Publix store display

How many retailers have the confidence to have a display like this one? It is a powerful, extremely confident bit of marketing. The store is a Publix in Naples, Florida (yes, we get to go to some pretty nice places sometimes!). As you can see, this display is a combination of branded staples (boxed macaroni and cheese, microwave popcorn, preserves) and their private label counterparts. Look at the statement on the display: “Buy theirs, get ours free. Take the test. We’re as good or better than the national brand.”

This Publix store was in a high-end neighborhood, and was one of the larger Publix stores I’ve been in. Therefore, it had plenty of room to display its unique products (both its own brands and others), and also had a beautiful meat and cheese section. In a way, then, the promotion of its private label as being better than the leading national brand would seem to be a disconnect. Would the more well-off consumers who clearly shop this store be that interested in saving a bit of green by choosing the private label over the branded products?

Well, the data seems to say that they will. Some of our research indicates that, consumers earning $75K or more are more likely to try a new product if they see an ad or a promotion (so, that display will attract those consumers). Those same consumers, though, spend less time than others looking for bargains, so having a display that is easy to see and understand also, clearly, works for those more affluent shoppers.

The display by Publix, and its statement that it will give you the branded product for free is a gutsy move. Do you think other retailers can follow? Or, how can companies marketing branded products offer similar incentives?

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