Fighting Amazon’s Private Label: Can Your Brand Win?

Amazon has everyone waiting. Waiting for the location of their second headquarters and for their entry into health care, which leaves many of us asking: is there anything Amazon can’t do?

Last week, the online retail giant made a few announcements within the pet food category. The first was to kick off the launch of their new pet food, Wag. And the second was to report that shares of strong brands in the category, including Blue Buffalo, for which General Mills just paid 8 billion dollars, immediately fell. Smucker’s, who just paid $1.8 billion for Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and $6 billion for Big Heart Pet Brand, also saw their shares drop.

So why pet food?

Well, why not? Americans spend $32 billion a year on pet food and that number keeps growing. And, it turns out, Amazon has 100 million Prime Members who are just waiting to show their loyalty.

At $45.99 for a 30 lb bag, Wag is smartly and competitively priced compared to Blue Wilderness, which sells on Amazon for $49.99 for a 24 lb bag. Given their access to endless amounts of consumer data, Amazon’s private label competitive edge is not surprising. They know exactly what pet parents want, need, and when they’ll buy again.

The newest addition to their expanding “private label” line, which includes AmazonBasics, Wickedly Prime food and beverage, Stone & Beam Furniture, and Presto cleaning products, the announcement of Wag really makes you wonder how any brand—especially a legacy brand—will compete.

For example, Pedigree is suffering from the “millennial disconnect”, losing ground to personalized and ready-to-serve brands like Ollie and Farmer’s Dog. And while high-end options aren’t for everyone, Amazon’s Wag is likely to be more appealing than the brands that have come before it, most of which are steadily declining in Irresistibility.

According to our data/insights tool I-factor®, Pedigree, along with other legacy brands, has low consumer scores in all of the measured categories: Comprehend, Crave, and Craze. This disconnect, one that is not limited to pet food but rather prevalent with almost all legacy brands across the board, creates huge opportunities for a brand that’s very connected to younger consumers, like Amazon.

Does your brand have a fighting chance to be more Irresistible than Amazon? The short answer is yes. But you’ll have to go beyond the data—you’ll never get more than Amazon. To protect and elevate all aspects of their consumer relationships, brands must leverage insights that are truly compelling.

And that’s where I-Factor comes in. With the insights I-Factor® uncovers, your brand will have the enhanced ability to build stories that connect with consumers, create behavior change, and ultimately increase loyalty across platforms so people start to CRAVE your brand.

Looking to create long-lasting connections that will keep your brand relevant in the age of Amazon? Let’s talk.

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