House Brands and You; Is there relationship potential?
Coming of our annual RX Continuing Education Retreat, I am feeling more inspired to write many more blog posts on the stuff we really do well at London Drugs with respect to areas that I manage.
When I look at the areas that I play in which include OTC and Vitamins, Sexual Health, Baby, Femine Hygeine and Health, and Food, there are so many cool things to talk about. We realy do offer a wide array of products and services that are relatively unique.
Now, I say play, because, really and truly, when I am buying, hunting and/or stategizing within my areas of responsibility; by myself or with my collegues; or whether that it’s within the parameters of product or service offerings, the whole process is a game. All you are trying to do is find the way to win. And winning in our game, is obviously to make money, as we are a for profit entity; but winning is also ensuring that our customers can get something from us that makes their day, or life, just better. The measurement for “better” is really up to you. For some it’s a few extra bucks in their jeans rather than ours, or it could be a product or service that makes them healthier, or perhaps, something that just makes’em smile.
I am not going to reveal any trade secrets or talk out of school; but there are many things that I can talk about that will make the readers of this blog more confident and hopefully happier to shop our stores.
One thing that I feel very good about, is within the area of House Brands; the London Drugs branded product. In my little world of LD, these could be labelled as “London Drugs”, “London Natural’s”, “London Orchards”, or “London Plantation”. These are some of the different names that could be on items in my areas of concern.
Any of these names, and I mean any; should instill complete consumer confidence within our shoppers. I would, I actually do, stand behind and infront of any of these names.
I get asked by many friends and families about the process.
Common misconception is that all House Brands are just basically cheap reproductions of the better National Brand products. Many times they don’t even make it as reproductions; they are just cheap and inferior alternatives to the National Brand!
I would have to agree that I have had that experience with many House Brands in other banners (with the exception of President’s Choice and Kirkland Brand items which have been very good, and sometimes, even better than the national alternatives). I have never understood why a retailer would do that.
When we go through the process in my categories, our mandate is to be at bare minimum brand equivalent, and what we really want to strive for is better than brand! Now that can mean that we try and “out package” and/or “out ingredient” and/or “out value” the brand. Does not matter which and in most cases it is a combo of all three. We want our health House Brands to be 100% trusted by our families and consumers, and we will go to any lengths to achieve that. We also want them to look good, we want them to look “not cheap”.
Your House Brand is a clear window into your retail soul as it were. How you treat your brand is pretty much how you are going to treat your National Brands and will give me and clear indication as to how you will treat me, your customer. You put your name on inferior product and sell it to me, I am not a happy camper and I place no trust in anything else you do in your store, whether that be House Brands or National Brands!
Price is the main driver and consideration for most retailers when getting quotes for their House Brands. Price is important, but should not be the key driver. Value is key. Value is the relationship between price and quality. I would always want to focus more on quality, and much less on price. Pay a bit more to get a bit more!
The process of picking the product, and picking the vendor partner, is long and arduous. You really have to take your time and think about what you are trying to achieve, which is being involved in the picking of a product that your consumer will buy with blind trust, faith as it were. They are putting their health, and their families health into your hands and trusting in your abilities to make sure that the products that they use are safe and efficacious. Think about it, quite a scary spot to be in! That’s why we take our time and really try and find what is best for our consumers, their families, and our families.
Like i told you, no trade secrets, but I hope that I have given you some extra confidence in purchasing LD House Brands. Trusting that we are doing our part in making sure that if it has the London Drugs logo on it, you can fell good about buying it.
Hope that helped.
Ciao for now @kootenayborn