Retailer and private brands industry survey

Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) partnered with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) on its 2019 From the Industry survey to include a section relating to retailer-supplier engagement. This section of the survey sought to understand the perspectives of retailers and suppliers about the value of engagement in U.S. private brand retail, existing engagement levels, plans for enhancement, challenges to engagement, and which industry companies are doing the best jobs with this.

The aim of the survey was to reveal:

1. How does the perception of retailer-led supplier engagement compare between retailers and manufacturers?

2. What are industry leaders doing differently?

3. How do individual organizations  stack up against industry leaders?

4. How can executives help their organizations to systematize the creation of efficient and effective retailer-supplier partnerships through supplier engagement?

Industry survey takers were asked six questions relating to engagement. You can read the results from the full survey in our report: The State of Retailer and Private Brand Supplier Engagement in 2019.

I will share two of the results in this article.

Supplier Engagement as lever for private brand performance

Question: To what extent do you agree with the following statement: Improved retailer-supplier engagement would help to further drive private brands performance.

98% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement that “Improved retailer-supplier engagement would help to further drive private brands performance”.

For those who subscribe to the premise of private brands being a joint venture between a retailer and a manufacturer, this is a no-brainer. However, as a proud advocate of such a case it is still heartening to see that there is a clear consensus between both retailers and manufacturers.


"98% agree improved retailer-supplier engagement will drive private brand performance"

Beneficiaries of improved engagement

Question: Which aspects of private brands would most benefit from more partner engagement? 

Retailers and manufacturers are broadly in agreement on the benefits of improved engagement.

When done well, respondents identify multiple beneficiaries of this engagement, with Product Innovation coming out top. Those looking to leverage the power of private brands to differentiate themselves take note.


Key findings

The full results of the retailer-supplier engagement survey clearly show that attitudes towards supplier relationships have shifted considerably, just as associate and employee engagement has moved over the past decades from ‘command and control’ to ‘engage and collaborate’.

This is mirroring what we see in the terminology used in the retail market in general - there is a lack of consistency in what is meant by ‘engagement’. Crucially, the full report shows that supplier engagement is not the automatic result of implementing a supplier portal (as reflected by manufacturers need for more communications).

The need for better communications and true collaboration will only increase with the continued move from private label to private brand and the need to deliver winning products.

The results within this report also showed that 80% of retailers surveyed are still committed to improving and there will be an ongoing need to continue to move forward.

The report detailing the answers and insights from respondents across the full six questions relating to retailer-supplier engagement is available to download for free. Get your copy today. 

David Taylor

David Taylor

David Taylor is an award-winning retail consultant specializing in digital business transformation involving suppliers. David is a passionate and vocal thought leader on diverse topics including product safety blockchain implementations, “supplier stories” marketing campaigns and artificial intelligence (AI) powered product development. The common thread is the importance of delivering measurable business results through successful supplier engagement at scale. David now leads the growth of S4RB’s existing accounts as Client Success Director, using his proprietary ‘Success Worth Sharing’ methodology. This approach focuses on delivering measurable, outcome-oriented results (Success) with clearly attributable value (Worth) that can be shared to promote mutual growth (Sharing).


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