Retailers

High street packaging dreams – end in ‘the den’

Posted in Branding, Business News, Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Marketing, Opinion, Product News, Retailers on May 19th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 598 Comments
Den Kit packaging branding

Den Kit packaging branding

Monday night saw the 2nd programme in the mini series High Street Dreams (8 programmes) on BBC1. The ‘reality TV show’ about product branding, packaging & design development. Over the series Jo Malone and Nick Leslau will help a number of individuals as they try to launch new products. From a packaging and design perspective, I don’t think that this week’s show was as good & fulfilling as the first, but still entertaining. The ‘guinea pigs’ included:

Primary school teachers from Shropshire – Jo Jones & Kay Miller who developed a ‘Den Kit’ – a fun and adventure product to help kids play & learn the old fashioned way! Good old ‘home farm’ values and fun!

Initially chopping trees down themselves in rural Shropshire to make ‘handmade’ wooden mallets, they proposed a huge retail price of  £40 per pack. However after visiting the annual Toy Fair where the average toy price was £6.70, they were forced to reconsider. Their mentor David Strang, an entrepreneur & leading toy manufacturer, emphasised the importance of  ‘eye catching’ packaging (good to hear!) which helped his own products increase sales by a factor of 25!

The ladies took this ‘on board’ and a “top graphic designer” was brought in to develop the branding, but I must say it left me disappointed. Although the typography was strong, with an ‘all over’ camouflage effect. Not sure that it had enough ’shelf stand-out, without any alluring photography or a means to view the products inside. But we didn’t have the benefit of a proper evaluation of competitor packs and ’sight’ of all packs on shelf together. Certainly if it had been our project we would have also considered other packaging options (rather than standard carton) to try and incorporate the above factors and try and add more consumer appeal, convenience & value.

The ladies did manage to get their costs down substantially by sourcing components from a brother in the Philippines. Enabling a revised price point of just under £30.

They christened their overarching brand as ‘Real Adventure’ & pitched to the MD Duncan Grant of the ‘Entertainer’ retail chain who was certainly ‘wavering’ and undecided on whether or not to stock the product. He loved the ‘down to earth’ product concept and I think that most of his concern was targeted at the packaging. He mentioned that the packaging  needed “more work” but did eventually give the ‘ go-ahead’ to try out the products in his 52 high street stores in the UK.

The revised Den Kit packaging

The revised Den Kit packaging

The kit contains: tarpaulin, groundsheet, handmade mallet, tent pegs, tent peg bag, 10m rope, metal mug, camouflage paint, webbing haversack & instructions

Since filming, Jo & Kay have certainly been busy and now have other products featured on their website which you can see here: Flibberty

You can follow them on Twitter: @DenKit

The second product featured on the programme was Nutriyum. Husband and wife, Paul and Maria Stricker quit their lucrative city jobs and invested their life savings (over £15K) to create Nutriyum – a healthy drink for young kids. Developing a drink that is both nutritious and tasty is tough enough, but they had just eight weeks to formulate a product in order to secure themselves a place on the highly competitive supermarket shelves. They enlisted the expertise of Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley and Little Dish’s Hillary Graves to help them focus, but sadly time was against them and despite bags of enthusiasm,  had failed to do their homework!!

The initial products offered by Paul & Maria were banana & strawberry flavours – but containing no fruit! The product was redeveloped within a matter of days from the previous synthetic mix into a chilled fresh fruit smoothie, which the couple were expecting to sell at the premium price of £1. Leslau affirmed the importance of pitching with a real product – NOT a prototype – something that we would strongly endorse. In our experience, retailers, buyers & marketers often find it difficult to visualise the ‘final product’, so it’s critical to get as close as possible with your product & packaging in any ’sales pitch’. Something that can be achieved quite easily these days with the ability to provide quick-turnaround physical mock-ups & realistic digitally printed artwork.

Leslau also emphasised the importance of gaining ’shelf space’ with retailers. I would also mention that stores sometimes measure profits in terms of the profit per length of shelving – which needs to be borne in mind in any pack design! Retailers need to be able to:

  • Restrict their investment to the lines that will sell
  • Buy in small quantities (keeping minimum stock)
  • Buy goods that generate the highest levels of profit

Indeed we would emphasise the importance of meeting the business needs of all supply chain parties – suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers & customers – all are interdependent.

Manufacturing was shown in more detail this week, as the young couple hired contract filling facilities to fill prototypes – at a cost of £5000 (+£1000 for materials) – only to come to the conclusion that they had been packed in an inappropriate packaging format (an expensive mistake to make and underlines the importance of thinking these things through properly and employing ‘experts’ to help from the outset – which can actually work out more cost-effective in the long run!)

