at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Posts Tagged ‘Packaging’

Branding: faking it vs. making it

In Brands, communications, marketing, strategy on November 24, 2008 at 6:58 am

There is a quote that comes to mind that goes something like, “character is who you are when no one is watching.” This seems apt to describe branding at times. There are many brands that put on a good show in communications, packaging, environments only to let consumers down when they least expect it. Some of us have had friends like this in our lives, but how many of those relationships continue to prosper after we’ve been let down?

Brand relationships are about delivering an experience through all of the brand’s touch points. I won’t even go so far as to say that it has to be a consistent experience because I think branding is changing. But it does have to be a unified experience.

I’ve posted the above picture of GHIRADELLI Hot Chocolate as an example of how not to sustain a brand. For those who don’t know, GHIRADELLI is a premium chocolate brand out of San Francisco. As such you would expect brand attributes such as refined, sophisticated, luxurious and crafted to be part of their story. Note, these aren’t differentiated characteristics but rather table-stakes in the premium category.

The external packaging represents these characteristics and helps to validate the price point which you are bound to pay on a supermarket shelf. Once you make the purchase though, you are confronted with a food service, mass market brand on the inside. Why GHIRADELLI decided to pay a design firm for the external packaging and didn’t throw the internal pouch into the brief is beyond me. Did they think that it wasn’t important or that no one would notice?

I would argue that the experience arch for this brand actually peaks when the pouch is torn open and the product is made. By that account the internal packaging is more important to the brand while the external packaging may still be more important to sales. But, to my earlier point, the brand’s character is defined when it doesn’t think anyone is looking. Or perhaps better stated, “a brand’s character is defined when it isn’t selling.”

Poland Spring = Water Park

In Brands, Design, marketing, Packaging on August 12, 2008 at 9:21 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

The new Poland Spring design reminds me of when I was a kid and I used to ride the log flume at the amusement park. I also reminds me of my friend who used to laugh really hard when we landed and always pee’ed his pants. Perhaps that makes lemon flavored water apropos…

Someone Needs a Packaging Update…

In Branding, Design, Packaging, Uncategorized on July 7, 2008 at 9:53 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

…as seen today at Duane Reade. Remember when VO5 was a cool, upscale product? After seeing this packaging I don’t either…

Death, Now with More Sour-Creamation

In Branding, Brands, marketing on June 2, 2008 at 10:34 am

I love my work but here’s a guy who REALLY loved his work. Fredric J. Baur of Cincinnati and the inventor of the Pringle’s can will be laid to rest this week…in a Pringle’s can. Proving that even after you pop, you still can’t stop.

from CNN:
Baur’s children said they honored his request to bury him in one of the cans by placing part of his cremated remains in a Pringles container in his grave in suburban Springfield Township.

The rest of his remains were placed in an urn buried along with the can, with some placed in another urn and given to a grandson, said Baur’s daughter, Linda Baur of Diamondhead, Mississippi.

Baur requested the burial arrangement because he was proud of his design of the Pringles container, a son, Lawrence Baur of Stevensville, Michigan, said Monday.

Wine Label Innovation That’s Been a Long Time Coming

In Consumers, marketing, Uncategorized on April 13, 2008 at 12:27 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

How many times have you tried to discreetly peel off a wine label in a restaurant? I’ve recently converted a few friends to the iPhone Wine Library, which isn’t really a product but an understanding that you can create a gallery of wine labels with notes about about what you liked about them in your iPhone. It also demonstrates that no matter where you pull out your iPhone and what you do with it it is still very cool.

Well, now Swiss Miss points us to peel-ready wine labels for the wino in all of us.

hat tip to dieline a sweet package design blog

San Pellegrino Package Design

In Brands, Design, innovation on February 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

When I was last in Italy I managed to take a bad picture of a good package redesign. San Pellegrino accomplished a couple of things with this one.

In retail shops that have a cooler under the bar the packaging is gorgeous and looks like it does in the picture. By branding the top of the can it is easier to see and identify when the product is laying on its side, and actually makes it your first choice since it is the product that you see first. To see other options you have to crouch down to look in the cooler.

Secondly, the top metal seal pulls off to reveal a normal ring tab which successfully makes the whole product feel fresher and more juice-like instead of like flavored water.

Not sure of the design agency on this one, but I do like the work.