Private But Not Peculiar
While custom manufacturing consists of most private-label offerings, both Barreca and Kunitz stressed the apparel category is just as effective when combined with a supplier’s in-stock merchandise. “We have numerous accounts that order our standard styles, but with their own labels substituted,” Kunitz noted. Furthermore, he said it is common for his company to get requests for “small quantities
of our in-stock styles relabeled when the quantity is not enough to pre-order a full cutting.”
But it’s not just end-users jumping on the private-label bandwagon; so are distributors. Kunitz said a large number of his distributor customers are interested in the highly personalized service. “It is not unusual for a customer to want his own name in [a garment], so that his own customer thinks that his supplier is bigger and more influential than his competitors,” he explained.
Barreca concurred, stating, “The majority of the time, the client logo is used as the label, but occasionally we are asked to private label with a distributor company name.” Furthermore, Kunitz said when a distributor is able to offer a customer his own line of private-label merchandise, “he is telling his customer that he has his own marketing capability, and is big enough to be able to offer his own
line of goods.” It is evident private labeling provides a bit of clout for distributors.
Aside from the standard neck labels prevalent in brand identification of most dress shirts and T-shirts, Barreca said there are other ways to don a private-label brand. “Custom hangtags, zipper pulls and buttons can be used to brand the products with a client’s logo,” she offered.
The list of markets that can benefit from private labeling is growing, Barreca continued. She said companies that promote lifestyle products or those that offer uniform programs are ideal targets. On the other hand, Kunitz said the glass office is a sure sell. “The corporate market would be most interested in a private-label offering because it would be influenced by the distributor’s capability to offer its own brand,” he said.