We have been asking ourselves the difference between a private / store / retailer brand and a standard everyday brand [not that any brand would allow themselves to be described in such a way].
Best Buy's Rick Rommel
gave us an exceptional, historical view of their private brand stories and clearly articulated their challenges and successes with four store owned brands. Their brands have all the same attributes you would associate with a brand [customer service, package, technical support, returns, product testing, brand name, etc.]. It was even asked, how many customers of Best Buy see their brands as owned by Best Buy?
REI and Sears gave us the details behind their store brands and the important role of design, testing and delivering on a promise. In both cases it would appear we have brands first that are labeled as retailer / store / private brands because of who owns the asset.
None of this gets to a difference. So, we ask again, what is the difference between a store brand and any other brand? Who owns the asset?
Here's one theory we'd like to discuss.
Store brands are different because they often have to be designed to cross a variety of unrelated categories. This built in need originates with a requirement to achieve a certain efficiency and rate of return for the owner. This behavior for brands isn't new though, many brands in Japan stretch across a variety of unrelated categories [Sony, Honda, etc].
This theory obviously isn't bullet proof, so we'd like to hear other views.
Is it as simple as who owns the brand asset? Is it a matter of limited budgets? Is it that a store brand has to cross diverse categories? Or is it just that we have distinguished them because of the intense relationship between manufacturers and retailers. By labeling them in such a way, they can be given less emphasis, less budget, less design and less attention?
Answer the question, what is the difference? Store brand vs manufacturers brand.