Simply brings balance to premium private label brand Princip

By Rasmus Vestergaard
Published 19/01/2023
Category: Project
Featuring: Simply

“The new design delivers a better balance between product and design.” Thomas Kjær, Creative Director & Partner at Danish design agency Simply, is commenting on their new private label design for Danish retailer Salling Group. One of the latest events in the ongoing battle between private label brands and the “other” brands.

The premiumisation of private label brands has changed the grocery market here in the Nordics. Years ago, the private label was viewed as cheap but still of poor quality. However, things have changed for the better while the price remains low, a favourable combination for consumers who are rewarding retailers, filling their shopping baskets with private label products.

Looking at how the packaging design has changed over the years clearly illustrates the shift in retailers’ private label strategy. Now, REMA 1000, ICA, Coop, Salling Group and other retailers are competing fiercely with brands, as their products provide quality, convenience, sustainability and, of course, price. Private-label products are becoming brands themselves. So, retailers double down on the graphical expression of their packaging design and how it can communicate the message of more for less, value for money and help build the retailer brand.

Stronger tie to the master brand

Simply has worked with Salling Group for some time now. When they started developing the new private label strategy for the Danish retailer, they found that customers valued the company behind, e.g. Føtex and Bilka, higher than their own (lesser known) private-labels. As Rikke Laumann, Strategic Director at Simply, says, “people were more loyal towards the retailer than the product brands.”

“When Dansk Supermarked changed its name to Salling Group, the overall liking and corporate brand sympathy increased by 10% within a few months”, Laumann continues “Through different methods, internal interviews, and external focus groups, we compared the different private-label brands in the market. We found that the ‘Salling’ corporate brand name was synonymous with unique and strongly attractive values that stood out and compelled consumers. Having a true brand story and a real person behind (Herman Salling) to build a brand upon was a real royal straight flush in the market, and a super-asset that we since then have built our master brand strategy and design principles from.”

The new Salling master brand replaces most previous category brands within the Salling Group. Princip continues as a high-tier product range but as a Salling sub-brand, visualised by adding the new Salling master brand logotype.

A premium look for a premium product

Simply and Salling Group focused on a premium look and feel for the new private label brand. “Handpicked quality from selected producers has always been the essence of any Princip product,” comments Thomas Kjær. “The handwritten logotype reflects this personal approach.”

“The previous Princip design was too complex for small items,” Kjær explains. “Too many mandatory elements took up space we would rather use for important product information and a better product presentation. The complexity of the old design, in some cases, actually stole the attention, making the products themselves less prominent. We believe the new design delivers a better balance between product and design. Also, sticking to a few elements, we can create a better coherence across the range, be it smaller or bigger items.”

“The previous Princip design was too complex for small items … the new design delivers a better balance between product and design.”

Thomas Kjær, Creative Director & Partner at Simply

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