Private Label

Private labels have significantly advanced in recent years against established national brands. Private labels used to be considered basic or cheaper options compared to known brands, however, consumer behaviour has shifted when it comes to private labels. A recent study in European countries by Nielsen has shown that Private Labels shares have increased their market share to an all-time high.

Although this is a significant increase compared to earlier years, there is still room for improvement, as only 23% of consumers have reported complete trust in the safety of private label brands. Private brands have a few different options to boost consumer confidence in their brand, and their label plays a significant role in achieving this.

There are some tips, and best practices brands can use to position their value to consumers better. Here are the top 3 considerations every brand should take when designing their label:

Promoting Honesty

Transparency is one of the most effective strategies you can use to appeal to consumers. Misleading, false or missing information can almost instantly convert a potential long-term consumer to a consumer who does not trust your brand. A consumer who does not believe in your brand is not just a lost sale, but also a megaphone for other potential clients who are considering your brand. Consumers trust other consumer reviews more than they do companies. In fact, almost 55% of shoppers have reported that online reviews served as a heavy influence as to whether or not they would purchase a product. Reviews do not have to work against you, and they can actually work for you when they are positive. Reviews assist in closing the gap between potential consumers and your product by adding a layer of confidence from another while also helping your product rank in search engines.

For a bold example of honesty, we can learn from the McDonald’s Canadian marketing campaign, which launched ‘Our Food. Your question.’ The campaign’s mission was to honestly answer consumer questions about their products and eliminate any rumours and myths that have circulated over previous years. Anyone could ask a question, and the answers were given in plain and simple English.

Focus On Safety

Depending on your product, adding safety measures may be necessary. Consumers are becoming more conscious about the products they consume and assurance of excellent hygiene and care used during packaging and delivery. Companies such as Nestle take advantage of labelling by stating how their product should be prepared, used and stored, along with allergy warnings. Details about safety should not be dismissed. Consumers look to labels for proof of quality standards and hygiene from packaging to sale.

Encouraging Knowledge

Educating your consumers also helps to build trust with your product and brand. This can be used as an addition to the main label, which can be part of your product experience. Educating the end user or consumer helps reinforce confidence to help you reduce questions and complaints, all while growing loyalty to your brand. Loyalty is built by having customers fully understand what your product is capable of, the problem you are solving and both the limitations and features. A study from has confirmed that educating customers does increase loyalty and can separate you from your competitors. Depending on your product, this may be an excellent strategy for your product experience and to differentiate your brand and products.

Whole Foods serves as a great example of educating clients and differentiating themselves from other grocery stores. Although they use a combination of in-store posters and online blogs for recipes, they have figured out a strategy that works well for their brand.

There’s no reason why labels need to stay within the ‘norm’ and avoid breaking out from what clients are used to. Private labels have the flexibility to be able to explore new variations of labels and rearrange hierarchy of information to curate client trust while standing out from their competition. What private labels need to focus on capturing is mindshare: staying top of mind with their consumers while building trust. Many products like hair care, lotion, and makeup to name a few, have looked to innovating their label to encourage long-term loyalty, and it’s working.

This is where high-quality graphics and label quality can also make a difference. However, that’s just the first step in the process. After you have caught the attention of a consumer, the information you present on the label is still able to make or break a customer’s decision to purchase.