Page 1

$15 US

November 2010 | Vol. 8 No. 9

Meet the 2010 Makeover Challenge Winner! HBN Brand Design accelerates brands through strategic design and simplified communications Also: Hottest Trends Roundtable Is Simplicity Here to Stay? Avon’s New Skin So Soft Makeover Challenge Analysis Stonyfield’s Biobased Cups

S O M E O F U S S T A Y T H A T W A Y. Innovative new glass technology from the dreamers at O-I. Remember when you thought anything was possible for your brands? Get that feeling again with O-I. Our team of cutting-edge designers and innovators can help build your brand through differentiation – like our Vortex® bottle does with its specially-designed internally embossed grooves.

Partner with O-I for innovation that’s more than a dream.

gs_OI-0564 KL.indd 1 • 567-336-1016 •

©2010 Owens-Illinois, Inc. OI-0564

7/19/10 10:17 PM

november 2010


cover Story |

hbn brand design

by Patrick Henry

The team at HBN Brand Design won the 2010 Package Design Makeover Challenge by practicing what they preach every day: providing clients with designs that have personality and make a meaningful emotional connection.


front panel | brand Segmentation

by Ted mininni

Effective package design for product line segments looks simple and effortless, belying all of the research and hard work that goes into making it work properly.


deSiGner’S corner |

value and Simplicity

by rochelle martyn and Lisa Simpson

A strategy of conformity will not make your brand a leader, but a strategy of meaningful change will create more value and commercial success for brands.

24 hot topics roundtable discussion Seven leading designers discuss how industry forces are changing the way they do business and how they think about their profession. Part 1 of 3.



SuStainability update |

bushels of Good news


reSearch | Makeover

challenge analysis

by Wendy Jedlicka, CPP

by ron romanik and Hotspex

The New Hampshire-based Stonyfield organic dairy company’s new PLA yogurt cups should expand cost-competitive markets for biobased PLA.

A detailed analysis of positive design elements shows why this seventh edition of the Makeover Challenge was the tightest race to date.

buSineSS workflow |

faster to Market by mark rutter

The problem with depending solely on a centralized, systematic approach to product development is that it is a painfully slow process.

40 wow! what a package by Lynn Dornblaser

This leaning Italian White Balsamic Vinegar bottle clearly steals heritage and appeal from both alcoholic elixirs and fine fragrances.

Spotlight 6 Personal Care | Avon’s Skin So Soft

30 Pet Care | Perfect Coat Pet Products

34 Home Care | Wisk Laundry Detergents

36 Contest | Project 2020 Grand Prize Winner



editor’s Letter

38 Package Designers Datebook 38 Index of Advertisers

november 2010 |


11262 Cornell Park Dr. | Cincinnati, OH 45242 CORPORATE OFFICE

11262 Cornell Park Dr. | Cincinnati, OH 45242

Extending the Value Proposition


critical part of modern brand management is extending the brand messages into new areas with new products, innovative package design, and new consumer touch points. Managing each aspect of an expanding brand well benefits from a visionary understanding of what that brand will mean to loyal customers five or ten years down the road. Designers are asked to do more and more each day to protect the past and predict the future while bringing real, measurable value to their clients. Of course, I’m preaching to the choir when I say that effective brand management all begins and ends with the package design. In this issue, we explore brand management from a wide array of perspectives. This “Designers Issue” gives voice to strong opinions about not just how to manage a brand but also how to manage the business end. In the front of the magazine, we have advice on how to extend and segment a brand through systematic package design and how to create value through a simplified approach. Our Cover Story presents an inside look at how HBN Brand Design, this year’s Makeover Challenge winner, creates value for their clients through strategic positioning that remains true to the product. Many design firms today feel that the most effective way to do business is by developing a “partnering” relationship with their clients. In our Hot Topics Roundtable discussion, top design innovators discuss how they bring value to their clients and what true innovation means. Whether an incremental or breakthrough innovation, single package design changes can have far reaching ripple effects. As discussed in our Sustainability Update, Stonyfield’s switch to biobased materials for their yogurt cups will change both competitors’ perceptions and supply chain realities. The Tide Total Care package shown here is an excellent example of many topics covered in this issue. The color differentiation is effective brand extension and segmentation, the more angular shape was an ownable shape innovation that stretched the category, an unobtrusive hang-tag-like violator provides a succinct benefit statement, supply chain and production efficiencies were maintained, and the complete package effect simultaneously stays true to the heritage of Tide while expressing a new value proposition to consumers. Like most successful design, the package addresses the needs of all the stakeholders in a brand’s long-term management.


Ron 2




Patrick Henry ART DIRECTOR


Linda Volz 513-263-9398


Julie Okon 317-564-8475 / 513-744-6909 (fax) ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

John T. Lyons III 770-955-2923 / 610-296-1553 (fax) EUROPEAN SALES REPRESENTATIVE

Alex van Bienen +31-475-570009



Kristin D. Zeit


800-421-1321 (U.S. and Canada) 513-421-2050 / Fax: 513-421-5144 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. EST REPRINTS / E-PRINTS / PLAQUES

Mark Kissling 513-263-9399 Package Design Magazine (ISSN 1554-6772) is published 10 times a year by ST Media Group International, 11262 Cornell Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45242. Phone: 513-421-2050 Send address changes to Package Design Magazine 11262 Cornell Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45242. © ST Media Group International Inc., 2010.




Ares_0610_Cos1a.indd 1


Forest Stewardship Council

6/17/10 2:38:49 PM


Overt Color Segmentation

Extending Your Reach Here are five ways to effectively package product line segments

Color-Coded Architecture Segmentation

By Ted Mininni


arge branded product lines invariably require segmentation. Within them are groups of products that appeal to distinctive market segments requiring targeted packaging for each. Effective packaging for product line segments looks simple and effortless, belying all of the research and hard work that goes into making it work properly. Traditionally, market segments are identified by demographics, attitudes, lifestyles, purchasing behaviors, and specific needs of various groups. Ultimately, consumer product brand owners and package creation teams must analyze the segmentation research carefully. Collaboration helps define marketing strategy and tactics, based on that research. At the end of the day, each market segment has specific needs the brand must meet and promote to be chosen over competing brands. Identifying and being able to meet needs that the rest of the marketplace isn’t currently meeting is a tremendous asset to a brand, but it, too, must be brought out. The best, most effective marketing tool for product line segmentation is packaging. The consumer tangibly interacts with packaging and proper segmentation speaks directly to them. If brand communication is strong and the ico-



nography, package design architecture, imagery or color coding used to segment are effective, the products will appeal to the target audience. The goal to make category sales leaders of these brands then becomes achievable. These five major methodologies enable CPG companies to package product line segments successfully. They should be carefully considered before developing potential package design system concepts.

