The evolution of private labels (PL) is a recent trend in the retail industry: many retailers now manage a PL portfolio that includes multiple value propositions, as well as various brand name strategies. Little research has been done, however, on how this combination of PL strategies conditions the results of the retailer that manages them. This study aims to examine the formation of PL brand equity and its effect on store loyalty for retailers with differently tiered PL programs (a “better” program with standard PL vs a full PL quality spectrum with economy, standard and premium PLs) and different PL naming strategies (store-banner name or stand-alone brand name).
A survey (N = 644) was used to test the model in the context of the consumer goods retail industry. Exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and multi-group structural equation modelling techniques were used to assess the proposed model.
The results show differences in the formation of PL loyalty based on whether the retailer has a tiered PL program. In portfolios with economy, standard and premium PLs, PL associations have a stronger effect than PL awareness in the formation of PL loyalty. Portfolios with a standard PL show balanced effects of PL associations and PL awareness on PL loyalty formation. As to the positive effect of PL brand equity on store loyalty, this study also shows a stronger effect of PL brand equity on store loyalty in chains that choose to use their store banner name in their PLs.
Retailers that manage multi-tier PL portfolios (as opposed to those that commercialise a standard PL) can increase loyalty to the PL portfolio significantly by constructing highly differentiated images of their economy, standard and premium PLs to ensure that consumers truly perceive the different value propositions of their PL tiers. As to PL naming strategy, the authors recommend that retailers that use the same retail chain name for one or several of their PLs invest in their corporate reputation to strengthen the brand equity achieved by their PLs and thus increase loyalty to the retail chain. Retailers must perform specific communication and advertising campaigns for PLs with the stand-alone brand name.
Today, any reference to PLs as a whole is overly simplistic, but no research has assessed empirically differences in the influences of a multi-tiered vs a standard PL program on the PL loyalty formation for PL portfolios. Nor has any empirical research incorporated the influence of PL naming strategy on store loyalty. This study fills these gaps, integrating into the same model two signiﬁcant moderating variables of retailers’ strategy: their PL tier strategy and their PL naming strategy.
Rubio, N., Villaseñor, N. and Yagüe, M. (2020), "The role of private label tiers and private label naming strategies in the relationship between private label brand equity and store loyalty", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 124-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-09-2018-2017
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