Progressive Grocer Product

WIN 2015

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8 Progressive Grocer Products Showcase / Winter 2015 event marketing can never match the reach and infuence of brand identity." Because packaging is the single most infuential tool and most highly remembered part of a brand, brand identity should be the cornerstone of an integrated brand communication strategy. "The most efective brands establish their package as the frst articulation of their message and then build their advertising, web development, social media and all other eforts around this core branding element," Wallace says. When package design is expertly leveraged, it expresses what the brand is and what it stands for with all of its nuances. In other words, a visual and verbal language is created that is central to that brand and no other brand. "Research shows that, to consumers, the package is the product," Design Force's Mininni says. "Perceptions about packaging are transferred to branded products themselves. For all of these reasons, packaging should be one of the frst and most important branding tools for marketers." Wallace agrees that the brand's identity is also the brand's core mnemonic or how consumers remember your product. "Ask consumers to draw what they remember about your brand," he says. "Every one of them will draw a picture of your package and highlight your package's shape, color, logo, icon, photography and other package elements." Some of the most infuential global brands, such as Apple, Method, Monster and POM Wonderful, give packaging the same commitment as the products. "These companies have design- centric cultures, and they pay as much attention to their packaging as they do to their products. Due to the mind-boggling amount of competition that exists in virtually every product category, more brand managers are focusing on package design to help elevate their brands over their competitors," Mininni says. Even as they recognize its importance, there's a struggle in many organizations to allocate enough resources to developing optimal package design. "Marketers tend to allocate more of their budgets to conventional and digital advertising and online marketing while in actuality they ought to be more focused on their packaging, which interfaces with consumers right at the point of sale," Mininni adds. Packaging also has increased in importance to branding because of the impact packaging has on the brand and the planet. "Packaging is the largest contributor to landflls and sometimes an obnoxious glutton for resources," Capsule's Keller says. "Consumers have seen this and point out over-packaging, obnoxious packaging and bad experiences in packaging. So, brands have given eforts around packaging more attention." Innovation and Packaging Consumers are savvy, and they are looking for what's new and what's next. Packaging innovation can come in small incremental ways like through a new shape of a container or sustainability component in materials or a delivery system. Packaging for new products also is important with the overhanging realization that the vast majority of new products fail. "New products need more visual positioning and more brand packaging know how than any other category, because the failure rate is so high," says Terri Goldstein, founder and chief executive ofcer of the brand identity and design frm Goldstein Group, New York City. "You know it's hard for a new product in the category to say, 'Hey, look at me. Try me. Spend money on me,' but then consumers have no experience with it. To initiate trial, the brand has to work harder." In new product development, packaging sets the core identifers of the brand, such as colors, shapes, symbols and words, which become entrenched in consumers' minds. Companies now understand, Goldstein says, that packaging is the silent sales person on the shelf where they might only have one or two SKUs that speaks intuitively to consumers in fve seconds or less. "For low- to mid-involvement brands, that's all the amount of time they are being considered --about fve to seven seconds in each category," Goldstein says. As companies are viewing innovation as their primary source of growth, packaging will need to act as a clear sign that something new has hit the market. "How companies can get the best new product out there is that they should hire their packaging development frm at the same time they are doing the new product ideation," Goldstein says. "The package design frm all too often inherits a name that's too long that can't be translated into a good visual vocabulary or there is not copy. There is just a concept sheet and the right diligence has not been done." All too often companies and marketers don't understand the science of brand design, and the power that exists today of creating highly ownable brand assets, she continues. "Brand malpractice is all about how to stop copycat activity on your brand," Goldstein explains. "How you stop it is when you develop the brand, you develop it by owning a color you can trademark, a shape of a structure that you can trademark, a symbol that you can trademark and all the copy. A good example of a new product is Carmex Cold Sore. Our client locked up every single inch of their package because we created ownable core identifers that they could readily own — the colors, shapes, symbols, brand architecture, shape of the structure, everything." Capsule's Keller is seeing large CPG companies cover feature A brand's package is its identity. No other brand identity effort generates nearly the reach and impact that packaging does.

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