In color-coded segmentation architecture, a specific area of the package’s primary display panel is color-coded to distinguish among product segments. Sometimes a lid or cap is color-coded as well. This visual communication becomes recognizable to consumers and assists them in choosing the best product for them. Great examples are Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice varieties, Tom’s of Maine toothpaste varieties, and Help remedies.

1. Segmentation via overt color or color-coded architecture

2. Segmentation via sub-branding

Color is commonly used to differentiate various segments of product lines. It can be used one of two ways. In overt color segmentation, a large area of the package design architecture changes color as the primary differentiator among segments. This works best for well-established brands; or when there are enough SKUs blocked in shelf sets to have sufficient presence at retail. Used in these instances, consumers readily identify and understand the segmentation system, enabling them to home in on the product that best suits their needs. Great examples of this are One-A-Day multivitamins and supplements and Post Shredded Wheat varieties.

When a series of sub-brands exist within a product line, segmentation is a given. The visual components within the package design system may remain the same, except for a change in brand identity. A new sub-brand identity allows consumers to distinguish among product segments. A great example is Mattel’s Hot Wheels car and track sets. 3. Segmentation via iconography

Iconography employs another visual element to help consumers discern the purpose or use of products within a segment. Icons are often too visually abstract, so they rarely stand alone. They are typically supported by written communication. This, too, becomes recognizable over

front Panel

time and assists consumers in selecting the proper product for their needs. Great examples are Crest Pro Health toothpaste and Gillette Fusion ProSeries products. Both utilize iconography with written brand communication for support. On the other hand, Duracell batteries feature well-designed iconography that clearly conveys the product use due to literal representation. Little or no brand communication is necessary to support it.

Imagery Segmentation

Iconographic Segmentation

4. Segmentation via imagery

Segmentation involving imagery employs different visuals among product segments within a line. Typically, this approach is a secondary element, accompanying text as a more overt form of written communication. Imagery can be used in different ways. One involves lifestyle imagery that makes an instant and emotional connection with the consumer. Or different imagery can be used as background elements within the main product photo. If used consistently, various background images can effectively be used for each product segment within a line. Great examples are Purina Dog Chow and Puppy Chow and the Downy Fabric Softener Line.

5. Segmentation via package design architecture

When package architecture is established for a core product line, it can also be modified for a series of products that fall under a different segment. This especially applies to brands with licensed and non-licensed lines of products. There are similarities between both, but the architecture for the licensed product packaging provides more real estate for licensed property communication. A great example is Hasbro’s classic Operation board game that is now licensed. Hot licensed properties like Shrek and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story 3 have landed Design Architecture Segmentation

Sub-branding Segmentation

on the operating table in newer versions of the game. Key design elements of the original Operation game are retained while the licensed property dominates with its own brand communication. The whole idea behind effective segmentation is to make a product line easier to shop from the consumer’s point of view. From the brand’s point of view, it’s about maximizing the effectiveness of packaging by appealing to the target audience. When consumers can easily identify the best product for their needs within a line sitting within a broader category on the retail shelf, the more likely they are to purchase it. Once visually “trained,” consumers are more likely to repeat those purchases, as long as the brand delivers on its promise. Creative teams need to understand that the use of color, iconography, imagery, and package architecture cannot always stand alone as differentiators, except in rare instances. Brand communication should be carefully and deliberately developed to support the segmentation approach that is ultimately chosen from among the proposed concepts as the best solution. When properly executed, product line segmentation enables brands to own their categories. If consumer product companies are getting less than optimal results (read: sales and turn) from their branded product lines, it’s time to analyze whether their current segmentation is working or not. Chances are it isn’t. And that means it’s time to execute a refresh. n Ted Mininni is president of Design Force Inc., a leading brand design consultancy to consumer product companies with Enjoyment Brands™. Design Force can be reached at 856-810-2277 or online at

November 2010 |

designer's corner

Taking the Leap Using design to stand out for value-minded consumers By rochelle Martyn and Lisa simpson


n times of economic turbulence, design can create significant value through meaningful changes. But who is taking the leap? The importance of “value” today is both rising and fragmenting. Design can help brands and businesses to succeed by understanding both the value of design and designing for value. Despite the downturn, we are surrounded by new brands and expanding categories on a daily basis. Yet many brands still look similar and use the same old clichés. A strategy of conformity

brooklyn Fare's packaging speaks directly to customers in plain english, conveying a substantive value proposition.

November 2010 |

will not make your brand a leader, but a strategy of differentiation and meaningful change will create more value and commercial success for brands. Will the entrepreneurial thinkers in mainstream brand marketing please rise to the surface to take up the challenge? Value and simplicity

Brand leaders are faced with increasing pressure to build robust, sustainable brands in the face of economic adversity. Brand design experts must help them create meaningful change by staying in tune with the needs of today’s value-conscious—yet visually literate—consumer. Value shouldn’t look cheap and nasty.

It is a far smarter strategy to look fantastic on the outside while providing an underlying price benefit. Brands are forever engaged in fierce pricing wars, constantly lowering the bar for the surrounding competition and consumers on the hunt for a good deal. But if brands all look the same, what are consumers going to base their buying decisions on? If more brand leaders identify this as an opportunity to break free from convention and raise the bar by designing meaningful change, then we will start to see some real entrepreneurial brand leadership. Many U.S. retailers are tapping into the “value movement,” seeing it as an opportunity for their own label to step up and give the national or international brands a run for their money. Most have adopted the “me-too” design strategy, which just adds to confusion on shelf. But some are making an effort to look different—Duane Reade, Target, and Whole Foods to name a few. But do they go far enough to create meaningful change? At the least, it’s a move in the right direction. Several retailers in the UK are recognized for adding value to their own pri-

newww» Renovated and Reinvented for You!

