Good, Better, Best – Value Brands or False Economy

In April, the British Retail Consortium reported the highest level of food inflation for five years. Coincidentally, but not directly correlated and rising in popularity, retailers’ own brands continue to go from strength-to-strength. 

Whilst popular opinion may be that this is due to consumer loyalty waning from the manufacturer and residing more comfortably with the retailer; another reason for this shift could be due to clever re-marketing of tertiary brands which affirms consistent quality specifications and pricing – empowering shoppers to feel savvier as a result. 

This branding plays to the strengths of the UK’s three-tier: Good, Better, Best product strategy. From price-orientated, to quality orientated, to those who stick safely to the middle-ground; retailers own-brands encompass a well-balanced mixture of not only price and quality; but also quaint familiarity to seal the deal. 

Take retailer Tesco for example. Back in 2018 ‘Everyday Value’ branded products were given a revamp. This meant the same products were re-marketed to the consumer under new names and packaging such as “Hearty Food Co.” and “Stockwell & Co.”  

Additionally, early in May 2019, Tesco stores were spotted stocking ‘Jack’s’ branded produce within their stores – A British discount supermarket chain owned by Tesco, and named after Tesco founder, Jack Cohen. 

Founded in 2018 by Tesco as a discount chain – the newly available Jack’s products include basics ranging from crisps and cereal to water and juice, all priced within a consistently low and limited £0.55 to £1.50 price bracket. Just one of Tesco’s attempts to tackle the rising threat posed by German retail-rivals: Aldi and Lidl. 

Retailers providing produce under their own ‘branding’ which the consumer knows and trusts, enables shoppers to assimilate their loyalty to the store, with the products they purchase. The customer therefore not only feels have received good value for their money; but have also been able to remove themselves from the stigma which is sometimes synonymous with purchasing the cheapest product option.  

Many brands it seems, are now adopting this approach of broadening their scope and appeal by re-shaping their tertiary brands. Ultimately it is these tertiary brands which appeal to savvy, brand-conscious shoppers while simultaneously easing any concerns with regards to quality. 

Other retailers have conducted a similar over-haul to rejuvenate the consumer perspective of their own-brand products; with Asda reviving their brand ‘Farm Stores’, and Sainsbury’s further investing in its ‘by Sainsbury’s’ brand. 

Sporting the competitive advantage of not only being a trusty alternative, but more-over being consistently low-cost – retailers are effectively offering the customer a pricing guarantee, whilst also pertaining to their customers’ expected quality standards.  

Ensuring the consumer gets what they pay for, the supermarkets of today enable retailers’ home brands an arena within which to fight fairly with brand names, as store brands become increasingly recognised as offering value for money. 

More-over, clever marketing used as an avenue to re-brand customer loyalty, in-turn paves the way for the quality of value-brands to be perceived as equivalent to those products which originate from manufacturers or national brands. Additionally, as a by-product, the store names themselves become recognised themselves as ‘brands’, which provides further catalyst to the loyalty with each stores’ own respective ‘brands’. 

Whilst neither the value has changed, nor the physical product themselves; more convenience, less compromise, seems to be the message which these tertiary brands are relaying, and it seems that this is righteously resounding between consumers far and wide. 

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