A private label product is manufactured by a contract or third-party manufacturer and sold under a retailer’s brand name. As the retailer, you specify everything about the product – what goes in it, how it’s packaged, what the label looks like – and pay to have it produced and delivered to your store. This is in contrast to buying products from other companies with their brand names on them.
For example, Target sells a variety of branded snacks from companies like General Mills and Frito-Lay, but it also sell its own chips and crackers under the Archer Farms brand – Target’s private label brand.
Hair salons often create their own branded line of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products for their customers to buy and take home. Restaurants often decide to private label condiments or mixes that have become popular with customers. Maid services could private label a line of household cleaners and pet stores could private label a line of pet foods and grooming tools.
Almost every consumer product category has both branded and private label offerings, including:
While private label products are in the minority, comprising 15% of U.S. supermarket sales, according to the Harvard Business Review, some private label categories are seeing strong growth, according to a Nielsen Report.
Retailers interested in filling their shelves with products featuring their brand name have good reason. Some of the biggest advantages of private label products include:
The disadvantages of adding a private label line are few, as long as you have the financial resources to invest in developing such a product. The main disadvantages include:
Although private label products are typically sold at a lower price point than their name brand brethren, some private label brands are now being positioned as premium products, with the higher price tag to prove it.