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PLB360 Conference Recap

After a quick trip from Newark to Chicago, I arrived at the Intercontinental O’Hare on June 11 for the PLB360 Conference.

Todd Hale from Nielsen set off the conference that Tuesday, after which attendees adjourned to a networking welcome reception.

The most noteworthy benefit of the conference to me was the ability to forge new relationships and hold memorable conversations that lasted longer than the fast-paced small talk of the trade shows I’m used to attending. There was time to reflect on the industry in a casual environment without the blur of the multitude of meetings that monopolize trade show days.

Of course, I also picked up some important insights along the way. Here are a few of them from the sessions I attended…

From Jim Wisner, President of Wisner Marketing Group, Inc./Digital 65: Today is about brand building in the digital world. National brand Kraft spends over seven figures just to find out what people say about them on social media. A total of 91 percent of moms use social media regularly. The biggest threat to continued private brand growth will revolve around how successfully retailers and private brand manufacturers understand and adapt digital marketing strategies.

As PLB reported last month in the July Exclusives Consumer Survey, people are moving away from printed coupons. Now is the time for private brands to jump into mobile coupons and marketing. 

From Moe Alkemade, VP of retail brands at Walgreens:

Walgreens had more than 100 brands in 2009. Now it has 20, thanks to brand architecture, which has proven successful for the drugstore retailer.

“It’s like fence building,” Alkemade noted.

On the flip side of that, we learned from Christopher Durham, My Private Brand, and Perry Seelert that Walmart currently offers 50-plus private brands, including an electronics brand, ONN, craft brand, Way to Celebrate, and travel and camping brand, Ozark Trail.

From Joe Cook, director of advanced analytics and business integration, Daymon Worldwide:

You are 63 percent more likely to indulge in an item on a quick shopping trip then a planning shopping trip, which explains why I always buy more than I intend to during my fill-in trips at small format stores.

From Jim Lucas, EVP, Global Insights & Strategy, Schawk, Inc.:

Switzerland’s Migros has launched Migipedia, a website created to optimize product ranges, essentially a giant test lab. Meanwhile, Aldi is the first retailer in Germany to pro-actively offer traceability information on smartphones for fresh meat, showcasing how smart phones and QR codes provide retailers the opportunity to provide product and sourcing info.

 We welcome feedback for next year, so whether you attended the PLB 360 Conference or couldn’t make it, shoot us an email about what you’d like to see next time. 

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