This is the first part of a four-part article on private branding.

Once regarded as substandard, private label products have undergone an image overhaul. They now have a much more positive reputation: as budget-friendly alternatives to big-name brands, they don’t sacrifice quality and they foster repeat business.

“I believe perception has changed,” says Mike Holland, sales manager for Brame Specialty Company, Durham, North Carolina. “Years ago, customers felt [private label products] had inferior ingredients and were of lesser quality. But the recession drove companies to be budget-conscious, and now there’s an acceptance of big-box retailers and their private offerings. That’s carried over to the commercial market, and customers don’t have the negative perception they once had.”

As a result, more distributors are developing a private label, or even an entire private brand, to create exclusivity and give their businesses an edge in an oversaturated marketplace.

”Distributors are looking for differentiation,” says Holland. “By building a brand that’s exclusive to your distributorship, you get away from that race to the bottom of the national brands that have become commoditized.”

That advantage is even more pronounced when a distributor moves from selling only a few private label products to creating an entire private brand with products in various categories.

“If you can create the private brand and the bundle that goes with it,” says Holland, “you can create some separation and distinction between you and the competition.”

next page of this article:
Start By Selling Just A Few Private Label Products