The strategy is to experiment and try. When choosing generic products, customers should try to eliminate their prejudices and give the non-branded item a fair shake
“Branded manufacturers often do not produce a true match to their own brand, while private label manufacturers work hard to match national brand quality where applicable,” quoted Bert Edwards, who according to Consumer Affairs, has been in the private label industry for nearly 30 years. At this juncture, consumers might ask, “What is a private label brand?”
A private label brand is a generic product having the manufacturer’s own label. For instance, in your local mom & pop store, you might see an atta or dhal branded with its own label. Therefore, it is nothing but a generic knock up, with better packaging and quality assurance. This is different from the national brand like Aashirvaad Atta that is found almost on all stores. Whereas private labels are found only on stores that market their own labels.
Earlier, generic products used to be all about the cost and not quality. The idea was to sell it at the lowest cost possible, wherein the same product bought one day would be good and terrible the next day. This is much like the vegetable market, where you will need to inspect each and every piece of the product, which maybe good or bad. “For years many retailers simply offered ‘generic’ products—they often looked for the lowest price, and quality did not really factor in,” says Edwards in the Consumer Affairs piece.
However, this soon began to change as consumers grew health conscious and started focussing on quality rather than just the product. This prompted generic manufacturers to step up the plate and produce good quality items. The branding on their part is the marketing effort to be able to sell the generic brand.
So should consumers go for national branded items, private labels or stick to plain generics? The strategy that Consumer Affairs advises is to shop around the same way you shop around for national brands—experiment and try. They advise that consumers should also remember to use the same shopping logic when looking for private labels as when looking for national brands.
Sometimes the ambiance can be an indicator of the product in store. “In addition, shoppers should use the overall appearance and level of quality in other store areas to give a better indication on the quality of its private label items,” says Consumer Affairs. In other words, if the products are not looking good and are spoilt, then it is an indication that other products will also be bad.
Sometimes, even places like the vegetable market, where non-branded items are found, can be good. Edwards says, “When choosing a private label item, customers should try to eliminate their prejudices and give the non-branded item a fair shake. “
The piece concludes with Edwards stating, “The bottomline is, with the quality of private label products available at many retailers, you should be buying private label products because it saves you money on products you like, not because you are settling on those products to save money.”
(Courtesy: ConsumerAffairs.com/ Daryl Nelson)