Owned brand. Store brand. Private label. Brand X. Typically thought of as generic products of questionable quality, no-frills packaging and basic typefaces, intended only for those on a strict budget. We were loyal to the big, national brands we trusted. Sure, when money was tight, we might have overlooked the stigma of owned brands because of the lower price, but when times got better, we’d return to our favorite national labels. And as the health and wellness trend grew with an ever-increasing focus on natural and organic foods, we willingly paid the price for what we perceived to be superior products and superior brands.
Brands know that the success of their business is dependent upon the quality of their products. Quality is a reflection of the brand, and the reason consumers buy and and become loyal. So naturally, brands take exhaustive and rigorous measures to ensure quality. They’re vigilant about complying with industry and government standards and regulations. They maintain detailed records and reports to protect against consumer complaints and legal issues. They staff labs with chemists and microbiologists and safety experts. They employ cross functional teams of highly skilled specialists to scrupulously test and test again, all to make sure that the products they produce are of the highest quality.
For many charter member Millennials weaned on TV and movies depicting our prosperous future, 2015 was a disappointing year. The Cubs didn’t win the World Series. Hover boards, when not bursting into flames, didn’t hover. We didn’t get to date Elizabeth Shue. Unfulfilled Back to the Future prophecies aside, though, one thing is certain: The future is most certainly here.
Parents pinning paleo recipes on Pinterest. Graduate students studying green energy, Googling gluten-free granola bars. Fitness instructors Facebooking photos of fair-trade fruits and vegetables. Meet the modern consumer. We’re tech-savvy, health, environmentally and socially conscious, and connected to countless, intersecting online communities sharing information in real-time. And it’s a recipe that has created an unprecedented hunger for knowledge. (Pun fully intended.)