With the ability to meet the needs of even more customers and provide some free self-advertising in the process, the private labeling of cleaning products can be the right idea at the right time for jan/san distributors. And that right time could be now if the economy continues to dive, says Banks.

“I do believe that in a recession you’ll see quite a bit of play on non-proprietary products,” he says, citing multi-fold towels and two-ply toilet paper tissue as items that could successfully be private labeled in a time of economic turmoil.

Banks’ reasoning for suspecting that non-proprietary products could be a strong sell during a recession is that, by his estimates, customers spend around 40 to 50 percent of their budget on cleaning products. So in a time where customers are even more budget conscious than usual, purchasing the more affordable private label offering might be a help.

Even if America doesn't go into a recession, Banks thinks distributors could very well end up looking more into private labeling in their local markets. The reason he believes a possible growth in private labeling would occur locally, and not nationally, is that distributors who serve customers all across the nation want to be able to provide them all with equal service.

“[With] customers on the other side of the country, typically the distributor would promote the brand so the quality and price would be consistent,” says Banks.

Not all of the current events taking place right now are conducive to launching a successful private label product. The supply chain is a mess, so finding the right partner is very important. If a jan/san distributor were to launch a private label product with the wrong manufacturer, they could be made vulnerable.

In Josephs’ opinion, it’s imperative that jan/san distributors find a manufacturer who is willing to build a great give-and-take relationship. The manufacturer really needs to want to be in a partnership.

When searching for the right manufacturer to partner with, Josephs suggests jan/san distributors seek out very specific traits.

“You want to find a manufacturer that’s brutally honest, transparent and great in communication,” he says.

In addition to finding the right time to launch a line of private label cleaning products and a partner to make it happen, distributors also need to be sure that there’s an actual need for the products. Experts say there are some instances in which jan/san distributors should fight off the urge to private label, even if it’s a good product.

Schneringer recommends passing on an item that can’t be sold in great quantities or simply doesn’t make sense from an economic standpoint.

“There are a lot of products that solve common issues and products that solve issues that aren’t common,” says Schneringer.

Distributors need only go with the former.

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Customers Should Associate Brand With Good Products