Our new format and features provide easy access to more solutions

• The latest news and trends from across the marketplace • Expanded project galleries with more images • Reports on technology and product developments • Spotlights on intriguing industry developments • Improved navigation and search capabilities • Lively commenting and other social-networking tools Plus: Buyers’ Guide, Toolbox, Industry Calendar, Free Classifieds and much more! The Package Design Industry’s Complete Online Resource


Simplicity in design and message can convey a high quality-to-value ratio in consumers’ minds.

UK’s Clive’s Dips challenges an organic category that was saturated with uninspiring health food brands and personality-lacking private labels.

The evolv brand marries ergonomic product design with a sustainable packaging message to create a unique selling proposition.

vate label brands through a great design strategy. Waitrose, Tesco, Homebase, and Sainsbury’s have reaped the benefits of good brand design over the years. Their own brand is easily recognized, looks great, and as a result they have created consumer loyalty and grown their brands with great success. How can design create value for you through meaningful change? We’d like to share a few tips. Value and simplicity

It takes time to shop, to find, to chose, and to buy. Time is precious to most people. The clock is ticking and it’s all about seconds, not minutes, and then it’s game over. There is value in designing for speed and brands that differentiate themselves to capture attention in an instant will be more successful. Turning complexity into simplicity makes it easier to shop for brands. It saves time, and consumers will reward you for this. Design simplifies information, whether visual or verbal, which 10


allows brands to be easily understood. For brands with multiple products, simplicity comes through a good design navigation system to guide consumers around the choices. A simple tier system, a visual language associated with low- to high-priced products, will help consumers navigate around price points. Waitrose and Tesco in the UK are good examples of how design can add value by creating differentiated price tiers. As simplicity is all about reduction, design can also add value through the mindset of “less is more,” which is not only more responsible but also reduces costs. Evolv tools is an example of a base level brand that has used a smart design to reduce materials. Puma has also just created a “clever little bag” to reduce materials, using 65% less cardboard than a standard shoebox (see case study at

Value and Substance

Many brands have adopted simplicity as a value and consumers are prepared to pay more for this. But it’s also important to recognize that some things just can’t be simplified—or just shouldn’t be. You have to have brand design expertise, with insight and intuition, to know what to change and what to keep. Some brands oversimplify and, as a result, lose the essence of what makes them so great in the first place. Simplicity needs to coexist vitally with substance. A good brand soul and story will create substance and form the emotional connection between a brand and its consumers. There are plenty of functional commodities in our lives; adding a little meaning and emotion will go a long way. Consumers will thank you for being relevant and adding a smile to their day. continued on page 38 »

BUSINESS AS USUAL The Approach that Won the 2010 Makeover Challenge Is Part of the Daily Routine at HBN Brand Design By Patrick Henry


BN Brand Design of Chicago became the winner of Package Design’s 2010 Makeover Challenge by doing for the Sun & Earth line of natural cleaning products what it does for all of its clients: finding the essence of the brand and expressing it in ways that appeal equally to the emotions and the common sense of consumers. The firm decided to accept the Makeover Challenge in order to build, as president Dwight Nelson puts it, “some brand awareness of our own.” Another inducement, says Larry Teolis, senior designer, was the opportunity to work with an internationally distributed product. Anne Chipman, senior account executive, says that the firm wanted to try something “more revolutionary” and saw a path to accomplishing that in its transformation of the Sun & Earth line. The July/August issue featured a detailed description of HBN’s redesign, voted the winner among four finalists by the readers of Package Design. The peer acclaim certifies that HBN’s Makeover does a better job than the other entries—and the original packaging—of positioning Sun & Earth products as high-quality, earth-friendly, gentle, and safe. These brand promises are conveyed, says Nelson, through the palette of colors, the graphic imagery, and the tagline that HBN composed as part of its entry: “Live Healthy, Clean Naturally.” Apart from the tagline, package copy is used sparingly in the interest of keeping the look as simple and uncluttered as possible.



Shape of sales to come

The most distinctive touch may be the water-drop shape of the bottles, aimed at giving the packages a more arresting appearance on the retail shelf. The unique contours also help to identify the brand, Nelson says, across all of its SKUs in various parts of the store. The colors, he adds, are unusual for packages in this category, reinforcing the message that Sun & Earth is a brand apart from other household products. Sun & Earth’s preeminent promise is its environmental friendliness—not an easy quality to communicate, notes Teolis, in retail environments where “there’s green all over the place.” The line’s new look, he says, breaks through the green clutter by combining “the simple confidence of an established brand” with the assurance of respect for the earth that consumers are looking for. Chipman believes that a heightened perception of quality is the biggest difference between HBN’s interpretation and the pre-existing design. She says that switching from a stock structure to a custom shape with dynamic graphics holistically changes the look and better communicates the line’s “natural and earthy” brand promise. HBN Brand Design’s services fall into three general categories: package design for new products and established brands; predesign branding services such as positioning, naming, and brand audits; and integrated branding services that encompass POP,

This Perdue line extension uses existing brand architecture while still creating appetite appeal with a flavor icon that identifies each variety.

on the package,” says Nelson. Growing that bare-bones concept into something launchable became the assignment for HBN. The result, turned around in about three months, is a 22-oz. seamed foil bag with lotus flowers, the namesake snake, and other imagery conveying the snack food’s Indian roots and ingredients. HBN also supplied the tagline (“Bold Flavor for Adventurous Souls”), sourced the package production, and even helped with the FDA regulations. “We did our part very quickly,” says Nelson, adding that one of the creative challenges lay in giving the product a conspicuously Indian presentation “without turning Americans off.” Helping The Works work smarter

inserts, and other collateral materials. The firm’s full-spectrum approach to package design is visible in the work it has done for three current accounts: two food brands, one very well established, the other a launch; and a line of cleaning products that got a makeover similar to the one that HBN gave to Sun & Earth. Amping up appetizing sales

A client for 15 years, Perdue turned to the HBN team for a line extension assignment when it launched an assortment of chicken wings in resealable pouches. Here, says creative director Steve Walker, the objective was to stay within the basic brand architecture while amping up the differentiation and the flavor of the wings, principally within a flavor band icon that identifies and describes each variety. Walker notes that the scope of services provided to Perdue goes well beyond design. HBN also handles copy development, photography supervision, and print production.

