March 12, 2018

How To Make Your Private Label Brand Premium

Packaging is an important part of any successful marketing campaign. Brands need to be presented in a way that’s attention-grabbing and resonates with their target audience, especially when they are private brands. While we’ve seen an increase of private brands entering the market over the past decade, including a surge of store brand products in markets outside of grocery retail, many private brands still struggle to shake that brand-x image.

Private Brands Need to Stand Out

Private brands have a unique challenge that their premium counterparts don’t have to worry about – they need to find a way to be more than just the cheaper alternative. And one of the biggest mistakes that a lot of private brands make is cutting corners on their packaging. When is the last time that you looked at a store brand item and thought to yourself, “I really like the simplicity of this label over their competitor’s catchy design”?

The truth is that private brands do have a history of uninspiring designs, but that’s changing. In fact, we’re now in a market that’s very receptacle to private brands like:

– Amazon-Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value.

– Kroger’s Simple Truth, which just reached $1.4 billion in sales.

– Brandless, an entire brand based on private-brand merchandise.

If you take a look at each of these private brands, you’ll notice that they all share one similar feature: premium packaging. Even Brandless, which takes a minimalist approach to packaging and design, incorporates an aesthetic color and font combination that’s easy to recognize across products.

Be More Recognizable

Premium products have the privilege of using their names to attract attention. Private brands don’t usually have that luxury, which is why companies need to spend more time developing a packaging style that’s synonymous with their brand family.

If you look at the three brands mentioned above, you can see that all of their products are packaged in a certain way that makes them identifiable. For 365 Everyday Value and Simple Truth, it’s the white background and zoomed-in picture of their product, whereas Brandless follows the same minimalist presentation mentioned above. Named brands have gone through the effort of making these design aspects resonate with luxury and “premium x,” and these private brands are taking advantage of that.

What each of these brands has been able to do is create a packaging that’s customers can easily identify. Whether you’re at Kroger shopping for peanut butter or cereal, you’ll be able to instantly recognize the Simple Truth brand from its competitors – and that’s important for increasing sales with your private brand.

The good news is attitudes surrounding private brands tend to be changing, so now is the perfect time to revisit your brand’s design and give your private products a premium look.


by Kevin Smith
Managing partner at SmashBrand. We're a group of experienced brand owners, thinkers and world-class designers united by an obsession for creating category disrupting brand experiences.

Purposefully selective, we work with brands that want to stand out and also stand for something.

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