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Helping private brand teams to act as brands

It is not surprising that given Velocity Europe is the My [Private] Brand conference, the word ‘Brand’ featured heavily. 

Because for private brands to continue to grow, be successful and be relevant for customers retailers must focus on the brand, and act more as brands. 

There are many prefixes we all use: store brands, own brands, private brands and so on, but the key is brands.

As Oracle Gold Partners we’re very familiar with Oracle Retail and specifically Oracle Retail Brand Compliance (ORBC) – formerly Micros MyCreations – but it was still interesting to listen to Oracle’s Paul Woodward explain it in the context of the brand.

Initially the system was adopted by retailers to manage risk and label accuracy. A legal risk management (the liability of which differs around the globe). This has evolved to be more about the brand risk/compliance because whilst the legal risk may differ around the globe – liability can differ between retailer, brand owner and manufacturer - or even in some cases even third-party logistics. If you are a private brand retailer the real risk is to YOUR brand.   

This resonates with the core principles behind our Affinity Platform which works alongside platforms such as Oracle ORBC because it improves the capability of private brands teams to act as brands. It helps retailers to engage private brand suppliers to support these brands and work collaboratively as one team.

The parallel to compliance is that in the past, retail quality management was about managing the exceptions. A focus on the top complaints and a focus on the major issues such as foreign objects. 

No retailer has the resources to properly address and respond to all feedback. This is why Affinity is used to not only provide retail teams with insight quickly (spend less time finding problems and more time fixing problems) but also to share this information with suppliers against informed KPI which drive consistency and quality. Yes, it is quality management but it is not only about risk management. It is also brand management. We are working to ensure products remain relevant, meet brand expectations and do so consistently.

On the Velocity stage, Paul shared the fact that 85% of product development teams have an average of 17 or more systems. This is also true for suppliers. The answer cannot be ‘one system’, that is a false panacea of too many retailers wishing to have ‘one portal’. Specialist systems exist for a reason. Consider systems for customer reviews such as BazaarVoice and systems for customer call centers such as Salesforce. And so on.

There may be rationalisation, but you will also always need specialisation. This recognised need is at the heart of Affinity where the CONNECT module allows retailers to aggregate information from multiple sources to provide ‘one view’ of product and supplier performance for private brands. Importantly, this information can then be shared outside of internal teams to include suppliers and work as ‘one team’ for private brands. 

To aggregate information from private brand systems, customer feedback and core retail systems such as SAP, ORMS and more, also helps to drive data accuracy and with this efficiency.  This is true for both retailers and private brand suppliers. Collectively, both achieve more on-time, right-first-time. Whether this is new product development, quality management, or change management (such as nutrition, sustainability, packaging or innovation).

Paul’s concluding presentation slide was: First step: let’s work SMARTER together.

Collaboration is key and I could not agree more. #oneteam.

James Butcher

james.butcher@s4rb.com

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