Nelson says that because Home Care Labs largely eschews advertising and promotion for The Works, its line of home cleaning products, the new packaging that HBN developed for it “had to do everything” that the relaunch of the line needed to do in terms of gaining market share. Although the products had a loyal following, a clear obstacle to greater popularity was the industrial look of the brand image. “It almost looked like they were selling caustic chemicals,” Nelson says. What the seven-SKU line had strongly in its favor was the fact that if offered a separate product for every room in the house, a distinction that its competition couldn’t claim. The Works wanted to leverage this advantage, says Nelson, by replacing its “small-player, commodity look” with a “big brand look” that would make the line’s brand promise unmistakable. Visual audits revealed that what the packages needed were stronger graphics, less copy, and a unified look that could impart a “friendly softness” to the brand image without diminishing the

Spiced just right

When the entrepreneur behind Cobra Corn came to HBN, recalls Nelson, all he had was a name, a product, and a story. Otherwise, his experience in consumer product design and marketing was limited. “He knew he wanted to call it Cobra Corn, and he knew that he wanted a cobra NOVEMBER 2010 |


message about cleaning power. On each redesigned container, a yellow swatch asserts the specific benefit (e.g., “Kills Germs,” “Wipes Out Clogs Fast”), while a common tagline (“Unbeatable Clean”) conveys the brand promise of the line as a whole. Research had indicated, says Nelson, that users readily agreed with statements such as “this stuff really works” when asked about the effectiveness of the products. The same praise could be given to the effectiveness of HBN’s visual makeover, which Home Care Labs credits with a 20% increase in dollar sales for The Works in the first quarter vs. the previous year following the redesign. When it’s time, it’s time

Chipman says that HBN’s business is about evenly split between initial design for new products and redesign for existing ones. In the latter category, she says, when a package begins to look dated or when sales have begun to decline, that’s when the brand owner realizes it may be time to “strengthen the brand story.”

Taking a proactive approach, the firm periodically surveys its client base to see which brands may be in need of improvements or extensions. Nelson says that although the attitude of “if it’s not broke, it’s okay” may make some brands slow to change, that resistance disappears when sales fall or market share has stagnated. Other factors that prompt brand review are changes to products that necessitate changes in packaging; intensified pressure from competitors; and the addition of distribution channels ( for example, club stores) that require packages specific to those environments. But, retooling the image of a branded package is never simple. An overabundance of choices and the “much shorter attention spans” of today’s message-bombarded consumers make it harder than ever for packages to be effective as promotional vehicles for their brands, Chipman says. Shoppers examining a package implicitly ask, “What can you for me? How can you solve my problems?” The package, Chipman says, must be prepared to “reach them emotionally” and provide the answers. “If your product doesn’t connect with consumers, they will pass it by.” These days, agrees Craig Harbauer, senior designer, “brands have to work harder to be distinctive on the shelf,” and they have more to communicate in terms of product information than they used to. That can mean adding words to the packaging, and words, he says, “are always the hardest things to get people to look at.” Fortunately, according to Judy Driscoll, production artist, one of HBN’s strengths is simplifying and organizing the brand messaging. “We’re really good at the visual audit,” she says.

This 22-oz. seamed foil bag conveys the snack food’s Indian roots and ingredients with lotus flowers, a cobra snake, and pastel colors.



Hbn create a unified look for The Works that imparts a “friendly softness” as well as a stronger, big-brand look.

Trends for tough times

Distilling and refining the message to its essentials is a must in a recessionary economy that is forcing many consumers to make tough choices about household spending. As shoppers scan the shelves, says Driscoll, brand owners don’t want to leave the impression that “they spent a lot on the packaging.” That’s why remembering that price-sensitive consumers “are not buying the package, they’re buying the product” is a good guide creative for decisions in tough economic times. When people shop for price, says Chipman, they are challenging the brand to “make it easy for me—make it easy for my budget.” Nevertheless, consumers “still value small luxuries,” especially the ones that fit their limited budgets. Chipman says that this preference works in favor of private-label brands, which are becoming more sophisticated in their packaging as they position themselves as lower-cost but equal-in-quality alternatives to mainstream brands. In these circumstances, says Harbauer, good design is about clean, spare messaging that assists consumers in making the best possible choices. When designing a package, agrees Nelson, it’s a mistake to “flood it” with information and images that get in the way of communicating the product’s brand identity, its points of differentiation, and its benefit claims. Older brands, he says, can do well by returning to their heritage and reemphasizing the emotional triggers that helped them to become established in the first place. If it’s fun, flaunt it

Even a product without an exceptional story to tell can avoid the “commodity look” if the designer can find and focus upon the essence of the brand, as HBN did in its revamp of the packaging for Hostess Cupcakes. Here, says Nelson the objective was to deliver a playful design that would reposition the classic

snack line as the “fun kind of food” that many consumers fondly remember from childhood. In assignments like this, Nelson says, “you take and leverage what you can, even if there isn’t a point of difference, so that it isn’t a me-too package.” Down to earth thinking

While HBN understands and supports the green consumer movement, the team is realistic about the true extent of the demand for earth-friendly products and packages. Teolis says that there will always be a segment of the market that gravitates toward green packaging, and Harbauer agrees that green attributes are “a nice added benefit, if possible.” Shoppers, says Chipman, are “looking for products that are not overpackaged” and want to feel good about them from the perspective of environmental impact. Nelson points out, however, that the desire for green things is always tempered by the knowledge of what it costs to make them green. Consumers, he says, seem willing to pay a 3% to 5% premium for a green version of a product, but manufacturers may find it more expensive than that to bring the green product to market. When clients discover the economics of switching from conventional packaging to green alternatives, Nelson says, it may cause some of them to “backpedal” from taking that step. But no matter what the package, the team agrees that there can be no backpedaling from the commitment to emotional engagement. “A package that clearly communicates the consumer benefits with a visual personality that makes an emotional connection with the targeted consumer will make in into the shopping cart,” writes Teolis in a blog post at Nothing says it better than HBN’s successful bid for the 2010 Makeover Challenge that these are words the team lives by every day. n november 2010 |





