How Not To Choose A Brand Name

Call it Pig Swig.

Ad Age reported last week that the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain is launching a line of store brand beers under the umbrella name of Pig Swig. The line up consists of “craft style” beers – Pig Tail Ale and Pig Pen Pilsner. I suppose if your company is called Piggly Wiggly you might as well go “whole hog” (sorry about that) and name your store brands accordingly.

But I must say that charging $6.99 for a 6-pack is more than a bit piggish. (Okay I’ll stop.)

A number of retailers have launched private labels/store brands but managed to name the products intelligently if not creatively. Supervalu has Buck Range Light selling at Albertson’s and other stores in the chain; Walgreen sells Big Flats; and 7-Eleven sells Game Day beer. Costco uses the Kirkland name as it does on spirits and Kroger calls its beers Tap Room No 21 and Port Republic.

The Ad Age article also reports (via Nielsen) that private label beers account for only $23.6 million out of the total beer category of $27.4 billion. But, store brand sales are up 41% the past year versus 2.3% drop in branded sales.

That must be the inspiration for Piggly Wiggly to come up with ads and slogans telling consumers to “get your swig on,” “put some pink in your cheeks” and my favorite – “toast of the trough.”

I don’t know if it’s still around but there was a Malt Scotch Whisky called Sheep Dip. Think of the name applied to the Pig Swig line. I even have the slogan – “come wallow in our beer.”

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