Own label products can be good for retailers by increasing profits and good for customers by reducing prices. But, retailers can pay a heavy price if they attempt to mislead shoppers.

Which? discovered that 20% of members in their recent survey have bought what they thought was a big brand product only to discover that it was a supermarkets own brand that looked similar. As a result 30% felt misled and 38% were annoyed. These shoppers have now lost trust in their retailers which will change how they shop and potentially who they shop with.
In todays world misleading customers is not an acceptable practice.  There are many  ways to promote own brand products so that customer can make a conscious choice between brand and own brand.  More clear choice without any product confusion is viewed positively by customers.

What to change

The problem for some own brands is that sales have began to flatten out. The solution is to make them stand out much stronger at the shelf edge and not be confused with any other product. This starts with product packing but it’s also the tickets and promotional materials  that customers see before they see the actual product. Customers need to see a strong reason to buy an own brand product on the shelf edge label that is not just the price. Some investment needs to be made but the value of not annoying customer plus the extra potential revenue can deliver a very strong ROI.
We’ve been talking to a number of retailers about how to introduce better price tickets with strong reasons to buy for selected areas of their stores. Importantly they also want reasons to buy that can be easily and quickly changed to see which messages work best.  In some cases these type of targeted ticketing solutions are being implemented within as little as a week.
Shopper have got used to retailers reacting positively and quickly to product issues and will increasingly expect retailers to react just as quickly to other issues that annoy them.  Confusion between brands and own brands could be one of those issues.