The packs chosen for filling were Guala ’style’ ‘doy’ packs, commonly used on drinks like Lucozade, but would have presented the wrong ‘messages, cues & triggers’ for the ’single shot’ proposition intended. The branding agency chosen by Malone and Leslau were ‘Identica’ who (not surprisingly) struggled to find a fit with the brand name ‘Nutriyum’ and also with the overall pack proposition (considering that the product ingredients were synthetic but supposed to be healthy and appeal to young mothers). So there was a big ‘disconnect’ there. If more market research had been undertaken by the couple before developing their product/brand a totally different & more focused offering would have been achieved.

Ultimately, Paul & Maria realised their problem and simply ran out of time, so decided themselves to ‘bow out’ – a very brave decision considering the allure of retail endorsement and the TV PR coverage they would have gained for their new brand (despite that – they certainly got some good coverage anyway!). I feel that they made the right decision and will ‘live to fight another day’, once they’ve got it right.

As it happens, I undertook some research on the web today, and it does appear that the couple have been ‘beavering away’ in the background. Although the product is “not in the shops yet”, you can find out more about their endeavours on-line (link below). As a matter of interest Nutri-Yum does already appear to been trademarked by someone else (which wasn’t mentioned in the programme by anyone!)  Paul & Maria do seem to have taken ‘on-board’ the comments made in the programme and redeveloped their branding & packaging (and no-doubt the formulation also). In fact a completely different product offering! Certainly an improvement on what was shown on the TV – but probably in need of a bit more work. The brand name has been changed to ‘nyum‘. According to Wikipedia, this means “Swallowing in Catalan” – which I suppose is reasonably appropriately. However, a quick search on Google, pulls up a huge array of ‘nyum nyum’ activity & ‘noise’ – much of which seems to relate to eating BUT none of which relates to this new brand – so I feel that more work is needed there guys! You can see the latest offering on their website www.nyum.co.uk

We wish all parties featured in the programme every success with their products, but the big learnings for anyone in their position are:

  • Include product development & design specialists from the start if you want success (we can give you a free consultation if you are unsure)!
  • Make your mistakes early on in the process, before you’ve spent too much money
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Don’t be afraid to ‘pull the plug’ if it doesn’t feel right!

Next week the High Street Dreams team will help two sets of partners market fashion products. If you want to watch last night’s programme again you can download it on i-player here: 17th May programme

Cheers

Chris Penfold

High street dreams? a packaging reality!

Posted in Branding, Business News, Design, Food Packaging, Marketing, Product News, Retailers, Social Media on May 11th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments
Mr Singh's new branding logo

Mr Singh's new branding logo

A  new mini series High Street Dreams (8 programmes) kicked off on BBC1 last night that is a ‘reality TV show’ about product branding, packaging & design development – and very entertaining it was too. Over the series Jo Malone and Nick Leslau will help a number of individuals as they try to launch new products. Last night’s ‘guinea pigs’ included:

Mr Singh’s Chilli sauce (www.mrsinghssauce.co.uk) and Asian Singh family of 7 from East London who have developed a unique “dynamite” chilli sauce over a number of years and now want to “take on the world”. Having already developed their own packaging they were ‘knocking out’ 1000 bottles a day in their garden shed. However, after undertaken some market research on local doorsteps they redefined their key brand messages and with the help Pearlfisher, undertook a complete brand overhaul. Anyhow, it must have been successful because the conclusion was a trial in 3 London Asda stores and their website now lists a number of other independent stockists.

New Muddy Boots brand logo

New Muddy Boots brand logo

Meanwhile, Roland & Miranda Ballard, the couple behind the gourmet ‘Aberdeen Angus’ burger range Muddy Boots Foods, worked with Blue Marlin. Together they revamped their vacuum packed burger range, which when showed to shoppers in it’s existing packaging, was described as “looking like dog food”. Anyhow, after development of  bespoke ‘windowed’ carton to show-off a tantalising view of the top-quality prime cuts, they managed to secure a trial in a few Waitrose stores (although Waitrose weren’t totally convinced of the merits of the small window). So top marks to all concerned! A good insight for those of you not involved in teh industry, on how a brand and packaging can be redeveloped & invigorated. You can find out more about Muddy Boots foods at (www.muddybootsfoods.co.uk). Both companies also have Twitter accounts (@mrsinghssauce & @muddybootsfoods ) and they both have Facebook accounts.

