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Private Label Lessons From the Recession

By: Lisa Doyle
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“We strategically align ourselves with our clients and take away headaches by doing all of the work for them,” says Lieber. “We are not just a filler or someone who formulates a product and puts it in a bottle. We devise selling strategies and help them build their brands.”

When a private label supplier can lend expertise in brand positioning, it can make a huge difference for the customer. Diamond Wipes International, with target customers that include regional and national drug and mass retailers, serves clientele looking for ways to create products that stand out among the competitors sold on their own shelves. “Increasingly, retailers are interested in value-added products that can be marketed with a unique point of differentiation for the loyal shoppers with premium pricing structure,” explains Tom Hill, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the California-based contract manufacturer of makeup removal and facial cleansing wet wipes. Retailers want to create products that go beyond evoking a comparison to national brands. “In this new landscape,” says Hill, “the private label supplier is taking on the role of an innovator, working closely with the retailer to develop unique selling points for the products.”

Martin concurs. “The team at Ei is a very experienced and senior group, so it often works with customers to assist them in product positioning, ingredient stories and claims, and finding the niche of a given ingredient panel so the customers can exploit their positions. We have partnered with some of the best names in skin care, and we take that responsibility very seriously. At Ei, we understand we are in the brand protection business above all else.”

Likewise, at New York state-based Lady Burd Cosmetics, providing custom-tailored service throughout the product’s life cycle has led to strong partnerships. “Most companies have order takers. We assign each account a personal sales representative that best understands its needs,” says Allan Burd, vice president of Lady Burd.

Your Name provides help beyond marketing, offering market research into its customers’ target consumers. “Our customers know that we have the intelligence to give them the hottest, latest trends in the color and skin care world,” explains Gallagher. “We monitor the fashion scene, give them a full report and translate it in our color launches so that everything we do is on trend and translates to the consumer. Every move we make is relevant—not only to our customers but to their customers. If they are reading about it in a magazine, we want to make sure we have a response to it that they can bring to their clientele.”