Archive for June 2011

Shelf standout – does it really exist?

Welcome to Shelf Life Issue 10, devoted to a thorny issue that has puzzled brand owners and their design consultants for years. What do we really mean by shelf standout, and how do we know when we’ve got it? More importantly, does it lead to more sales? What can packaging design do to achieve the…

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Wall of colour

Old el Paso section

Ah, unique colours, the nirvana of shelf impact. Everyone wants one, but they don’t always want to accept the consequences: 1 Truly unique colours like Cadbury purple and Milka lilac are nothing to do with category language, because they were created before there was such a term. Relatively few brands have changed to a new…

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Wall of colour 2

Who owns the colour green for beer packaging? Is it: a) Heineken, b) Grolsch, c) Carlsberg or d) none of the above? Nobody ‘owns’ colours (even Cadbury has lost court cases), but it can pay to adopt a monolithic brand colour policy from the start, and then do everything you can to reinforce it. In…

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Look into my eyes

This is hagelslag or ‘chocolate hail’. Designed by mad Dutchmen as a kids’ treat to put on bread (hint: use plenty of butter or it all falls off), it’s not for the parent who likes clean floors. Kids’ products usually employ characters, which come with the added bonus of getting your attention by looking at…

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Best foot forward

Conventional wisdom says that strong brands don’t need product shots, and should focus on communicating only brand values and meaning. We would argue: ‘that depends’. For us the role of packaging at POS is to trigger or remind consumers about a powerful brand story. Sometimes that includes the product, sometimes not. So for Guinness shelf…

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Chocolate arms race

Appetite appeal is an important part of shelf impact, as we’ve all experienced when shopping whilst hungry. The design of chocolate packaging almost invariably comes with some sort of brown whirlpool that whisks the drooling consumer off to some fantasy where they are bathing in the stuff. Say. But when every product on the shelf…

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Got any juicy stories?

Juice section in a French supermarket

Branding is storytelling, no more, no less, and the happy ending comes when consumers (unconsciously) say to themselves: “Yes, I buy this brand because it makes me feel….. (insert relevant emotional benefit here)”. The beautiful new oval carton from Joker is a bit wasted when it has no story to tell. Ocean Spray is the…

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Look & Feel

Whiskey section in a supermarket

The famous orange ‘coat’ of Verve Cliquot champagne created both fantastic shelf impact and superb communication of brand values. Now Whisky is having a go at the same trick, but what is the appropriate metaphor? For French consumers at least, the answer seems to be some kind of leather bag or pouch. Unlike the Verve…

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Features and benefits soup

Give me one of these Colgate packs to hold, read and ogle the contents in a simply‐furnished room and I’d be happy for 15 minutes. But ask me to choose one from the eyeboggling range on display at Tesco and my brain just can’t cope. They all look like minor miracles of engineering, but what’s…

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Summer in a tub

Oasis Sorbet

In-mould labelling transforms packaging: from a piece of plastic with a label on top to a seamless, integrated, single object. The contrast is the same as that between a modern car and one with metal bumpers. How last century does that look? On the shelf impact front the technique also enlarges the visible area. This…

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