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Developing Private Label as part of the Brand development strategy

The Market

Our client, a large European manufacturer, had been in the UK for a few years but was finding it difficult to increase sales. We had helped them develop their brands throughout the UK retailer market with the exception of Marks and Spencer who only sell their own Private Label.

Our Client’s Objective

To launch products from the company’s ambient and frozen ranges into Marks and Spencer under Private Label and to gain recognition from the trade of been a reliable proactive Private Label supplier.

What We Did

The first stage was to define the ambient product category and compare how Marks and Spencer sat against other retailers in terms of product ranges and RSP’s.

We were then able to overlay Marks and Spencer’s performance against the market, identify through the gap analysis what products they were missing and then demonstrate what benefits Marks and Spencer would derive from their inclusion.  As a result of this work, we got an agreement to launch 2 SKUs dependent on factory audits.

The second stage of the project was to work closely with the Technical Team at Marks and Spencer to ensure the factory met their manufacturing codes of practice.  This meant visiting the factory with their Technical Manager and working to establish systems and operations necessary to obtain Marks and Spencer’s approved supplier.

The third stage, running in tandem with stage two, was to get a recipe for the 2 lines that gave Marks and Spencer a point of difference from the rest of the market (ingredients, nutritional information and superior taste etc).  This was completed fairly quickly.

We worked with our client to open Marks and Spencer as a customer and ensured they were ready to launch.  This included the setting up of EDI, completing artwork and critical paths and volume planning.  As a result of our careful planning 2 new products were launched on time.

The Results

The 2 products were launched into 50 stores and within 6 weeks this was increased to 250 stores and then subsequently rolled out into all stores, giving an annual turnover of over £5million.  The success of these products resulted in further lines being launched into the sector as well as development and launches into other product categories.


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