Apr 23

SHAPE UP!

Posted by Packaging Sense in Bottles | Design | Uncategorized

The importance of a form that is unique, universal and up-to-date

When you think of shape design in the field of package design, bottles will undoubtly first come to mind. Be they plastic or glas, they no doubt will have an impact on point-of-sale as they mostly have unique shapes. Bottles don’t only have interesting shapes, they also have interesting content, Skål!

To win a consumer’s favour is a matter of staying ‘top-of-mind’ with your product. This can be done with unique and interesting advertising or point-of-sale material.

The best way, however, is to design your package in such a way that it achieves an iconic shape. The advantage of having a unique, easy recognisable shape, be it in glass, metal, plastic or cardboard, is that you can constantly change colour, design, etc. in order to be noticed, i.e. top-of-mind.

There are a few brands on the European market that do this successfully and thus strengthen their identity as we, consumers are reminded of their existence. I have obviously no sales figures for any of these brands. Neither do I know if the special editions have increased sales. But what I know is that the cost of printing/producing a special edition has been considerably reduced the last years thanks to technology (flexo printing, sleeving, etc.);

by having a special edition on the shelves you stand out and are thus noticed;

a special edition receives quite a lot of ‘free advertising’ thanks to articles in the press or TV/radio coverage when launched.

Krafft Foods’ Toblerone brand has taken this idea further than anyone else. They know that as long as they stick to the triangular shape, the yellow background and the personalized typography they

can issue special editions for Easter, Christmas, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. The sleeve with the special design can, if the edition is not successful, easily be removed by the shop owner.

When Selfridges celebrated its Centenary they produced several yellow bottles (POP champagne, ABSOLUT and Coca-Cola) in their corporate colour, yellow. No doubt these bottles (very few ABSOLUT were produced!) will demand high prices after a few years. The EVIAN special edition bottles have already reached quite a level on eBay.

The master of special edition is obviously Coca-Cola, be it for Christmas (St. Claus is a Coca-Cola invention!) Selfridges, Olympics or the 250th Anniversary of Robert Burns in Scotland.

The great attraction of special editions was proven a few years ago when Unilever’s Marmite produced a special edition for St. Patrick’s Day with the flavour of Guinness. The quarter of a million jars were apparently sold out within a few hours.

How far can you go when your shape has become iconic? Well, ABSOLUT recently sold a special edition without branding, i.e. printing on the front of the bottle. That is to believe in yourself! Congratulations!

What can we learn from the above? That it is certainly worth the money to design your package/bottle in such a way that the shape can be protected, i.e. trademarked. Maybe the package will be more expensive to produce, but if well designed, your package becomes your advertising medium and where is the most efficient advertising if not in thestore/shop/boutique?

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