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Strive to innovate PLMA audience told

Don't view the current economic slump merely as a window to build short-term sales, but rather strive to change consumer behavior and build shopper loyalty by understanding your customers and their needs over the longer term.
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That was the message from Scott Lucas, executive director at Interbrand, at Monday's kickoff breakfast at the Private Label Manufacturers Association's annual trade show in Rosemont, IL.

Lucas, whose company develops branding and packaging strategies for both national brands and private-label brands, encouraged an audience of 500 brand owners and other industry professionals to push packaging innovation and thereby further improve brand value. "Build on a foundation of shopper insights and brand meaning," Lucas advised.

"Success will require in part that brands understand why innovation matters to consumers. Then, they will need to implement both a branding strategy and a design strategy that work hand-in-hand," he added.

Lucas cited a fresh industry figure that 80% of brand interaction occurs through the packaging, and said private-label brands should look to leverage packaging further than they already have to build even stronger connections between the store and the brand.

Store brands that innovate can have a halo effect not only on their own products but also on the store and all the other private-label brands by lifting consumer perceptions of both the store as a brand and the value of private-label brands on the whole inside the store, Lucas explained.

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