General branding related blogs

Always appear inviting

For food brands living in the supermarket freezer, there are two things that are of paramount importance to communicate.

Firstly, and most importantly is that it needs signal the brand and its benefit.

Secondly, it needs to convey taste appeal. The sort of taste appeal that makes you stop and go I want that!

The freezer space is a pretty daunting area, is dimly lit and in the summer months often suffers from products frosting over, therefore ensuring your communication is clear and immediate is incredibly important.

Take a look at this example from Linda McCartney. The use of white tends to look very cold, uninviting and almost clinical. In fact, the white is so recessive that the food shot, which is actually pretty good, is the first thing that jumps out.

Now you might think this is an advantage but it’s sort of got the hierarchy in completely the wrong order. The reason you need to cue brand first is because of all the inherent values that come with that brand.

Lead with the product shot first and you are straight into supermarket own brand territory.

I think that there is space for a bit of warmth adding to this pack design, something more inviting, more enticing and something that would ensure it doesn’t disappear into the barren wasteland that is the supermarket freezer! 

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

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What does it cue?

We humans are quite simple things. We love to create patterns and draw comparisons to help us make sense of the world around us.

Show us something new and it will immediately evoke memories of something similar.

Take these new Nutella packs featuring characters. I saw this one and was immediately transported back to Mister Matey bubble bath from the 1980s!

Is that just me?

It creates quite an interesting challenge though. When trying to create something new, it’s inevitable that we will draw inspiration on things from the past. However, we need to be mindful that it’s the current brand that is front and foremost in the mind of the consumer, rather than what it was inspired by.

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Would reusing be much more efficient?

I couldn’t resit the urge to open up one of those paper wine bottles. I thought I’d post it on here in case anybody was as interested as me as to what secrets lie within!

So, the pack consist of four separate components, a foil lined bag which is connected to a different plastic lug, a carton outer and a metal lid. Whilst the card rapper is recyclable, the foil liner isn’t. On top of that the plastic lug that is adhered to the foil liner will take some doing to separate and recycle as a separate component.

I read with interest on the pack itself about the reduced carbon footprint, but I have to say I’m not sure that I’m fully convinced because of the smorgasbord of multi-material gizmos!

Is this really better than glass environmentally and from a waste point of view when you factor in the full life cycle from creation to disposal? Would reusing packaging materials in a circular economy not be much more efficient?

#PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Sustainability, #Innovation

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The problem with vignettes on aluminium cans

Absolut Vodka and Sprite have teamed up to make a ready drink cocktail.

Always great to see a partnership between brands, but I thought it worth pointing out this potential issue when printing on aluminium cans.

The print method used here doesn’t allow for a smooth vignette or transitions from one colour through to another.

This blend technique is something you see a lot in lithographic printing and works really well on carton or paper, its much less effective however on aluminium cans.

From a distance these vignettes work really well but when you look at them close-up, you can see the dot gain created by the print technique which tends to cheapen the overall feel.

Traditionally on carbonates, many brands have got round this by making the dots much larger and emphasising the fizz or by using large areas of solid colour so as to avoid this issue altogether.

Always ensure the pack works as well close up as it does from a distance, especially if quality is a core value.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

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Always inspire the consumer

Always try to inspire the consumer.

I saw these in a local store recently and its fair to say, steamed brown lentils are never going to be an easy sell-in!

Therefore, it’s really important to try and find ways to inspire the consumer with regards how they can use your product in tasty and adventurous ways.

Normally this is the role of a meal shot but budgets often don’t stretch that far so its important to look at other pack components in order to drive taste.

Take this pack for example. On here there are 3 areas that could be used better, to solve this problem of ‘taste appeal’.

1. Colour combinations
Interesting colour combinations are a great way to cue flavour, in particular origins, without the need for a meal shot.

2. Narrative
If you can’t introduce imagery, then using the language of the restaurant menu is a great way to excite and drive taste.

3. Brand logo
Building food cues into logos, not only solves the problem of appetite appeal, but enhances consumer recognition.

Remember, the consumer is looking to a brand for guidance expertise and inspiration.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

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Never undermine your brand cues

The world of plant-based foods has taken a bit of a pounding over the last couple of months.

Sales and consumer interest have both waned in the face of increase prices and market saturation of products.

Has the time come to take a slightly different approach with plant-based offerings?

I saw this example, from GU in a store the other day. Now, GU is underpinned by unrivalled, throw caution to the wind, indulgence. This indulgence doesn’t seem to translate that well when plant based becomes the hero of the pack.

It also means that important brand cues are sacrificed making it look like a product from another brand, in this case, Activia.

Introducing sub ranges is a great way of building excitement in a portfolio but it should not be at the expense of your core brand values, especially when your product is so yummy!

There an argument here that plant based may work better as more of an endorsement, rather than a hierarchal lead on pack.

#Plantbased, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #BrandDesign

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Be bold and get noticed whatever life brings

If you ever needed a good example of why it pays to be distinct in your on shelf presence, this is probably it.

In light of huge price hikes and clearly plenty of pilfering, some of the supermarkets have opted for a bit of on-shelf security, thankfully we haven’t got to the old barbed wire just yet, but here is an interesting example from Tesco where all of the premium spirits are placed protected and tagged.

You may just about recognise some, but not all of the brands through these makeshift prison bars and I suppose that brings me to my main point.

Your packaging design is a great opportunity to create something distinct that works at a distance as people approach the shelf.

If that distinction works through one of these bags then you know you have that and recognition cracked.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

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Be authentically authentic

It’s a bit slapdash, but I suppose that’s part of its charm.

In a sea of slick competition that are trying to cue authenticity, one of the best ways to do this is to take a more amateurish approach.

It cues consideration and that handmade feel that you attribute with brands like Angostura Bitters.

Have a look at this fantastic that example that I understand is an import from, South Africa. The back of pack has sort of become the front of pack.

Where the brand tends to suffer from the lack of Real Estate the SRP with its bold handwritten font certainly makes up for.

You can’t make up proper authenticity, you have to actually live it.

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It’s not what it says on the tin

Here’s a bizarre one that I stumbled across the other day.

It’s obviously key for brands to communicate instantly what they are and how they benefit the consumer, so it’s quite confusing to see a brand that’s pushing the opposite and trying to reinforce what it’s not.

They pitch it as ‘The world’s first zero carb, zero alcohol, zero taste… beer.’ but is it trying NOT to be a beer, or trying TO be a credible water?

Interesting proposition, but I wonder if this is a ‘Simpsonesque’ joke that will wear off quite quickly?

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The world of engine oil is a truly bamboozling place.

If, as I did yesterday you’ve ever had to go out and shop the fixture and find the correct oil for your car, finding the correct one is like trying to find a copy of ‘Fly Fishing’ by J.R Hartley – thats one for you 80’s kids out there !

Some brands make it even harder to shop the fixture, take this example from Castrol or is it Land Rover or maybe Jaguar, who knows!

This is a great example of where correct hierarchy can help draw the consumer in and then help them navigate to the right solution.

Too many elements on here are competing for attention and all handled at exactly the same size. The important bit is the code that looks like it’s been programmed in some strange type of JavaScript, is the bit that pertains to the particular engine type.

This is something that should be presented front and centre, so that as you approach the shelf you instantly know that’s the right oil to meet your ailing cars needs.

Successful brands empathise with the consumer and offer the solution quickly and efficiently. This subtle encouragement and nudge in the right direction when navigating the fixture is a great way of brands conveying both expertise and advice.

Fail to use it and your brand will be linked with neither.

#BrandDesign, #PackagingDesign, #Packaging, #Marketing

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