The revitalization of the Sam’s Club Member’s Mark brand is the final stage of an impressive act that required both funneling and expansion.
“Over the years, we’ve had 21 private brand names, but we’re all about simplicity,” said Dianna Gee, the company’s senior manager of media relations. Sam’s Club whittled the copious store brands down to four and then eventually two. Finally, the count stands at one.
Now under one name, Sam’s Club’s private brand will also welcome 300 new items to the selection, though existing products may get culled. Some of the new items include: sea salt caramels, handcrafted caramels covered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt; honey, sourced from a U.S. bee cooperative representing hundreds of independent beekeepers; wines, the company worked with award-winning wineries to produce chardonnay, riesling and cabernet; and lasagna, created from an Italian family recipe from a woman-owned business.
While the retailer is excited to finally have all of its private products flying under one flag, an obvious challenge had to be overcome before the transition could be completed. You don’t want your toilet paper looking like your coffee.
With a wide array of products to market under one unifying label, the store was going to need to pay extra attention to the packaging of each individual item.
“We are very proud of our packaging,” VP of private brands for Sam’s Club Chandra Holt said. “We wanted to make sure we were communicating the great quality and uniqueness of items, so we took a different approach to packaging than most other private labels. We wanted to make sure that every item stood out and communicated what the item was about, not necessarily what the brand is about.
“The brand is the endorser and helps the member understand the basic quality level,” she continued. “But it’s really about the item and making the item look amazing.”
Holt adds that in some cases, the locations that Sam’s private products are manufactured is the same as their national brand counterparts. However, she stressed that the Member’s Mark items are unique.
“The actual formula or process may be different,” she said. “Each Member’s Mark item has something about it that makes it unique to Sam’s Club.”