Industry News / News / Private Label vs. National Brands / Tactics
Doug's Drift

Strategic Investments in Private Label

May 29, 2014
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You’ve likely already noticed that we’ve been busy here at PLBuyer—as I’m sure you’ve also been busy, since the private label industry continues to mature and folks across the board are continually sharpening their private label tactical approaches. Retail branding and private label needs are changing, so a refinement of the PLBuyer editorial mission and content strategy was necessary. At the core of this strategy are four PLBuyer content pillars, which clearly emerged as a result of a deep dive into the dynamics of private label retailing today:


• Ongoing, data-based insight and analysis
       for the most-important categories in
       private label

• Identification of opportunities and
       tactical approaches to grow category

• Shopper insights pointing toward future
       category directions


• How private label factors into ongoing
       cross-channel competition in retail today

• Fine-tuning private label’s opportunities
       based on channel specifics

• Insight into the significant potential
       omnichannel retailing presents to private


• Regional and local approaches to private
       label management and execution

• Cross-category insights across the entire

• How “big data” plays into the future of
       identifying opportunities for private

Private Label vs. National Brands

• Opportunities for new category
       penetration and to grow share

• Understanding key developments by
       national brands

• Strategies for private label and national
       brands to work together and learn from
       each other

Look at the face of private label today. Brand development has hit an all-time high, and more retail organizations are bringing in fresh talent from the national brand CPG side of the fence—folks who understand brand development and management. We’re also seeing a migration of executives from national chain foodservice into retail companies as that aspect of the business more fully develops. Today’s retail private label initiatives are more dynamic, and the teams in the game reflect that fact.

All of these changes—which will continue to manifest themselves throughout retail organizations for years to come—mean there are a lot more people working in private label today. To that end, we launched a drive to connect with these new faces in private label—and get PLBuyer in front of them. We’ve increased our print circulation by 9,000 over the past couple of months, a 30 percent increase, now giving PLBuyer a circulation of 32,000. This type of growth is monumental—but it’s just the start.

We began to incrementally implement many of these changes over the last several months, but with the print redesign unveiled in this issue, you will now begin to see content icons representing each of our four pillars—Categories, Channels, Decisions and Private Label vs. National Brands—throughout PLBuyer magazine to provide a quick indication of the scope of any given article. We’ve also updated the navigation of our online home,, to center on the tenets of these pillars.

Speaking of website navigation, the entire PLBuyer website has undergone an overhaul to make your online experience smoother, more logical and highly targeted in terms of finding what you need right away. All key retail grocery food and non-food private label categories are represented. Just want to dig into one specific category? Simply hover over Categories in the drop-down menu, and choose your information destination. The same goes for Channels and other top navigation items. The website also features a renewed focus on the original research PLBuyer brings to the industry via our Top 35 Private Label Retailers, Retailer of the Year, Category Colonel Awards and PLBuyer Index initiatives.

Logic and simplicity is the driving force here, and the same navigation used within is also used for our new Category Colonel Awards (see p. 14 for a list of the winners)—and it’s the backbone of our brand-new sourcing database, the PLBuyer Marketplace, which you can find at

Navigation in the Marketplace to specific categories of interest is clear-cut and rapid, the design highly intuitive and sharp. Category navigation is front-and-center on the site, and the listings are in-depth and comprehensive. This is the type of database and sourcing tool that can easily build and diversify your business.

The level of streamlined logic now in place across all PLBuyer platforms makes valuable information sourcing a snap—and will reveal new research synergies moving forward.

Leaving no stone unturned, we’ve also refreshed the design and execution of the weekly PLBuyer eReport—a design that’s streamlined for interaction on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. We also have a mobile app in the works, featuring an original, customized design. Watch for that to launch later this year.

 Collectively, these initiatives translate into investment—an investment into the future of your business and the private label industry as a whole. Our industry will continue to evolve, and PLBuyer will continue right along with it, helping you better meet—and exceed—your business needs.  

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Private Label Buyer.

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