PL Strategies Need to Change as Consumers Change, Expert Advises

April 5, 2011
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A growing number of consumers are feeling optimistic and so returning to old shopping habits despite an economy that’s in slow-growth-at-best mode, says Susan Viamari, editor of SymphonyIRI’s Chicago-based research publication Times & Trends. That is translating into fewer shoppers buying private label offerings, according to results of a survey released by IRI last week.


“There is a pocket of consumers that [are] migrating back to preferred brands due to increased confidence in financial prospects. Still, more than one-third of consumers are actively seeking out private label options in an effort to save money,” says Viamari in explaining the survey’s findings.


 “Almost one-third of consumers expect that their financial prospects will be brightening in the coming year. These consumers are more likely to be loosening their grip on their purse strings. These shoppers are more likely to be switching back to their preferred brands in some categories, and they may be more open to trying new products,” she says.


IRI’s survey found eight percent fewer consumers are now seeking out private label products to save money than were a year ago.


To combat this shift in purchasing behavior, private label marketers must stay focused on developing their brands, she says. Their go-to-market strategies should be continually redefined in order to remain fully aligned with today’s rapidly changing consumer, says Viamari.

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