Everyone wants a deal when shopping, particularly when shopping for basic products that are consumed frequently. That’s a good time to look at private label brands offered by different retailers. Unlike the big branded product (which are usually priced at a premium to consumers) store brands are sold only by that retailer and are priced lower. Private brands have a lower advertising costs; the advertising costs are minimum as the product is associated with the stronger brand name of the retailer.
Walmart, Target, Costco, Amazon, and other retailers all have popular store brands, sold exclusively by the retailer and at a lower price than national brands. One of Amazon’s big advantages though is its own data about how, and for what, its customers shop.
Amazon started into private label brands in 2009 with a number of products sold under the “AmazonBasics” brand. The company has steadily been expanded its offerings and has had good success. Case in point: The AmazonBasics battery line, priced nearly 30% lower than national big brands, now accounts for close to one-third of Amazon’s online battery sales.
Amazon has expanded its efforts and now has roughly 100 private label brands. As another incentive to shop the Amazon labels, certain of the products can only be purchased by Prime members.
A few Amazon brand examples:
- Spotted Zebra – kids clothing
- Good Brief – men’s underwear
- Wag – dog food
- Rivet – home furnishings
- Lark & Ro – dresses
- Goodthreads – clothing
Go ahead – do a generic product search and see what shows up. See if you prefer private brands.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the importance of branding in marketing, and the expense of branding.
- Discuss the advantages of private, store brands.
- Poll students: How many store brands can they name?
- Have students open laptops and phones. Go to Amazon.com and type “batteries.”
- What are the results? (Note sponsored content and advertising.)
- How should the private brands be marketed?
Source: Creswell, J. (23 June, 2018). How Amazon steers shoppers to its own products. New York Times.