Alan Gilbody

Extending the canvas

This was quite a surprise to see.

In packaging design, we are used to dealing with awkward canvases and having to try and tell a compelling brand story, complete with individual product stories on a tiny label. But that’s the art of it.

The consumer has a very little time to scan the fixture and make an informed buying decision based on the communication to hand. So it is important that what space you have, works hard.

Seeing these neck tags on a premium spirit, seems to be an admission that the pack design didn’t work hard enough on its own.

A premium spirit should look like an object of desire, overloading it with additional extra communication that seems to be a bolted on afterthought, has a tendency to devalue the product and brand.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

All change!

All change.

Flora changes more often than the British weather. Literally turn your back from the shelf for five minutes, look back again and it’s probably a different pack design.

The most recent version puts plant-based at the centre of the brand and starts to incorporate it into the logo, moving away from the heart on the previous pack.

The logotype is now reversed out of a holding shape giving it much more punch than the previous design.

This latest iteration creates a much more naturalistic feel to the brand to focus on the 100 percent plant-based message.

Interestingly the iconic sunflower has now been relegated to the side of the pack, but maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. Dialling down the sunflower helps create a more ‘Flora first’ message making it much harder for the discounters to copy.

It will be very interesting and quite a challenge to change consumer perception of a margarine, but then health advice in the UK seems to change even more often than the Flora pack Design!

This will be an interesting one to watch to see how long this iteration lasts.

What are your thoughts?

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

A picture says a thousand words.

A picture says a thousand words.

If you have a wide portfolio of different tasltes or flavours, differentiating products is often done through a combination of colour and copy.

On some product sectors such as coffee this layering of copy can create busy packs that lack immediacy.

Also, following what the competition do lacks adventure and creates a sea of offerings that are all doing the same thing.

One clever way brands can successfully differentiate though, is instead of talking about flavour, talking about the overall ‘taste experience’.

Have a look at this fantastic example from a coffee brand Ueshima, where they have used an abstract textual illustration in order to help describe the experience of drinking the product.

It’s an amazing visual shortcut to talk about taste when words alone won’t do it justice.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

Aim to be the only.

Aim to be the only.

In theory, it shouldn’t work. It’s recessive on shelf it’s hard to make out from a distance or access to any of the information.

Oh, and the label doesn’t fit the bottle!

For anybody that follows my posts regularly, they will know that this pack goes against every single rule in the book, so why does it work?

Well I suppose that’s the burning question, but this is where being unique comes to the fore.

If anybody’s tried to find this on shelf, you will know that it sums up the proverbial needle in a haystack. it’s easy to miss. I’ve probably gone round the store six times looking for it!

Maybe that’s part of its currency.

The fact is, it’s different. It means to be different. It means to look odd, and because it’s the only brand that does this, thats what makes it stand out.

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Give it some welly!

In the world of big and bold flavours, you have to be big and bold with your branding and packaging design.

The ready-made source fixture is that one stop shop for those lazy short of timers that can’t be bothered to rustle something up from scratch with some simple ingredients, those consumers that want a big punchy meal time offering with little input and fuss.

This sector is filled with brands that offer ready-made simplicity, so it’s unusual to see Heinz very recessive offering at such a prominent eye line in store.

It certainly needs to be at eye line as well! On a recent shopping trip, Mrs G grabbed one and said, ‘Look at this, it looks just like baby food!’.

I don’t think she’s wrong, a gentle and recessive approach seems to be the opposite what consumers are looking for in this sector.

Maybe its one of those designs that tested well as visual close-up, but not in the real world on a busy fixture.

Come on Heinz, you need to give it some welly!

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

Protect the brand assets at all costs!

Protect your assets.

I’m seeing the example below quite a lot recently.

Brands are challenging and changing their logo in order to fit a seasonal offering.

Hovis has transformed to ‘Ho Ho Hovis’ and Warburtons, rather more subtly has become ‘Warbrrrtons’.

Whilst this may seem fitting, it removes recognition from previously strong branding.

Importantly, maintaining brand consistency also strengthens the legal case from private labels and discounters trying to copy hard fought assets and equity.

In advance of comments stating, ‘it shows the power of a good logo and how it can be flexed’, it doesn’t show flexibility. It shows dilution, and that is not what a successful brand should do.

Protect the assets at all costs!

Ho ho hopeless! Have I gone a bit Bah Humbug?

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

Challenge the sector norms but always remember to cue the category.

Challenge the sector norms but always remember to use strong category cues.

It’s that ingredient that we all have at the back of our condiment cupboards and are ever quite sure how it’s used what to use it for.

There are probably many products like this that seem to be the staple ingredient of many a celebrity chef. If like me, you get about as far as salad dressing and then start scratching your head. I don’t think you’d be alone.

It’s up to brands and packaging to explain to consumers how to use these mythical items and also reassure them of the transformation in flavour that they offer.

I saw this example from Willey, and I have to say it made me scratch my head, whilst it’s a pretty looking design and very different to anything else in the fixture, the overall looking feel is very medicinal, not really the effect you after if you’re trying to talk about meal time transformation.

Challenge the sector norms but always remember to use strong category cues to reassure the consumer.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

Personality is key.

Personality is key.

As a dad of two teenage boys, I know that the currency that successfully consuming the spiciest sauce at meal times can bring.

Many of the chilli sauce brands opt for the provenance and heritage route with the remaining few promising instant pain!

Brand personality in this sector is incredibly important, so it was great to see this offering from Tingley Ted’s.

One thing all of the packs in this sector have to deal with is an incredibly small canvas on a teeny tiny bottle!

Therefore, it’s important what you do with this space in order to create a sensation similar to the mouth-feel that the product promises.

Stripping back much of the clutter and focusing on a bear with attitude and a ‘radioactive’ colour system, helps communicate the entire brand proposition succinctly and adds that all important bit of edge.

Nice work!

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If you’ve got an brand icon that consumers recognise, use it!

If you’ve got an brand icon that consumers recognise, use it!

Around 20 years ago, I worked on the iconic After Eight chocolate mint brand and created the clock that is on the packs today.

This has no doubt been tweaked and twiddled with over the years but its integrity remains the same. This icon is a cornerstone of the brand and features prominently on the black envelopes that contain the individual mints.

As with many brands, they have looked to innovation in order to add a bit of interest to the category, However in these instances, it’s important that brand assets are used consistently in order to provide a link back to the parent product.

I noticed this example, recently where they have branched out into a matchstick variant in a very small cylindrical tube.

The brand icon is relegated round the side of the pack format so disappears on the shelf. The prominent use of this instantly recognisable brand icon would’ve really helped differentiate it and stopped it looking like a discounter me-to product. It would also help create stand out where a much reduced canvas can tend to make brands more recessive in store.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Innovation

Challenge your consumer, they’ll thank you for it

How to challenge expectations the right way.

The choice of packaging format is a great way to challenge your consumer, add intrigue and buzz on shelf.

Finding a successful way to utilise a format not typical to the category, ensures that the product stands out on a busy shelf.

In a world of green bottles, using a tall aluminium can creates a fantastic point of difference. Check out this rather fab little example in yellow from Karyatis.

The typical olive green bottle has been replaced by a cylindrical drum which from a distance, is more akin to premium whiskey packaging than olive oil.

The pouring spout pops out the top to ensure a fairly mess free experience when pouring.

Interestingly, when I first saw this, I thought it was a refill rather than a primary pack.

Add a bit of intrigue, create a feature product and your consumer would be happy to leave this out of worktop for a bit of permenant merchandising.

Very cool!

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Innovation

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