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31 March 2013

How do You feel about Private labelling?

cosmetics_private_labelling

I found this blog post on my desktop last week that I wrote way back at the beginning of 2012 and for some reason didn't post it. So I thought I would post it now as it is still relevant and quite an interesting topic I feel.

For me private labelling has been something I have known about for quite some time but I just don't know what to make of it as the beauty brands that opt for the service don't make it clear so I never who which brands do use it, which makes me feel a bit indifferent about it all. But I don't think anyone really wants to purchase products from a brand that doesn't create their own cosmetics and basically picks them out of a catalogue - I know for me that totally wipes out the creativity of that brand!

What is Private Labelling?
For all that don't know what private labelling is, it is basically when companies produce unbranded products that then get bought by brands that put their of brand name and product name on it. Some brands will package the products themselves, some pay the company to do it for them, sometimes brands will even pay the private label to do it all - so they provide the actual cosmetics, the packaging and then place the brands requested label/branding on them. Then that specific cosmetic brand will release it as a new product. 

If you think about it you can easily spot some private label beauty products - ever used hotel toiletries with the logo of the hotel on it? Yep, that is private labelling. Ever purchased a magazine with free makeup that has the logo of that magazine/no logo on it? Again, private labelling. Salons and spa also use private labelling and also airline, but the list does go on and on. In these sectors it is the only way as hotels, magazines etc can't be going through the length process of making a skincare product as each test to make sure it's safe and within certain regulations takes money and time. 

However this is another side to it which isn't so great for us- the consumers. Lets say for example next year the new type of product is tinted eyebrow gels. So a high street brand instead of developing their own, purchase a huge order with a private labelling company and put their own brand name on it. They then market the product and sell it for £6.50. Then a high end or more expensive cosmetic brand come along to the same private labelling company and purchase a huge order of the same product at the exact same price, they put then own brand logo on it, maybe even use their own packaging to make it look more expensive and then they charge £12.00 for it. So you have two identical products that perform in exactly the same way but at totally different prices. A possible example of this can be seen on British Beauty Blogger here. This can of course also happen with food and clothing.

A few well known cosmetics brands that have used private labelling in the past (I cannot say for certain they do now) are - Lime Crime, Daniel Sandler, Jelly Pong Pong and Pixi.

Which takes me on to how brands that use private labelling would be viewed if we were aware of this practice. Does this make them glorified re-packagers? Does it mean they are lying to us if they talk about why they created X product? Are they less creative as a brand? Also when it comes to a makeup line that has been 'created' by a makeup artist surely they know we are all going to assume these products have been designed to be the best by the makeup artist based on their vast knowledge of products and experience... so again, are they indirectly lying to us by doing this?

Celebrity Products
The other side to cosmetic private labelling is 'celebrity' products... now celebrities perfumes are fine, we all know the celebrity has a meeting or maybe even a few (imagine that!) and has a sniff of a few different notes and selects ones they like - so they do have an input in the scent. But imagine a celebrity that is coming out with a tanning range or range of makeup products for Christmas... the amount of people they would need to employ/pay to create a totally unique range of products would be huge. So they go to a private labelling company, select the products they want to use, they then design the packaging, have their logo put onto the products and there you have it - Celebrity X's amazing new range! Yes, ALL celebrities do it... it's impossible for them not to do it as like I mentioned their costings would be huge otherwise. 
  
I personally feel Private Labelling should be a service for corporate businesses such as hotels and all beauty brands such be manufacturing their own products ! 

However if for whatever reason a brand does use private labelling (christmas gift sets, celebity products) then they could disclosure this on the label so that we are aware of it. 

 How do you feel about Private Labelling?

Fee xo. 

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