Oct 03

Be top-of-mind

Posted by Packaging Sense in Advertising | Bottles | Trends | Uncategorized

… thanks to creative package design.

Let it be said straight from the beginning: Don’t play around with your identity, nor with your package design! You will only water down your identity, tamper upon brand image and maybe even destroy your price policy.

By changing a part of your pack design in order to increase the attraction of your product, you may achieve any of these improvements:

  • • strengthening the brand
  • • perceived added value
  • • reinforcement of the positioning
  • • seen as more contemporary
  • • better communication

This can also be achieved with promotional activities as done in a category like breakfast cereals. But a promotion can be a risky business if you don’t coordinate it properly.

To do something with your package design is not risky and costs you only new artwork, new printing plates or cylinders. Why do I say that it is less risky… because if you have found out how your present design is perceived, seen and appreciated, you will know which part of it is untouchable and which one you can vary. If the design is changed in the right direction as is often the case with the Toblerone triangular pack or the round Nivea cream tin, then you are strengthening your brand in the consumer’s mind. You may call what you do “a special edition” to increase the perceived value, but this is not necessary. What is important is that the consumer gets a feeling for a certain urgency, i.e. if she doesn’t buy the product now, it will be too late when she visits the shop next time.

What you do to your design must also be seen as an improvement or as added value. This is why ‘playing around’ is strictly forbidden!

Having followed some companies over the years, I have come to the conclusion that they must have found out that such controlled changes must be profitable!

As I write these lines in June 2011 the Cannes film festival has just ended, but I am reminded of its importance as I drink my S. Pellegrino “Hommage à la dolce vita”. I thought it would be impossible to do such a thing to an iconic label as S. Pellegrino, but no, it was a success! As was last year’s version with the Missoni labels. These two examples show that if you have a clear and simple positioning as S. Pellegrino has, such changes will enhance the brand and make it even more appreciated, and valuable!

Apart from Toblerone, Nivea or Kinder who in principle don’t change their product, I should like to mention here the Ritter seasonal designs. I recently bought a “Summer Delight 2011” Stracciatella, unfortunately not an attractive label design, but clearly a special edition they did to make the Ritter brand stay top-of-mind during the Summer season when less chocolate is purchased.

To those who will have a try at changing their design, I can give the following advice:

  • • Find out the consumer’s view on the design which may be very different to your own view as to identity and communication.
  • • Make the change so big that it is immediately noticed.
  • • Focus on the brand’s positioning!
  • • Try to add humour. If the consumer smiles when she sees your pack, you have a winner!
  • • Don’t be afraid to overlap even your logotype. See what TIME, ELLE, etc. do every week.
  • • Stay within the colour-scheme you have. Don’t add new colours!
  • • Make it unique. Surprise!
  • • Plan it well in advance so you have time to check if you are within the positioning limits.

Now, just do it!

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