Begin the fightback against the supermarket own-brand

UK brands have a real battle on their hands to retain market share as recent research suggests that consumers will favour premium own-brand goods over branded goods after the recession (Threat of own brands continues as economy recovers, Marketingweek.co.uk, 24 August).

Indeed, recent research from GfK NOP commissioned by Valassis highlighted that 35% of consumers now buy more store-branded goods compared with a year ago.

With supermarkets heavily promoting their budget and premium own-brand products as a viable alternative to branded goods, and further to your suggestion that suppliers look toward new distribution channels, perhaps it is also time for brands to change the promotional battleground and re-engage with consumers in their homes.

For years, the coupon has been one of the most effective means of encouraging trial and building brand loyalty. The coupon by-passes in-store promotions that crowd the supermarket’s category and speaks to the consumer at their kitchen table where shopping lists and buying decisions are first formulated.

As predicted, coupons have retained their influence over consumer buying decisions in the recession. The GfK NOP research found that 77% of consumers have used a coupon for supermarket shopping, and one-third of consumers are looking for promotional offers more now than they were a year ago. Brands need to take heed of these consumer shopping habits and realign their sales and marketing strategies.

Charles D’Oyly Managing Director Valassis

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