Frankly Speaking

August 11, 2011
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I’ve been fixating on two TV shows this summer that I don’t normally watch. I’ve latched onto them because I think they so embody the zeit geist of our Great Recession ravaged age.

One is Extreme Couponing on TLC. If you’re involved in food retailing and you haven’t watched this show, make time to. It features people who have taken couponing to the point where they’re routinely buying hundreds of dollars of groceries for pennies, literally. Everyone featured starts out with a variation of the same comment, “Friends think I’m a hoarder but I love my stockpile.”


TWO TV SHOWS CAN HELP WITH YOUR PL SALES
 
I’ve been fixating on two TV shows this summer that I don’t normally watch. I’ve latched onto them because I think they so embody the zeit geist of our Great Recession ravaged age.

One is Extreme Couponing on TLC. If you’re involved in food retailing and you haven’t watched this show, make time to. It features people who have taken couponing to the point where they’re routinely buying hundreds of dollars of groceries for pennies, literally. Everyone featured starts out with a variation of the same comment, “Friends think I’m a hoarder but I love my stockpile.” They all stockpile more food and non-food items than they could possibly use. Some do it for charity, giving away their purchases. But most do hoard food and other items; laundry detergent seems a particular favorite. These people clearly have been traumatized by financial hardships that range from losing jobs to major operations that drained their savings. In that respect, they are representative of the times. Many people feel finically traumatized today.

So, if you can position your private label offerings to help ease people’s financial ennui, you will come out a sales winner.

My second new show is Storage Wars on A&E. Here, people bid on abandoned storage lockers, hoping to find treasures left behind. Amazingly, they do find treasures that range from old slot machines to 19th century medical devices.

This show speaks to everyone’s hope of finding unexpected treasures. I think that urge has intensified and become more desperate for many people in these tough times.

The message for our readers is that if you can successfully position your private label products as special treasures, you’re shoppers will not only thank you but keep coming back for more. Do what you can to add the sense of unexpected treasures to your PL merchandising and promotional efforts.
Speaking of treasures, this issue brings you the winners of our annual Category Colonels Awards for outstanding PL industry suppliers. As we’ve done with so many other endeavors, we revamped, expanded and greatly improved the Colonels program this year, resulting in more ballots and a more legitimate gauge of retailer opinion of leading suppliers.

On another front, we’re also revamping our annual packaging awards; see the ad in this issue for details and email me directly for an entry form so you can be part of that excitement later this year.

Winners will be recognized at our booth and at a special event during the fall PLMA show here in the Chicago area. Patrick Rodmell, a PLBuyer guest columnist and CEO of Watt International, will be co-chairing a judging panel of noted product designers with me.

If you’re a contract manufacturer, we also have a new packaging awards program for you to enter sponsored by our sister publication, Contract Manufacturing & Packaging.  Our bringing you more treasures continues.
 

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