Apr 20

When it’s premium, it’s premium!

Posted by Packaging Sense in Trends | Uncategorized

Marketeers like to divide the market into categories like premium, superpremium, etc. I have nothing against this, as it is a language understood by those involved in marketing.

However, the fact that each of these categories have to have a visual language that informs the consumer about the quality and price level is not always obvious to the marketing people. Here is where the designers come into the picture, as they are familiar with these visual languages.

John Cleese says something very true in his autobiography “So, Anyway…”, stating “unfortunately, you have to have some creative ability before you recognize it in others” which is what design mostly is about.

Here are some of the typical visual traits for a premium product:

– very few design elements
– no New flash
– no promotional texts or symbols
– small product illustration, if any
– delicate choice of typeface(s)
– no net weight, etc.
– gold, visibly embossed (too often, the gold used does not add the premium touch it is supposed to do)

Why do I say all this? Because the other day, I found a Mondelez product in Sweden that missed out on most of the above. Most likely, the brand manager wanted to show everything about the product on the front panel. So the space is filled with no less than 10 different messages! Imagine how these delicious thin chocolate discs could have been put in evidence if the designer had approached his work differently. Here are my suggestions:

Marketeers like to divide the market into categories like premium, superpremium, etc. I have nothing against this, as it is a language understood by those involved in marketing.

However, the fact that each of these categories have to have a visual language that informs the consumer about the quality and price level is not always obvious to the marketing people. Here is where the designers come into the picture, as they are familiar with these visual languages.

John Cleese says something very true in his autobiography “So, Anyway…”, stating “unfortunately, you have to have some creative ability before you recognize it in others” which is what design mostly is about.

Here are some of the typical visual traits for a premium product:

very few design elements

no New flash

no promotional texts or symbols

small product illustration, if any

delicate choice of typeface(s)

no net weight, etc.

gold, visibly embossed (too often, the gold used does not add the premium touch it is supposed to do)

Why do I say all this? Because the other day, I found a Mondelez product in Sweden that missed out on most of the above. Most likely, the brand manager wanted to show everything about the product on the front panel. So the space is filled with no less than 10 different messages! Imagine how these delicious thin chocolate discs could have been put in evidence if the designer had approached his work differently. Here are my suggestions:

– if it’s premium, you just can’t have a bold 70%
– a cheap looking “NEW” in the corner lowers the quality level
– does the consumer really care that 5 (why 5?) thin chocolate discs give 7% of the daily need of calories and that at least 30% of the cocoa comes from certified rainforest areas…?

Great package design only give key information on the front in order to optimise the layout. Other information belong to the rear panel for those who have the time and interest to read all the information before buying!

LW/March 2016

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