As Annie Zipfel, vice president of owned brands and packaging for Target stated at the Shopper Insights Conference in July: “Target does not carry private label – or generic alternative brands – to which shoppers have no emotional connection.” In order for store brands to establish an emotional connection with shoppers, retailers must take a focused approach to building their brand’s point of difference, not their position as a national brand’s foil.
The Evolution of Lifestyle Brands
Shoppers have morphed into heavily networked and constantly connected individuals seeking to build their own personal equity in a sea of real-time updates, notifications, shares, and likes triggering an evolution in the way purchase decisions are made. The 2012 POPAI study shows that the in-store decision rate is at an all-time high and shoppers are less loyal to replenishing a set list of products. Seeking curated experiences and personalization, the end goal is no longer to be seen as ‘in,’ but rather to be seen as interesting – fundamentally changing the way brands are assessed and shopping baskets are built.
This hyper-connection is leading to a shift from big brands to lifestyle brands, regardless of what company manufactures them. The result? An opportunity for store brands to step out from behind the shadow of national brands and deliver a differentiated position with an emotional trigger. A true lifestyle brand goes beyond a product and helps define for the consumer who they are and how they want to be perceived. It is more about community than price and promotion, and is inherently true to its core reason for being. To create a loyal following, the brand’s equity has to be polarizing so individuals can gravitate toward a badge that makes a statement about their identity.
Successful lifestyle brands are grounded in actionable shopper and consumer insights that can be leveraged to create a behavioral change in target shoppers and fundamentally revolutionize consumption behavior. While retailers have intimate knowledge of their shoppers, there is not always a clear process for synthesizing data, understanding what information is valuable, and translating shopper behavior into prosperous action. For inspiration on building lifestyle brands that form a strong connection with target shoppers, let’s review three examples of insights-driven innovators.
To read more of this article including ‘What Shoppers Do, Not What They Say’, visit storebrandsdecisions.com