With the evolution of own brands as destination brands in recent years, consumers are increasingly noticing and responding positively with their feet. James Butcher (pictured), CEO of retail grocery technology specialist, Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB), explains why a strong supplier-retailer relationship can improve customer experience.

The recent consumer-driven expansion of own brand ranges has raised the importance of a strong supplier-retailer relationship and highlighted significant areas where greater strategic collaboration could be achieved. The evidence suggests that retailers with distinctive own brands that meet changing consumer needs can thrive, and the need for differentiation has meant that the relationship between retailers and own brand suppliers is now about far more than acquisition of products.

Central to success is great collaboration between suppliers and retailers. Tools such as S4RB’s Affinity™ allow own brand teams and own brand suppliers to work as ‘one team’ and collaborate around ‘one view’ of product performance.

The key to a joined up approach to own brand products is effective communication, transparency and support. For suppliers, it is essential that they know what is expected and why; how their performance is measuring up against KPIs; and how their activity can be improved.

Suppliers with an increased knowledge and understanding of a brand’s goals will be far better placed to respond to changes and enquiries and, fundamentally, will be able to demonstrate a stronger commitment to the brand.

Suppliers achieve more, on time and right first time. So own brand suppliers are more efficient. And internal own brand teams are also therefore more efficient, and therefore whether it be launching new products or driving change such as packaging reduction, plastic reduction, nutritional improvements or anything else; all more successful; driving successful own brand products that customers love and which support the overall brand success.


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