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The Future Of Branded Goods

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By Author: Colleen Davis
Total Articles: 100
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The rise of multiple retailers and the growth of own-labels may suggest an unhealthy future for manufacturer's brands. When you are competing against own-labels for shelf space, it must seem like you're playing a game where your opponent is also the rule-maker and referee. However, there is still a good possibility that this will not be the case. A small minority of retailers are totally own-label, and this will continue. The majority will look to manufacturer's brands for profitable growth. The enormous reserves of market knowledge and product skills possessed by the manufacturer will continue to benefit the consumer and the retailer.

What brand strategies will be successful? There is probably no simple formula to guarantee the success of a brand. No two products are alike, and the reasons for success or failure are not always consistent. One or more of the following features, however, are usually present when a product is a winner:

International brands. The strength of the international brands comes from the marketplace as a proven success. It is much easier to persuade the retailer to support a product if there ...
... is hard evidence that it is going to succeed. International marketing can greatly extend the product life-cycle and can reduce the reliance on any one market, making it much easier to cope with the retail conditions which currently prevail.

High-tech brands. Superior product performance is the most enduring strength of all. It takes a good deal of wise investment to sustain a technological advantage and this tends to limit the brand portfolio. For instance, your folders, especially those custom folders are booming in the market because of quality and durability that is possible with the use of high technology folder printing. You should take into consideration a high-tech brand name then that will further lift the popularity of your product.

But if you have built a quality into your brand which cannot be copied, then you are unique. Unless the customer buys your brand, they do not get the benefit. The reason why own-label penetration is low in the confectionery, pet food and coffee markets is because there are brands present with product qualities the a retailer will find difficult to match.

Low cost brands as a result of manufacturing efficiency. These are brands that consistently deliver quality at a price which others struggle to meet. Secondary brands cannot compete because they do not have the volume and it is difficult, for the same reason, for own brands to get a foothold. Their price stability can also give the customer a strong impression of value for money.

Marketing and distribution skills. These are not really inherent in this brand, but possessed by the organization. The asset is people; marketing professionals who know their market-place, know the retail trade and know how to set the marketing mix.

High growth markets. Why pull against the tide when you can run with it with far less effort? Even in the worst economic conditions there are always growth markets. While it is true there is a high level of product failure, a properly managed brand in a growth market has a future.

Lifestyle markets. These are products which respond to subtle shifts in consumer behaviour and which are in tune with consumer's aspirations. In the food sector today, five lifestyle markets enjoying real growth are Health, Freshness, Natural, Quality/Premium, and Convenience.

Truly, the future for branding is more exciting and challenging than ever before.

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