Benchmarking Makes a Brand

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Benchmarking Makes a Brand

The last time you purchased an item from a retail store, what did you think about?  Did you ask yourself, how will this product perform? Or, why did the retailer decide to sell this particular product?  Did you consider the fact that it may or may not be the BEST product for you?

No matter what the item is, some of these thoughts pass through a consumer’s head every time they make a purchasing decision.  As online shopping and the growth of technology continues, consumers are becoming more and more educated, which influences their purchasing decisions.  Answering questions like these is now essential to establishing brand identity and loyalty, driving success for many brands and failures for others.

But what does all of this mean?  How can retailers and brands adapt to give the educated consumer what they want?

The answer comes in one simple but vital process: benchmarking.  Creating brand loyalty is the most important factor for establishing and continuing a brand, whether it’s for a national or private label.  In the world of private brand labels, this point is even more important.  Private brands account for nearly 25% of all retail units sold and their sales are increasing, by almost 3% in the past year.  The growth of private brand is not going away.  What does this mean?  Private brand benchmarking is becoming a mandatory tool in the retailer’s tool box.  In fact, the growth of private brand has increased so much that many consumers are not even aware that certain products fall under private branding!

What is benchmarking?

Rethink How You’re Buying

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Best Product…Satisfaction Guaranteed…Best Value on the Market.

What do these and similarly appealing titles mean?  Whether you represent a consumer, a buyer, or a vendor, these terms regularly appear regarding an item’s performance.  But how are these statements made?  Who is the authority giving validity to these claims?

Believe it or not, there is rarely a consistent methodology behind these claims.  One manufacturer tells you one thing, followed by a competitor that tells you something else. While most products must pass safety and regulatory guidelines in order to be on the shelf, these levels are minimum standards.  Barriers to entry.  They have little bearing on the TRUE performance of a product.

Ok.  Then who do you believe when determining which product to buy?  Which product is the best performer, the best value, the best for YOUR shelf space or for YOUR home?

That’s where this blog can help.  Positioning itself as the leader in Product Intelligence Consulting for over 3 years, 4th Strand helps determine true product performance that cuts through the marketing bias.  This blog will bring you tips to use and things to avoid when making purchasing decisions.

Here is an example: when buying something as personal as toilet paper, what are you looking for?  Softness?  Durability?  Whiteness?  If that is the case, what do you do at the store?  Do you consider which product satisfies your needs at the best price?  Or do you just buy the brand you have always used?

The next time you see an impressive label or are faced with differing facts, rethink what you read.  True product performance is defined by your customer experience, not by what you read on a label..