A New Global Structural Design for Avon Builds Brand Equity While Cutting Costs


hen Avon wanted to launch a line of Skin So Soft body cleansers and lotions, the company called in the New York City-based 4sight inc. design firm, with its trademarked Structural Branding strategies. 4sight and Avon created a structural brand strategy and innovative package design for the global line of Skin So Soft products to work effectively across numerous cultures, package sizes, varieties, and suppliers’ equipment. Beginning at the end

4sight started with a tour of Avon’s plant to discover what bottle shapes could run most efficiently on the fill line. The new structure had to achieve many advantages while meeting the new graphic and text space requirements. “Avon has always been very well-tuned to the imagery of the brand,” says Stuart Leslie, president of 4sight. “What we did is just work through the checklist of universal principles.” The 4sight designers aimed at finding a universal solution that would create maximum flexibility in the supply chain. One of the primary considerations for Avon design is how a package presents itself in a catalog. That often straight-on photograph is one of the most important product contacts for Avon customers. Since many of Avon’s own employees buy and use Avon products, 4sight was able to take advantage of a fast feedback loop on three design options to determine the most popular. The new curvy, feminine-form bottle is efficient on the filling line because the two touch points create maximum stability at high speeds. The tall, front-elevation presentation also creates appeal in the catalog and print collateral. 16

November 2010 |

“The profile is the piece that has to say it all,” explains Leslie. “The important thing was to make the brand promise simply or only through a catalog.” He adds that the curves in close-up photographs create a nice 3D impression that communicates the Skin So Soft message of sensual, soft, and modern femininity. Clean and lean

The new HDPE bottles and all the PP caps are white now eliminating the need for multiple colored components and resulting excess inventory issues, with the formula variations indicated by the colors on the labels. With a consistent, smooth, pearlescent finish, the packaging conveys a healthy, glowing skin and a smooth, silky feeling. “There’s a misconception that to do something creative and innovative for your brand, it has to be quirky,” says Leslie. The resulting design enhances the upscale image of the product while achieving other efficiencies. Typical distribution for these products can be hazardous, so both the bottles and caps had to be resistant to damage in transit. The more robust new closures shield the flip-top cap, and the symmetrical caps can be installed in either direction. Finally, the tapered lightweight bottles offer better top load support, so less plastic was required overall. Leslie looks at projects like Avon Skin So Soft as win-win opportunities to create benefits for all the stakeholders. He believes the new structural design of this Skin So Soft conveys a brand promise that is both effective and aspirational. “Just looking at it, you know it’s going to work,” says Leslie. n

SuStainability update

Bushels of Good News Clorox sets reduction goals, Frito-Lay stays focused, and Stonyfield commits to PLA by Wendy Jedlicka, Cpp

The new Stonyfield Farms multipack cups are 93% PLA, 4% colorant (common mineral for whitening packaging), and 3% additives. The entire multipack, including the paper label and PeT lidding, is 81% bio-based material.


hile the news from everywhere seems to be loaded with fear, famine, and strife, things viewed through green-colored glasses are looking very nice indeed. Now, don’t go run out and buy another SUV, please; we’re not sounding the all-clear here. It’s just that, finally, there is a slow stream of continued inspiration, as people hunker down for the long-haul business of completely remaking everything we do. To help keep your spirit charged—and your glass looking half-full—here are some examples of positive impacts happening in one of packaging’s most criticized sectors of interest: plastics.

Giants getting smaller

Cleaning product giant Clorox Co. is just one of an ever-growing list of companies large and small making the commitment to packaging reduction as an integral part of both their environmental and profitability strategy. In its first-ever corporate responsibility report, Clorox announced plans to distribute at least 90% of its products in recyclable primary packaging by 2013, a further increase of 5% over the 2010 level of 85%.


November 2010 |

Speaking more softly

Frito-Lay is dedicted to the goal of improving things further, even though they learned the hard way that people don’t want their noshing habits audibly drawn attention to. (The 100% compostable Sun Chips bags have been pulled from production.) But the fact that Frito-Lay was willing—and able—to produce a compostable snack food bag is admirable. By all accounts, the company is remaining committed to using this technology better in the next version. Keeping the long-term goal in mind while enduring a hailstorm of flack is as fantastic a shift in attitude as it is in a shift in technology. The heart of systems thinking is: don’t freak out; figure it out. Systems and then some

Taking systems thinking further, the New Hampshire-based Stonyfield organic dairy company announced its new PLA yogurt cups—a beautiful thing on many levels. Not only is Stonyfield expanding markets for PLA, helping to keep it price competitive with petroleum-based plastics, but the company is also using PLA in a part of the plastics material stream where

few regions collect yogurt cups for recycling. The reason for yogurt cups’ poor recycling rate is that municipalities and their recyclers are trying to reduce crosscontamination of plastic recycling streams, an issue that clear PLA bottles are still dealing with. In addition, Stonyfield is working with farmers to guarantee that the corn used to make its PLA cups will not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is not only a key part of Stonyfield’s sustainability-focused brand ethic, but it plays a part in helping farmers reduce their reliance on manufactured seeds (which have been argued to decrease yields over time) over more naturally crossbred seeds. (Learn more in the sidebar.) Seeing the bottom line

“It’s hard to think green when you’re in the red,” explains Jim Kleinschmit of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “This has been the issue with farming for the past several decades.” In Stonyfield’s YouTube video introducing their new packaging, Kleinschmit explains that by following the guidelines of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Working Landscapes Program, farmers come close to doubling the income from an acre of corn without having to rely on GMOs. Stonyfield’s “CE-Yo” Gary Hirshberg notes that the company’s intent is to create a completely open-source process to help other companies join their efforts. The Stonyfield website ( explains its goal: “Packaging that looks, feels, and yes, sounds, exactly the same as the old packaging, yet is utterly—and environmentally—different. Packaging that takes an important step toward making sure we leave a healthier planet for future generations. Packaging that slashes greenhouse gas emissions by 48%, reduces the total global warming impact of Stonyfield by 9%, and raises the bar on new standards for sustainable packaging and the use of bioplastics.” As demand for PLA increases, so too does research into making it not from corn kernels, competing with food acreage demands, but from corn stover (husks and stalks). By leveraging biomass resources that are today going to waste, corn stover, wheat straw, rice straw, and bagasse can add to the profitability and output of each acre without having to add new resources. Meeting both food and industrial demands on the same piece of land, lowering carbon footprints and fossil fuel needs, and increasing profitability makes the half-empty glass or bushel look fuller by the minute. n The Sustainability Update is coordinated by Wendy Jedlicka, CPP – Jedlicka Design Ltd. (, o2 International Network for Sustainable Design ( and, Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s groundbreaking Sustainable Design Program ( Books compiled by Wendy include Packaging Sustainability and Sustainable Graphic Design (available at

