case/Plan
3. Development
4. Testing & Validation
5. Product Launch

This process has one major flaw if you are a brand whose business case is primarily built on accessing the consumer through the world of retail – the retailer is predisposed to prefer a private label solution …

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Implications For Marketers From Walmart Sku Reductions



In order to effectively compete, challenger brands must learn to package innovative product offerings together with marketing programs designed to represent at least one of the following four forms of retailer financial growth:

1. Increase overall category demand
2. Increase the attach-rate of high-value complimentary items
3. Motivate a “trade-up” within the category
4. Help a given retailer win the war against another retailer

The most difficult thing for brands like Glad and Hefty is viewing themselves as challenger brands when their histories have been more reflective of the rare “power” brand.

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4 Trends That Are Huge Obstacles For Challenger Brands

4 Trends That Are Huge Obstacles For Challenger Brands:
1) Improper Training
2) Retail Industry Consolidation
3) Private Label
4) Fewer Advertising Funds

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