Next week the High Street Dreams team will help two sets of partners market children’s products. If you want to watch last night’s programme again you can download it on i-player here: 10th May programme

Cheers Chris Penfold

Mothercare alluring packaging for baby toiletries

Posted in Branding, Design, Healthcare & Pharma, Marketing, Product News, Retailers on April 26th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – Be the first to comment
New Mothercare Packaging - All We Know Range

New Mothercare Packaging - All We Know Range

Earlier this year Mothercare launched a new range of branded baby toiletries products called ‘All We Know’, the packaging and branding for which was undertaken by John Rushworth and Daniel Weil. I think that this is a  great peice of packaging design by John & Daniel and agree that the “creation of a coherent and focused sub-brand enables Mothercare to draw on its reputation as a trusted brand whilst adding new elements that help to differentiate these products from the competition”. Look out for it on the shelves and let us know what you think. In the meantime, you can read more about it’s distinctive aesthetic, ergonomic and practical packaging and branding features here: Mothercare All We Know range @ TheDieline

Cheers Chris Penfold

Another attempt at packaging re-use – Credit for trying

Posted in Environmental Issues, Recycling, Retailers on March 18th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 1 Comment

Interesting and all credit to ASDA for trying out this idea again.  It’s true, there is now far more emphasis placed on the amount and type of packaging used than there was when ASDA last tried this route, but there are other issues.  What proportion of the customers will actually remember to take the pouch back to the store with them and how messy could the filling be are just a couple of the issues that could arise.  It will be interesting to see how it gets on.

As for brands adopting this, I personally can’t see it happening any time soon.  Not because as this article suggests they could loose shelf presence, as I’m sure they would still have products on the shelves around it, but more because of the logistics, how would they stop their products being dispensed into an ASDA own pack.  I’m sure there are packaging solutions to this issue, with different shaped orifices and dispensing nozzles, but it will certainly all need to have been sorted before any of the big brands follow ASDA’s lead. (Jane Bear)

While the idea of refilling your own packs in store is not new, a new trial by ASDA supermarkets in the UK is again attempting to bring this idea from smaller niche outlets into the mainstream. Consumers are being offered ASDA private label fabric softener in a refillable plastic pouch that can be used up to 10 times in store.  To read the full article by Josh Stock, Euromonitor International just follow this link to Packaging World

DAY 4 – Packaging Tip No4 – Market supply chains

Posted in Design, Opinion, Retailers, Top 10 Tips, Uncategorized on March 9th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 1 Comment
Packaging Top Ten Tips

Packaging Top Ten Tips

In order to help you develop your packaging more productively, we have generated a series of  FREE short 1-2 minute videos detailing our Tip Ten Tips for getting it right. We will be posting 1 x video per day on this blog site over a 10 day period – so keep a look out for them – they could save you a £££$$$ fortune in the long run!

DAY 4 – Tip No4: What route to market will you take? Direct via the Internet? Through a wholesaler? or through a retail store? All have their own peculiarities and requirements, which will affect your pack design. Find out more on the video…

Have fun packaging.

Cheers Chris

Today’s Video:

Packaging Tip No4 – Market supply chains – by Chris Penfold – Design Cognition

Look out tomorrow for Tip No 5 – Manufacturing & production constraints…..

10 innovations reshaping business & affecting packaging design & processes

Posted in Business News, Design, Innovation, Opinion, Retailers, Technology on March 1st, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments

Follow the link below to read an interesting FT.com article which talks about the expected development & impact of the following topics on business:
1. Blue-sky computing
2. Work longer, work older
3. Information does have a value
4. Greed isn’t as good as we thought
5. Energy sources get smarter
6. Generation Xers come into their own
7. Gain from the pain of failure
8. Do more with less
9. Jump on the hedge
10. Deliver us from shopping

So what do you think that this means for 1.the packaging design process (i.e. HOW we design) & 2. packaging design itself (i.e WHAT we design)?

Some will have a major impact and others less so.

The 3 that stand-out for me are:
1.Blue-sky computing - which will have a fundamental affect on the way we work & collaborate over the internet in both the design process and the interactive shopping process.

8. Do more with less – is already having an affect every day on packaging design as we try to balance the need to add ever-more information on the one hand with the need to reduce materials & pack footprint from a sustainability point of view, on the other hand.

10. Deliver us from shopping – will provide interesting & surreal opportunities as internet shopping ‘comes of age’, ‘pick-up’ areas are introduced by stores such as Wal-Mart and as web and mobile phone technology converge.

Read the FT.com article by following this link & let us know what you think: 10 innovations that will reshape business

Watch this space for my further, more in-depth thoughts on this over the coming days.

Cheers

Chris

Only 25% shoppers are ‘aware of renewable packaging materials’

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Marketing, Materials, Opinion, Recycling, Retailers on January 26th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments

Why am I not surprised that only a quarter of consumers are aware of renewable materials in packaging and even fewer have heard of FSC, research from the carton producers association ACE has found. I wouldn’t say that the benefits have been particularly well marketed to the industry, let alone consumers.

