Creating private label brands to drive sustained growth
Wakefern is the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, with 350+ independently owned and operated retail supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market and Price Rite Marketplace banners.
But, despite its great success, Wakefern was not immune to the growing challenges food retailers across the country were facing. With the meteoric rise of digital commerce and the growth of deep discounters like Aldi, traditional grocery has faced disruption from all sides, losing market share to these new formats.
This disruption presented Wakefern with an opportunity to pursue a new, pivotal strategy for growth: the creation of private label brands. Ideally, these would offer high quality goods at lower prices, drive retailer choice, and increase profit margins. In order to deliver on these attributes, Wakefern partnered with Lippincott to create a private label brand portfolio strategy, along with the brands that would live within this portfolio.
To succeed, we had to answer several questions: who are the target audiences for these new brands, what role should the brands play in Wakefern’s portfolio, and how should these brands come to life?
Using a statistically driven approach, we developed multiple customer personas and corresponding demographic and psychographic profiles that would anchor the creation of Wakefern’s private label brands; as a result, we recommended a product endorsement strategy that would leverage the ShopRite name. And, armed with customer insights, we explored over 1,200 concepts to find the perfect names for the new private label products: Bowl & Basket and Paperbird.
Bowl & Basket refers to an abundance of quality and flavor, brought to life in a way that feels both wholesome and contemporary. Paperbird, a household products brand, was named to sound more premium and modern, to indicate high quality, precision, and elegance—not unlike the origami birds the name alludes to. For both brands, we also defined distinct brand commitments and design principles. To visually reinforce our strategy, we worked collaboratively with Wakefern’s packaging design agency, Pearlfisher, and its advertising agency Barkley.
In addition to this brand work, we also helped Wakefern develop a new innovation pipeline that identified rising consumer trends and crafted product definitions to help suppliers introduce destination products not available elsewhere.
The launch was an outstanding success, seeing year on year double digit growth in volumes and sales within the first six months.