Friday, April 12, 2013

Can you tell the difference?

Apparently one in five Which? members have bought an own-label product thinking they were picking up the branded product. Is this something you have done? The investigation could certainly lead manufacturer brands to consider if the own-brand products are "passing off", undermining their reputation. The retailers questioned about this claim that they are selling products in the same colour as the main brands as it helps customers with recognition, making shopping easier as they can find the products they want. But if people then purchase a product by mistake has it really helped them? 

It is an interesting area for brand marketers, and the marketers within the retailers. A few years ago I went to a talk by the then Marketing Director of one of the major UK supermarkets, he essentially said that his job was to undermine the marketing efforts of the major brands to get people buying their own-brand products instead. Effectively this means that the retailers are in competition with their major suppliers of course. 

It seems the brands need to do a better job of ensuring customers can recognise the genuine products and buy them if that is what they want, but I do hope they don't go down any legal route to protect themselves as that can be negative for their reputation. Any thoughts?

The original story can be seen here