LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Brand Management Minimizes Riskmn by David Orgel in SN, 11/26, Page 8, countered the view of a financial analyst who said that retailers shouldn't take on the costly risks of getting too deeply involved with store brand management.I know from my extensive food brand management experience that those who manage brands are given budgets and profit and loss guidelines that must be met annually. That minimizes

Brand Management Minimizes Risk

mn by David Orgel in SN, 11/26, Page 8, countered the view of a financial analyst who said that retailers shouldn't take on the costly risks of getting too deeply involved with store brand management.

I know from my extensive food brand management experience that those who manage brands are given budgets and profit and loss guidelines that must be met annually. That minimizes risk.

The analyst doesn't need to be concerned that supermarkets will spend too much on consumer research and branding. Supermarkets do very little of this. Supermarkets, in general, don't know what their shoppers want and need. They just know what shoppers buy -- after the fact. This is one of the key reasons these retailers are losing market share to food-service entities.

Consumers still find supermarket shopping a hassle and need to travel through every aisle in the perimeter in order to find out about new products and services. What really motivates shoppers to visit supermarkets? It's not price, price, price. Baby boomers are the wealthiest generation, and they look for the combination of service, value and price.

So isn't it time to find out what the shopper really wants? Stores need to properly brand and market to a specific target audience. The irony is that brand management actually minimizes risk and channels spending into building a brand, a business and a new shopper following.

Stephan G. Kouzomis president Entrepreneurial Consulting Louisville, Ky.