Apr 20

Has marketing gone mad?

Posted by Packaging Sense in Uncategorized

If you ‘google’ SIGNAL toothpaste, you’ll find 41 varieties of the product. It is therefore no surprise that a shelf in a Carrefour shop in France looks like this:

Why this confusing multitude? Because the marketing department knows that the more varieties, the more shelf space will be obtained. If so, why then such bad communication to the consumer? As I have written many times on www.packagingsense.com, neither the brand managers, nor the package design companies, seem to tackle this problem seriously. The point is to find the right hierarchy so the consumer INSTANTLY finds the appropriate product.

This is a matter of giving each individual product a genuine and unique identity, still maintaining a strong SIGNAL brand identity.

Is this possible? Yes, if the designer uses the right tools:

– icons
– unique descriptive denominations
– colour coding, but never more than 4 colours

and this not only on the primary package, but also on the tray, display unit, advertising (on/off line) and whatever other media being used.

This is a typical TEAMWORK:… from the purchasing department who probably deals with the outer cartons to the promotional team that sells “3 for the price of 2”. Who should be responsible? Well, the brand manager, the name says it.

By the way, some other categories like deodorants are not much better. Do you INSTANTLY understand the difference between the 4 L’Oréal Men Expert that have the following messages:

– antiperspirant vs. deodorant
– thermic resistant 45°
– 48h freshness longlasting auto-reactivated
– 96h non-stop
– 5 in 1, total protection 48h
– Carbon protect
– Invincible
– Cool power
– Focus spray
– Perfume ice fresh
– Woody force perfume
– Perfume fresh mint
– Perfume clean cool

Conclusion: As I believe we’ll have to live with more and more line extensions and not really new inventions, I would suggest that the industry finds a new  UNDERSTANDABLE way to communicate. The actual system does not seem to work in the interest of the consumers.

By the way, why do the 4 spray cans have so many different colours? There seems to be no consistency which would help the consumer to choose the product.

It seems there is no methodical thinking behind.

And I bet that when a new brand manager takes over this range, there will be yet a different ‘solution’ which will, once more, leave the consumer puzzled in front of the shelf!

LW/March 2016

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