Consumers have historically preferred familiar CPG brands over “store brand” products. But in 2020, panic buying and pantry stocking caused many popular CPG brand products to disappear from store shelves and online. So shoppers turned to private label products for their lower prices.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly 40% of US consumers tried new products or brands, and nearly 20% bought more private label products, according to a McKinsey consumer survey. This has given retailers a chance to retain customers who switched during the pandemic, gain new ones, and build loyalty.
If you truly want to grow your private label brands, you must embrace empathetic marketing. This is especially true when creating a digital presence that fosters relationships and generates revenue. With the rise of ecommerce, you can no longer rely solely on shelf placement and pricing to drive private label sales.
Insights into Empathetic Marketing
Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share another’s feelings. Empathy is a critical marketing investment, especially for private label brands developing their first brand strategy and content plan.
Empathetic marketing is essential when you rely on product listing pages content, accessibility, and visibility rather than store interactions. But first, private label brands should lay some foundational groundwork.
Define your target audience. According to McKinsey, many private label brands exist to support retailer pricing strategies, not to serve a specific audience or consumer segment. Many private label brands lack a clear focus on who they serve and why their products are required. A clear target audience definition provides a north star for future decisions about online content, product listing pages, and optimizing for visibility and findability among target audience members.
Create audience personas to further define the target audience. This allows you to put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes and understand their needs. That means more valuable content for audiences and prospects, based on an understanding of their wants and needs.
Analyze their questions about a product or category, as well as the problems they’re trying to solve. Content should answer these questions and show how a brand or product can help. Those questions can be quickly identified by using Google’s “People Also Ask” feature on SERPS or keyword research tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs.
Content Creation and Marketing
You can create content that builds deep, genuine relationships between your customers and your private label brand once you have a solid understanding of their needs and challenges.
When creating online content for product listings and your webstore, you should focus on writing from the perspective of the customer and responding to their daily concerns. If they are a family with a large budget, content should highlight cost savings and any promotions or discounts. It is also critical to organize content according to the consumer’s information needs, avoiding distraction and backtracking. Instead of using product jargon, use words they use when searching for and discussing your product.
To comply with Google’s E-A-T guidelines and be considered a high-quality page, content should also demonstrate expertise, be authoritative, and trustworthy. While E-A-T isn’t a ranking factor, it’s important to improve your website’s perceived trustworthiness. It can help improve SEO as well as user experience, giving audiences more confidence in your brand and website.
We will have to wait and see if consumers will stick with private label brands or return to pre-pandemic product loyalty. Any private label brand seeking to shed its “store brand” reputation and image must invest in compassionate marketing.