Clariant Creates New Line of Masterbatches for Bioplastics Producers of products and packaging made from biopolymers have a wider range of options in color and performance-enhancing additives thanks to Clariant’s new line of masterbatches that comply with standards governing compostability and ecotoxicity. Choices range from masterbatches based on conventional, man-made ingredients to those incorporating all-natural materials drawn from renewable sources like plants. now an attractive third option has been introduced. “Until recently, companies developing products from biopolymers like PLA and mater-bi® had a difficult decision,” explains Hendrik Kammler, global head of segment additives, Clariant masterbatches. “They could use all-natural masterbatches and accept that the range of colors and additives available was limited, expensive, and not very process- or light-stable.” renoL®-compostable colors and CeSA®-compostable additive masterbatches incorporate conventional (non-natural) additives and pigments in a biopolymer carrier resin. Testing of the ingredients, completed in the independent laboratories of oWS nv in Gent, belgium, determined that the materials can comply with en 13432:200—the widely recognized standard for heavy-metal content and plant-toxicity. In addition, Clariant has obtained the highly desirable “oK compost” certification issued by AIb vinçotte International in vilvoorde, belgium. The renoL-compostable product line includes masterbatches based on over 80 different pigments. CeSA-compostable additive masterbatches include Uv-stabilizer and antioxidant packages, with more additives currently pending review.

More on the Web For more information on the implications of manufactured vs. naturally crossbred seeds, you can download a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists at: impacts/science/failure-to-yield.html view the video “From cornfields to cups. Join us on our sustainable packaging journey” at under “Hot Topics” on the homepage.

november 2010 |


business workflow

The new packaging for the premium Hawaiian Tropic line attracts both long-term users of the brand and younger sun worshippers. The package design architecture differentiates the categories and follows up with messaging with wide appeal. (by the Phillips Design Group)

A Faster Route-to-Market Firms that combine caution and speed offer bottom line benefits to CPG businesses by Mark rutter


majority of consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) take a cautious, centralized approach when determining which products to develop and take to market. Relying on data, this approach allows for few mistakes and assumes little risk. But low risk usually heralds short-lived reward. The problem with solely depending on a centralized, systematic approach to product development is that it is a painfully slow process. While committee decisions based on hard data and top-to-bottom protocol limit the possibility of creating a product no one wants, the process is tedious, bureaucratic, and can impede creativity, innovation, and timeliness. Contrarily, there is the loose approach that allows CPGs to be quick on their feet. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. But the attempt to get to market faster can often pay big dividends. While failure is more likely with a looser, more collaborative approach, the reward can be worth the risk if executed correctly. In that case, profits are realized more rapidly and a competitive edge is established. 20

November 2010 |

A fruitful middle ground

Traditional top-to-bottom organizational structures can create a sound approach to giving consumers what they want. But looser, more collective strategies often introduce and identify concepts consumers need—before they even realize it. I have found that the grey area lying between each end of the organizational structure spectrum is generally the most appropriate and effective. CPGs can have it both ways: a cautious centralized approach and a faster route-to-market. Rather than instituting one approach or the other, brand managers must find the common ground. The ability to be cautious and centralized—and quick—is not impossible or even improbable. It simply requires a fully integrated approach through the Integrated Route-toMarket (IRTM) model. Historically, a “family” of consumer products did not exist. Rather, individual products were owned by individual companies. Today, large CPGs no longer look to own a single product offering from a category, but instead seek category domination

Protect Your Product

Gain Market Share

Deliver Value

Differentiate Your Product

Reduce Costs

Meet Sustainability Goals

Speed Time to Market

Build the Bottom Line

For the latest equipment, materials, and ideas to innovate your packaging, streamline your process, and accelerate your projects, attend WestPack this February.

February 8-10, 2011 Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim, CA


To register today, visit:

Promo Code: AB Produced and managed by: C ANON C OMMUNICATIONS




Proper planning of package design elements can reduce redundancies across the many production agencies involved in a global launch. Approaching CPGs with an integrated plan can be a differentiating factor. (By GROUP360 Worldwide)

The Mrs. Meyers brand started with household cleaners but has since moved far afield with their brand extensions. For child- and eco-friendliness, these bottles are made from 25% PCR material. (By The Caldrea Company and Kaufman Container Company)

with a host of products in their portfolios. But are different brands within those organizations all working toward the same goal focused on a category? Probably not. Most likely there are competing brands in the portfolio working against each other. Nevertheless, organizations need to show results and judge success. This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) make sense. KPIs work because they represent something a team can have a direct impact on. But they only truly work when all are set to accomplish one, comprehensive company goal. Coordinating moving parts

That goal often gets lost in the clutter. Many times, there are too many cooks in the kitchen, and the overall objective is complicated or even compromised because of a lack of cohesive execution. In any given campaign or point in the product life cycle, there are numerous moving parts. Typically, the largest obstacle derailing products from conception to purchase is the number of persons and vendors involved. This is where the IRTM approach aids the route-to-market. In the rapidly evolving marketing industry that continuously demands quicker results, a strategically focused point of contact can help boost profits and shareholder value, as well as deliver a greater return on investment. As companies look more towards organizational efficiencies and as brands look to get products to market faster under tighter timelines and budgets, marketing communications firms need to offer CPGs more. In my industry, the benefits to approaching CPG businesses in this manner can be the differentiating factor that helps them 22


ensure they meet and exceed the “do more with less” goal. CPGs getting their products to consumers without the presence of an IRTM model have a higher cost—both figuratively and literally— that contributes to this loss of control at the corporate level. As an example, the vast package design needs of a brand across many SKUs and even countries demonstrate how redundancies are created when working with various agencies. For each SKU you need logos, art elements, ingredients and nutritional panels, UPC codes, specifications, die lines, etc. Then many of those same package design elements are used in everything from promotions to point-of-sale. Rarely, if ever, will these elements be shared among agencies. Rather, they will need to be recreated. So there’s no central location where all of the elements are housed across all brands and countries. If it sounds complicated, inefficient, and hard to track, well, it is. The IRTM model can change all of this by giving CPGs greater control over their brands’ costs, assets, and—most importantly—their measurable results across an entire portfolio. Brands can see a significant reduction in the time it takes to deliver a product to market through comprehensive organizational efficiencies. ■ Mark Rutter is the CEO and President of GROUP360 Worldwide. Since joining the company as CEO in 2005, he has utilized his 40 years of experience working in visual communications to capitalize on the evolving industry and grow the agency. Previously, Rutter was Global President of the Consumer Goods Group at Seven Worldwide Inc. He can be reached at

New Webinar! Save the Date!

