Over the course of the last decade, the quality of private label products has continually improved. With it, so has private label's reputation among shoppers, who now more often than not view private label lines as viable brands rather than commodities.
Why then do grocers still merchandise private label like a commodity?
"Take a walk through your average chain, and you'll see lots of signage and displays for the big name brands. But other than the actual product on the shelf, you'll rarely find a retailer who has devoted a lot of time, money, or creativity to marketing and merchandising their private label," IGA CEO John Ross says. "National retailers like Publix or H-E-B are the exception. They promote their brand throughout the whole store as if it's a national name brand, and it has paid off. It just makes sense. When you have a great product, why wouldn't you put the effort into making sure people know it?"
It was that very philosophy–telling the story of a great product with a rich history–that has inspired IGA Exclusive Brand's recent revitalization. And it couldn't have come at a better time.
With private label sales rising between 70-80 percent this spring, 42 million new shoppers buying private brands in March and April, and at least 31 percent of new private label shoppers purchasing the same label in subsequent visits, private label is having a moment, and IGA is looking to help its retailers cash in.
From a national recipe sweepstakes with influencer backing to insights on private label merchandising, IGA has an elaborate, months-long label rollout plan to bring awareness to your IGA Exclusive Brand products and celebrate the label's fresh new look–but it's the evergreen visual merchandising kit that will continue doing the work for you long after the rollout fanfare is gone.
Read on to learn more about the insights that went into creating the new IGA Exclusive Brand visual merchandising kit, how it will help you increase sales in your store, and how to get yours!
More than just a pretty face
While the nearly 100-year-old IGA Exclusive Brand line has been growing along with the rest of the industry, Ross believes the brand's legacy gives it unlimited potential–with the right marketing and merchandising plan in place.
“When we compared our private label line against other brands, the data confirmed that our quality, taste, and value are all outstanding," he says. "We just needed to help the brand get noticed, and that's what this redesign is all about."
And that's where the IGA Exclusive Brand visual merchandising kit comes into play.
"It's all about letting people know what makes this brand so special. Any brand can say their private label line looks great, tastes great, and is a great value, but very few brands have the legacy of trust that comes from 100 years of serving families all across the U.S.," Ross says. "The story is there, but just like our Local Equals Fresh brand positioning, shoppers won't know it if we don't tell them about it."
To help IGA retailers tell the unique story of the IGA Exclusive Brand product line, large, inspirational window signs highlight the brand's legacy, the attributes centered around trust, value, quality, and the line’s double-your-money-back guarantee. Supplemental aisle blades draw attention to key categories in the store. The IGA product is the focal point on each of the signs, showcasing their modern new look, and many signs contain QR codes that shoppers can scan to be directed to dynamic content on their phones, like the latest Exclusive Brand recipes, facts, and weekly offers.
Window Signs & Hanging Signs
Hanging Signs & Stanchion Signs
Aisle Mini Blades
The core kit is available to retailers for the base price of $395, while supplemental category signs will be available for purchase as products in those categories hit the shelves in stores.
So the signs look great, but how much can a sign kit really do to influence sales? The answer might surprise you.
"Back when we launched the Local Equals Fresh sign kit, we were blown away by the sales impact it had on fresh-cut meat and locally sourced produce," says IGA Senior Brand Manager Joel Widmer, referencing the ten percent average increase in sales seen by IGA retailers who outfitted their stores with the Local Equals Fresh merchandising kit.
"The tactic for Local Equals Fresh was simple:tellshoppers about the local and fresh things independent grocers do every day through signage. We've found that this information was exactly what shoppers were looking for," Widmer says. "In the same way, we expect the Exclusive Brand sign kit to boost IGA brand product sales."
Using the positive Local Equals Fresh signage sales metrics as a key indicator, Widmer says it's reasonable to expect the double digit increases in many Exclusive Brand categories. "We designed the kit to keep costs low, so the signage will quickly pay for itself."
Moreover, this is just the first step of many that will help IGA retailers use merchandising insights to increase sales in stores.
"Just like IGA's Red Oval partners provide insights into the categories their national brands cover, we have an obligation to our retailers to give them all the information they need to get the most out of their IGA Exclusive Brand line," IGA Exclusive Brand Director Robin Groscurth says.
To gather those insights, IGA is working with Geissler's IGA to optimize their IGA Exclusive Brand selection and merchandising, and will publish the results in an IGA Exclusive Brand playbook due out later this fall.
"We know the IGA Exclusive Brand line has the potential to be one of the industry's most successful product lines at any price," Groscurth says. "Seeing is believing, and we're so excited to show, rather than tell, retailers about the best practices that will really accelerate their sales."
Have questions about IGA Exclusive Brand products or the rollout campaign? Contact IGA’s Robin Groscurth at RGroscurth@igainc.com.