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Jan 12, 2017

Packaging actions that get reactions

by Gary Rapps - Managing Director

Packaging actions that get reactions

A product’s packaging has always been an important part of the marketing mix but with purchase decision time at the fixture getting ever shorter, brands are working harder than ever to stand out from the crowd.

Design, format, messaging, print techniques and materials all seem to now need equal consideration to ensure cut through on shelf, or on-line, although that can sometimes depend on the sector. Morrisons’s previous attempt to sell single  bananas for instance seriously backfired when they over packaged something that nature had already taken care of.

Packaging, used correctly however, not only helps to generate awareness in the relevant store environment but gives the brand an ownable platform. From this, one can sell the product's benefits, whilst reinforcing the brand's positioning, attitude and direction, all hopefully leading to consumer acceptance, appraisal and purchase.

One such line that recently caught my eye was a fragrance called Fresh, from Moschino, a brand usually associated with celebrities such as Rita Ora, Katy Perry or the Kardashians. Moschino Fresh Couture Eau de Toilette, is lurid blue in colour and comes in bottle that looks exactly like window cleaner complete with a fake plastic spray gun nozzle! “The concept for this fragrance”, according to its creators, “was to juxtapose the most mundane and commonplace of all products, the household cleaner, with something so precious - the juice of a luxury brand’s fragrance. Taking the iconography of a bottle that has no aspirational value and using it as the inspiration for a vessel to contain something so luxurious and haute couture, creates the ultimate dichotomy of high and low.” Hmmmm...

Using a similar pack design approach to engage with consumers and prompt reaction has also worked for a number of smaller, artisan type brands, who perhaps have a more maverick style than some of their established competitors.

One example is this range of t-shirts, from a Thai design team who have created a line of garments packaged to look like grocery items from a supermarket.

Another approach, this time from a Romanian agency producing concept ideas around a new beer brand, used the shape and style of a glass as the basis for their can design linked to a textured clear plastic outer.

Staying overseas for a moment this eye-catching packaging, from Canadian artist Simon Laliberte, helps to sell paintbrushes by incorporating some rather fun, human aspects into the design. The Poilu brand, which means hair in French, has an added bonus in that the outer packaging can be folded and used as a stand for brushes covered in paint.

Hair also featured in promotional packing for a German wool company called Rellana, who tasked Ogilvy & Mather Frankfurt to come up with a strong pack identity for Rellana Hair®, a range of fringed yarn. In order to demonstrate the typical character of the wool at first sight, faces were printed on the labels around the balls of wool as a winter special, thus helping to communicate the fact that the yarn was perfect for scarves and hats.

My final observation brings us back home to this recent packaging overhaul from Domino’s which sees their generic ‘brown box’ replaced with red and blue ones that hero the brand’s logo.

As part of the research process, it was found that 96 per cent of all Domino’s pizzas sold in the UK are sold as a pair, due to the numerous ‘two for one’ and combo deals offered to consumers. The revamp, by design agency JKR, used this to physically bring their logo to life and is currently helping Domino’s drive increased consumer engagement not to mention coverage on social media.

Here at Toucan we also place design at the heart of everything we do and, more importantly, fully appreciate its role alongside that of product, price, place and promotion in the classic 4 P’s of marketing. So if you don’t want to slip on a banana skin when either creating, redesigning or reviewing your own brand in the future then do get in touch.

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Packaging, Retail, Branding, Shopper

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