Sustainable Packaging: Realigning Design with the New Paradigm c08


copy out 1







$15 US


Spi .Cover

er 2008 Decemb

• Vol. 6

No. 10

er 2008 Decemb


Dec em


ebe r

er 2009

200 9

m ar ch

| Vol. 7

$15 US

No. 11

20 08


This special webinar will feature insights into the market forces affecting package design and sustainability. Looking past the buzzwords and biobased fads that flooded early packaging sustainability initiatives, we take a close look at where the rubber meets the road and the meaningful gains that packaging production changes can bring. These topics will help your packaging footprint become greener, your company supply chain become more efficient, and your sustainability scorecard become more appealing to retailers.

Register at: The first 100 registrants to enter PACKAGE into the promotional code are FREE. After that, the webinar is $39 per registrant.

Bright er and

Lighte r

P&G Li ghtwe ights In Ong Stain oing P Relea ush fo se Bo r Recy ttle cling Agend a

Sustai nabilit y Swee Sprint’s t Spot s New Ec o Phon No Ec e o-Hang er Hang Reimag ups ining a Pizza Box

WEBINAR LINEUP Moderator: Ron Romanik, Editor-in-Chief, Package Design Magazine Speakers: • Anne Bedarf, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, on the Labeling for Recovery Project • Karen Utt, Conservis Advisory Services, on Carbon Emissions Accounting • Troy Swope, Unisource, on Design Challenges with the New Substrates • Ron Romanik on the new FTC Green Guidelines • Wendy Jedlicka, Jedlicka Design Ltd., on the Current Accountability Paradigm PLUS:

Package Design Sustainability Case Studies


Hot Topics Designers’ Roundtable Our panelists discuss the latest trends in design strategy and business. Part 1 of 3.


n the first of this three-part series, we discuss what innovation means today, how private label is affecting the market, and the origins and limits of the simplicity fad. Part 2, in the December issue, will cover the rise of sustainability initiatives, greenwashing, and all-natural branding. Part 3, online in December, will delve into how the business of design is changing, how label regulations might affect package design, the effects of over-reaching advertising agencies, and how retailers are often calling the shots.

The panelists are:

Ronald deVlam, founding partner of Webb Scarlett deVlam Bill Goodwin, founder & CEO of Goodwin Design Group Norma Kwan-Waski, cofounder and managing partner at John Waski Design Dale New, senior vice president of DePersico Tom Newmaster, partner at William Fox Munroe Inc. Leslie Tucker, principal of IQ Design Group Robert Ziegler, president of Brandimation


What does innovation mean in today’s economy? Are national brand owners leading or reacting?

Bill Goodwin: What innovation means has been arguably confused. Innovation today is often just incremental changes. It’s like a mashup. If you go beyond that, it’s very difficult to get a group to grasp it. Because it’s visionary. What happens is, usually there’s someone that’s a champion. They’re looking for an idea. Method, for example, is already mandated to be out on the 24


This innovative tapered box does many things—unique shape, unique shelf presence, new user experience—all created with simple folds and scores.

edge. It’s difficult for large CPGs unless they have an internal team with a similar mandate to actually get it done. They usually hit too many hurdles that water innovation down. Motorola RAZR, an exception that proves the rule, had a rogue team, a year, and a dedicated budget to make the next generation phone. And they did it. Leslie Tucker: I think that innovation for innovation’s sake is a waste of money, and I also think consumers are suffering from line extension burn out. I try to stress to my clients to get out of their corporate culture, talk to consumers, and find out first hand what’s missing or what needs improvement within their lifestyles. I don’t think that we, in this particular economy, can just innovate and tell consumers “You need this” or “You’ll want this.” Consumers need to feel an innovation is relevant to them personally, and that it fits into their lifestyle. One of my clients of a national mass-market brand actually told me, “I haven’t talked to a consumer in seven years.” Sad, and such missed opportunities. I might as well mention his brand was sold. Norma Kwan-Waski: There’s a glass ceiling as far as what’s innovative in each CPG group, because it has to fall within the parameters of believability. These days, we’re seeing everybody spend more cautiously towards innovation due to the limitations of manufacturing. I think, eventually, things will turn around. For now, brand owners and leaders are reacting to the economy and what consumers want. They’re looking to innovate in what they can deliver rather than blue-sky ideas.

Robert Ziegler: Innovation means two things. First, it’s become a buzzword for change, and people frustrated with what it takes to really innovate have started to dilute the term with simple initiatives of change that don’t nearly resemble what’s exciting about innovation: breakthroughs. This second meaning of innovation is epitomized by examples like P&G’s Swiffer or Campbell’s Soup At Hand. Incremental innovation also provides value, but often it isn’t much more than simple package changes to provide market “bumps.” Calling refreshes innovation makes companies look less innovative in the eyes of consumers, but also—more importantly—undermines the spirit of innovation within corporations themselves. Tom Newmaster: Innovation is happening, but it’s more along the lines of structural innovation. Graphics are kind of on the table, but that’s not necessarily the reason they’re coming to us. So we’re looking for innovative ways to package a particular product. In some cases, it is cost driven. But in many cases, they just want us to recommend innovation or changes that can keep the current packaging costs where they are. And there is innovation that might cost them a little more in their packaging. And then there is innovation where we’re not even thinking about cost, but thinking about what is right for that product and how can we repackage it and maybe use the package to communicate the product’s features and benefits better. It really depends on the project. Innovation can be a mix of things. Sometimes it’s just how can we use the package to help portray the product better, maybe put the product on display better.


