I noted the recent TV ad for DIY chain Wickes, where they were promoting a new range of kitchens by saying they were good enough to carry the Wickes name – in other words they are using the ‘own brand’ as an endorsement of quality. This is an interesting positioning and a phenomenon one sees more often in supermarket retailing. The hierarchy used to go something like: Premium brand, next brand, next brand, next brand, own brand, generic. But increasingly we see customers putting their trust in the retailer, and after the brand leader, the own brand is seen as the next choice. So, if in cash-strapped times we decide not to choose say Fairy Liquid, we may see Tesco’s own brand as the second choice washing up liquid.
But this trust does not extend across the board. For examples, Tesco’s brand trust does not extend to its clothing ranges. Asda almost succeeded in that arena with George. But it seems customers separate fashion (for example) from commodities. This makes one wonder how successful Wickes may be with their endorsement. ‘Trust’ may be a dimension we apply where reliability and dependability are the critical success factors. Once we move into less tangible values of style and fashion more complex factors come into play.