Rebranding unifies and promotes IGA’s store brands through consistent graphic design on all packages.

IGA has just revamped the look of its private labels, and the voluntary supermarket network has done some interesting things to leverage the power of a product label on behalf of the store. In fact, the core purpose is to use the products’ labels as a means of branding the store and the franchise, an important issue as IGA aggressively seeks to make it supermarkets more competitive.

The new format replaces a labeling program that had been in place for around 15 years, based largely on national brand equivalents.

But times change. “We at IGA USA saw that we needed to increase the competitiveness of IGA retailers,” says Dave Bennett, IGA senior vice president, procurement and private brands, “and clearly differentiate the stores in the marketplace. We redid our private label to do just that.”

The organization went to CBX, a branding specialist. IGA and CBX came up with a program that is sleek and slick, as well as takes its cues from the latest developments in private label.

“We had three objectives,” say Bennett. “The first was to increase shelf presence. The second was to promote brand recognition and the third was to stimulate sales and margins.”

First of all, they have created a label design that is clean and will likely grab the consumer in the split second that her or his eye passes over it on the shelf. It prominently features the IGA Red Oval, now highlighted with a sunburst. The top of the label features red stripes to attract attention. Product name is carefully designed. The type of product-bread, cookies, milk, for example-appear in large, bold type. The specific products-whole wheat bread, chocolate chip cookies, skim milk-are in smaller type above the bold type. A picture of the product appears below the name. The entire label is set in a white field.

Secondly, IGA and CBX have completely decoupled the labels of the IGA private brand from national brand equivalents. No attempt has been made to create a look-alike; indeed just the opposite. Competitive pricing and high quality differentiate it from branded products, but the look is IGA alone.

Thirdly, the IGA label design is standard for all IGA products in dimensions and placement of the design elements. Discipline is rigorous, and this label style is placed on every IGA private brand item. The vision of IGA management and CBX is that private-brand packaging will appear in visible strips around the store, as well as being prominently placed in circulars. This will forcefully project the IGA identity to customers.

“We think this program,” says Bennett, “is going to be a major step forward in branding our stores, sending out a strong IGA message, and attracting customers to our Hometown Proud supermarkets. So far, member response has been excellent, and most can’t wait until the new labels start arriving in the stores in the latter part of first quarter 2009.”