In keeping with the generic nature of the product line, the original No Name packaging showed no branding – only text with a basic product description and name, such as “freshly ground coffee” or “fabric softener,” on a solid background. Years later, a “No Name” registered trademark appeared. While other generic lines presented their packaging as black on white, Toronto designer Don Watt chose black, boldface text in a Helvetica font, all lower case, on a bright yellow background, as a means of attracting the attention of shoppers.
Throughout the 1980s, Loblaw continued to promote No Name as a value-oriented alternative to higher priced, nationally advertised products. In 1981, Dave Nichol went on television with two grocery carts, one with a selection of No Name items and the other with comparable national brands, to demonstrate a 30 percent savings:

"For five or six years I did nothing but go into people’s living rooms and say, ‘Here’s one basket of national brands for $150, and here are the same products from no name for $100. If you don’t like them, we’ll give you the national brands free." [3]

By 1982, the number of No Name items had increased to some 500 different products and ranged from canned peas, to spaghetti sauce, to tooth paste and even windshield washer fluid. The Financial Times of Canada noted that in spite of basic packaging and the reputation of generics as inferior, “Loblaws No Name line was, in fact, competing directly with national brands.”[9] The newspaper also commented that the heavy promotion of No Name by Loblaws president Dave Nichol had helped boost the sale of generics in all supermarkets.
Loblaw also expanded the line beyond basic grocery and household items in an apparent bid to appeal to a wider range of consumer tastes. Products such as No Name gourmet barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard, escargot and imported jams from France appeared on Loblaw shelves. In late 1983, “President’s Blend gourmet coffee”, in the familiar black and yellow packaging, made its debut and sales proved so strong that the decision made to create a separate, premium line of products called “President’s Choice”. Beyond gourmet items, there were also those of a more unusual, albeit still practical, nature such as the No Name raccoon-proof garbage pail, with steel handles that clamped to the sides of the container. But most No Name items continued to be everyday products, with the brand promoted as “a sensible solution to rising prices.” [10] By the end of the decade there were more than 1,800 No Name products available.
By the mid ’80s, No Name had become the best selling brand in the country - a somewhat ironic development, considering the generic, non-branded nature of the product line, promoted as an economical alternative to the national brands. Additionally, No Name had achieved such prominence in spite of being available only in Loblaw owned stores. Media reports attributed much of that success to Dave Nichol and his marketing efforts. “Under Nichol’s supervision, the country’s No Name products have become the largest-selling national brand in Canada, one of the few countries in the world where generic brands compete with well-known names,” wrote Maclean’s magazine.[8] But according to Nichol, the big name brands were also vulnerable:

"I happened to come along at a time when the national brands had prostitued the quality of their products. It is so easy to produce products that are superior to almost every national brand."[8

In keeping with the generic nature of the product line, the original No Name packaging showed no branding – only text with a basic product description and name, such as “freshly ground coffee” or “fabric softener,” on a solid background. Years later, a “No Name” registered trademark appeared. While other generic lines presented their packaging as black on white, Toronto designer Don Watt chose black, boldface text in a Helvetica font, all lower case, on a bright yellow background, as a means of attracting the attention of shoppers.

Throughout the 1980s, Loblaw continued to promote No Name as a value-oriented alternative to higher priced, nationally advertised products. In 1981, Dave Nichol went on television with two grocery carts, one with a selection of No Name items and the other with comparable national brands, to demonstrate a 30 percent savings:

"For five or six years I did nothing but go into people’s living rooms and say, ‘Here’s one basket of national brands for $150, and here are the same products from no name for $100. If you don’t like them, we’ll give you the national brands free." [3]

By 1982, the number of No Name items had increased to some 500 different products and ranged from canned peas, to spaghetti sauce, to tooth paste and even windshield washer fluid. The Financial Times of Canada noted that in spite of basic packaging and the reputation of generics as inferior, “Loblaws No Name line was, in fact, competing directly with national brands.”[9] The newspaper also commented that the heavy promotion of No Name by Loblaws president Dave Nichol had helped boost the sale of generics in all supermarkets.

Loblaw also expanded the line beyond basic grocery and household items in an apparent bid to appeal to a wider range of consumer tastes. Products such as No Name gourmet barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard, escargot and imported jams from France appeared on Loblaw shelves. In late 1983, “President’s Blend gourmet coffee”, in the familiar black and yellow packaging, made its debut and sales proved so strong that the decision made to create a separate, premium line of products called “President’s Choice”. Beyond gourmet items, there were also those of a more unusual, albeit still practical, nature such as the No Name raccoon-proof garbage pail, with steel handles that clamped to the sides of the container. But most No Name items continued to be everyday products, with the brand promoted as “a sensible solution to rising prices.” [10] By the end of the decade there were more than 1,800 No Name products available.

By the mid ’80s, No Name had become the best selling brand in the country - a somewhat ironic development, considering the generic, non-branded nature of the product line, promoted as an economical alternative to the national brands. Additionally, No Name had achieved such prominence in spite of being available only in Loblaw owned stores. Media reports attributed much of that success to Dave Nichol and his marketing efforts. “Under Nichol’s supervision, the country’s No Name products have become the largest-selling national brand in Canada, one of the few countries in the world where generic brands compete with well-known names,” wrote Maclean’s magazine.[8] But according to Nichol, the big name brands were also vulnerable:

"I happened to come along at a time when the national brands had prostitued the quality of their products. It is so easy to produce products that are superior to almost every national brand."[8

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