Brands, be yourself!

Date of publication: April 19, 2005

Company: Procter & Gamble

Author: Driss Farissi


This paper demonstrates that branding matters. While this seems to state the obvious, in the context of low involvement categories that are retailer brands strongholds this might be quite provocative. In some low involvement categories, retailer brands volume share is not far from reaching 80% in some European countries. Still data show that for premium brands what really matters is their capacity to offer distinctive yet relevant consumer benefits. Evidence for branding power, even in low involvement categories, could be found in research run independently with consumers and shoppers. This paper calls for a shift of focus from blaming categories for being low involvement to blaming our own limitations in terms of capacity to create strong brands, recognizing the category low involvement difficulty. Brands that would be tempted to mimic retailer brands can only push down the involvement level of their categories degrading category value and ultimately allowing historical price players to win even more easily. Leaving the low involvement categories to retailer brands can easily backfire. This will fuel their capacity to enter later on categories that have higher level of involvement.

Driss Farissi


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