We're taught name brands early and often. Have any doubt? Ask a child what he puts on his boo-boos, and you'll probably hear "Band-Aid." If the scrape was big enough to make him cry, he might have asked for Kleenex. While many consumers depend on the quality and consistency of the brands they know and recognize, they are often buying out of habit without consideration to the alternatives. When it comes to supplying an entire office, ignoring the alternatives offered by proprietary "own brand" products can mean a lot of dollars lost from the bottom line, but value's about more than just price. Here are a few of the "unsung heroes" of own brand products.
Quality – It might be easy to assume private label products are inferior to their name brand brethren, but over the years, most companies with private label products have maintained affordability while consistently maximizing quality, meeting and exceeding the performance of name brand products through independent testing and constant refinement.
Ethics – With more and more consumers making decisions based on how their products were sourced, transparency into the production of own brand products can be a big plus. Without the additional middle men often involved in name brand sourcing, own brand products can often provide greater transparency into the social responsibility factors of their goods.
Innovation – Matching the name brand status quo might have been enough to make private brands competitive a decade or two ago, but in order to stay afloat and grow in today's economy, innovation is key. Where once, own brand labels could be depended upon to provide a cost-effective alternative to an existing product, many companies are now working to get ahead of the competition utilizing cutting-edge research and development and debuting original products.
Next time you're comparison shopping, ask yourself what's in a name? After all, who can say no to products that are low-cost, high-quality, socially responsible and inventive?