There is a no frills supermarket chain in the Chicago area that features no frills like no frills you’ve ever seen. No baggers. Nobody to take your carts back from the parking lot. One check out line. Blaring bright lights. Some of the food is really good — the produce. Some of it a little more suspect — I won’t mention. Most of the package goods are cunningly designed to ape big budget brands. Mac and Cheese that looks like Kraft, cereal that looks like Kellogg’s, and so on.
But if you’re interested in the power of brands, and more importantly, human behavior revolving around brands, it’s worth a snooping trip. One category that really stuck out to me, HBA, health and beauty. It’s interesting, they’ll pirate lots of things, even antiperspirants, but they won’t touch toothpaste. They still bring in branded toothpaste. Rip off razors, ok. But they’ll have branded toothpaste.
Why is that? Because you don’t want ‘fake’ on your teeth, in your head? Or because of the intense levels of emotional brand loyalty toothpaste, that much maligned category, enjoys? No Charmin in sight, but there’s Crest.
Account planners should take a trip there. And the rip-off Yellow Tail Shiraz ain’t chopped liver neither.