Research carried out among 1,001 shoppers for the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK found that just 26% of consumers had heard of renewable materials being used in packaging, while 16% knew of the FSC chain of custody logo.

Although I’m aware that mixed material cartons are now collected at some supermarkets (in the UK), it seems to be ‘patchy’ to say the least. The Tetra pak website provides some useful information, but I for one am not convinced that widespread and adequate infrastructure is in place to process these once collected, what impact processing has on the environment and what real usage there is for the recovered materials afterwards. Tetra Pak state that materials can be “used in furniture, to generate energy or even separated out into pure aluminium and paraffin.” But I wonder how much of that actually happens?

Cartons may well state that “purchasing this FSC certified carton from Tetra Pak supports responsible forest management worldwide”, but there are no statements about the other materials that need to be separated.

So come on FSC, if you’d like to provide us with the relevant information so that we can all make an informed judgement as to the pros & cons, we (in the industry) can help you spread your message.

Chris Penfold

Here you can read the rest of the article: ‘Three shoppers in four ‘unaware of renewable packaging materials’: study‘ Dated 25th January 2009, Via Packaging News website.

Multisensoric trend key to confectionery packaging, claims German group

Posted in Design, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Product News, Retailers, Technology on December 17th, 2009 by Anne Dallison – 5 Comments

The use of Multisensoric for confectionery packaging on the increase

By Jane Byrne , 15-Dec-2009

Appealing to consumers’ five senses through innovative packaging techniques can result in increased brand loyalty and greater impact at point of sale, and it is a key driver in confectionery packaging, according to the organisers of the 2010 Pro Sweets trade show.

Multisensoric is an approach to packaging design that allows packaging to stimulate and arouse emotions in consumers to encourage purchase and examples include such elements as striking colour schemes, windows to view the product, exciting rustling sounds and foldout trays.

The Pro Sweets team said that, as a result, the confectionery industry is increasingly focused on touch, sight and sound finished packaging elements such as foil lamination, textured embossing, and varnishes.

via Multisensoric trend key to confectionery packaging, claims German group.

How to prolong the shelf life of a banana

Posted in Design, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Innovation, Materials, Retailers, Uncategorized on December 9th, 2009 by Jane Bear – 4 Comments

I suppose there are pros and cons – is it better to protect the food with more packaging so that it can be stored for longer and there is less food waste – or better to scrap the food and save on the packaging?  I think if they can find a way of making the film from a biodegradable material then this has the potential to be a real step forward.  It would take some selling to the general public though, there appears to be a large number who believe that all packaging is evil, regardless of it’s use or benifit. (Jane)

 packaging single banana

Health-conscious consumers bananas are a welcome part of a convenience store’s offering. That is, until they turn brown. Which is why Del Monte developed a new plastic wrap for bananas that promises to more than double their shelf life by keeping out air and moisture. 7-Eleven has been trialling the second skin in 27 of its Dallas-area stores. If the trial is successful, the bananas-in-bags could be stocked in the majority of the chain’s 5,787 shops by early 2010.

From the perspective of consumer health that’s a thumbs up, but some have criticized the extra packaging as environmentally unsound. After all, bananas come wrapped in their own protective layer. Del Monte is looking to develop biodegradable packaging, but also stresses that the new plastic wrapper reduces the overall carbon footprint by enabling a reduction in deliveries. The company is also introducing specially packaged bananas in vending machines, underlining the wider context of increased consumer demand for food that’s both healthy and convenient. (Related: Vending machines for healthy food — Vending machines for farm produce.)

via New packaging prolongs shelf life of bananas – Springwise.

“Achieving attention- – by structural innovation”

Posted in Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Marketing, Materials, Product News, Retailers, Technology on December 4th, 2009 by Anne Dallison – 15 Comments

Interesting article and data  on the importance of continued investment into innovative packaging and graphics (Annie)

Year long survey consistently finds that structure might best communicate innovation, especially with supportive graphics. Materials and production also are good barometers. In any economic environment, innovation is key to growth. But, during a recession, many companies are tempted to reduce spending on innovation to save money. Luckily, this is not an absolute rule. Daring brands still pushed the boundaries of packaging innovation in 2009.Earlier this year, Shelf Impact! and international brand consultancy Dragon Rouge formed a partnership to ask branding and packaging professionals to evaluate recent product and packaging innovations. Each quarter, we asked a sample of hundreds of Shelf Impact! readers, from brand managers to designers to materials suppliers, to rate a selection of packages on matters of innovation. View an image and brief description of each of the 10 packages reviewed this quarter.

via Shelf Impact: “Achieving attention-getting innovation” Filed In:.