Product Design: How Publix Broke The White Label Rules
An article in the New York Times magazine looks at how Publix decided not to go down the regular route of producing products that imitated brands. Instead, they created a simple style that set their ‘white label' goods apart – a look that won fans.
Tim Cox, director of the company's in-house creative-service department, says Publix's house brands used to mimic the look of national brands; the problem was that imitation made the private-label stuff blend in. A breakthrough came with the conclusion that similarity was no longer necessary. For most consumers, the knee-jerk suspicion of “generic” products faded a long time ago. “We're not really relying on the customer seeing a package of canned goods and saying, ‘Oh, that looks like the national brand, that must be good,' ” Cox says.