How has private label design changed in the past year, and what do you predict for the future?

New: When private label started, it was about saving money. Somewhere along the way, someone figured out it could be a brand. And now some of the latest stuff out there is really on the national level. I think it’s elevated a lot of private label to become a legitimate brand. That’s happening more and more. If you can give them a less expensive product, and raise perceived value, then you’re going to get more people on board. I think if the economy bounces back, that may happen even more so— private label brands going head-to-head with national brands. Goodwin: Private label has got everybody in a fluster right now. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon. There has to be falling out point between retailers and manufacturers. At some point, manufacturing marketers are going to freak out and say: “It’s just not fair.”

Ronald de Vlam: My first step is to check the word innovation to make sure we’re aligned. Different companies have different interpretations. To the common ear, innovation means something that at least two years ahead or a breakthrough technology that provides a unique proposition. Perhaps, because the word is so overly used, it now also means that even just extending a brand could be called innovation. So the challenge is reconciling two opinions, because extending a brand could be a very simple thing. When Secret Clinical Strength stick deodorant was packaged in a carton, you could argue that that was kind of innovative, but it wasn’t really breakthrough technology. Many companies are looking for something they can borrow from another category or from a technology that’s already available, such as a unique delivery system, something that allows them to look very differently, or something that consumers could really see some benefits with. Dale New: What we’re seeing is more niche offerings, and very specific offerings. So people are looking for what piece is missing. These specific offerings are by people who are leading or who will be leading in the future. I think anytime you get stronger competition, it kind of ups the ante for everybody in that you have to be smarter and think better.

This highly successful, innovative Scope bottle breaks supply chain rules of efficiency, but it has connected with consumers at a visceral level.

november 2010 |



margins, but if it’s going to keep them on their toes, they’ll stay on their toes and they’ll stay ahead of the pack. As new technologies come out, either from a printing standpoint or a structural standpoint, and you don’t have it, then you’re a lesser brand. Tucker: What I tell my national brand clients is that it’s important that their brands stand for what is not represented in the category, with uncommon imagery that’s unique, compelling, and able to be trademarked.

Government regulations on labeling information may cause more innovations like this—a beveled, extra side panel that highlights nutritional information.

de Vlam: We’ve seen the curve flatten a little bit with the growth of private label and private label brands. What CPGs are probably underestimating is the value that these brands have given the retailers. Archer Farms is almost its own brand. Office Max is offering its TUL writing instruments in other retailers. That’s kind of a strange concept. Those are new phenomena that brand owners do need to be aware of. It’s not just that the new private label brands are sophisticated brand marks but also, even though they have very little history, over time they will build their own loyal consumer base and drive growth through chipping away at the big brands. Kwan-Waski: I think, in general, retailers are more lenient towards private label. In general, retailers are fully aware of the current retail climate, price point is driving many consumers to private label purchases in essence giving clout to private label brands.


How are national brands responding to private label growth?

New: Well, it ups the ante for everybody. National brands have to keep innovating even more, because when it’s all said and done a lot of the national brands are the manufacturers supplying the private labels. So the national brands have a lot more opportunity for product innovation. They still have the higher 26


Goodwin: When you look at the private label challenge, that’s where you start looking at people saying that “brand” is dead. Today, in any given store, consumers know that every private label product went through a vetting process and the quality is there or it wouldn’t be on that shelf. Now differentiation has to do with simple things like experience or taste or usage innovation. My feeling is private label has pushed major brands to react initially, and now act. They have no choice. They have to find a way in every product to do one better than private label. It’s the three legged stool—time, cost, and quality. When cost is the only difference, then delivery is key. With Target, I’m not sure the consumer gets what “Up and Up” is about, but they just know the quality is good. The innovation in that case is the sourcing and cost and building a reputation. de Vlam: Some brands play with price and promotions. Our advice to the brands is to invest in making the consumer happy, delighting that consumer throughout the brand experience. And quite often, there’s a lot of work to be done, even on powerful, global brands. So, it may even mean that those brands don’t proliferate any more but instead do a few things really well. Rather than having a broad appeal, they really try to own the premium segment of any category where there are much higher margins to be made. In order for a brand to do that, you really need to fulfill the consumers’ needs and fulfill some unmet needs that you may not get from a normal focus group. Newmaster: I think private label has pushed the brands not to just sit back and let things happen. We had one client that reacted to Walmart’s Great Value brand by telling us: “Don’t do white. This is going to be short-lived. We want ours to last longer. We don’t want to be confused with Walmart private label.” That’s knowing the competition, but also those kinds of specific mentions weren’t part of the conversation a few years back.


Are changes in consumer behavior changing the perceptions of brands and products at retail?

Goodwin: That whole concept of hunter-gatherer shopper, no one is into that anymore. I don’t know if that will ever come back. It’s not about finding that crazy new thing anymore; it’s about finding the cheapest possible version of a thing. And

with two-thirds of the population on the internet, people can source their own products. Sooner or later, technology is going to make it so the consumer doesn’t have to rely on the retailer. People don’t say “Let’s go shopping” anymore. The term sounds old and dated. Ziegler: Every strong brand has a core value proposition that you can readily identify. Any innovation can capitalize on that core value proposition. In some cases, you may segment the brand with a new value proposition, but innovation can do either one. The more a brand has tradition as part of its value proposition, the more difficult that is. Coca-cola is a fascinating exception. After Coca-Cola worked with suppliers to innovate an aluminum bottle line, they leveraged design to ensure that aluminum bottle was a solid reinforcement of their icon while continually refreshing their brand image through amazing and widely varied graphic interpretations. Coca-Cola has a very mutable image; its ubiquity and timelessness has become the value proposition. New Coke may have been the best thing that ever happened to Coke because it helped them understand who they really were—classic and timeless.

Kraft’s “modernized” package design reaches out to wider demographics and features a more systematic information hierarchy for shopability.

de Vlam: There’s a few ways where we meet the innovation process, because quite a lot of companies have their own internal process. They have scientists and R&D people working on new formulations who are asking: “Can we make this consumer relevant?” Or, they already have a prototype, but the first signs of it don’t seem brand-centric or consumer-centric. The way we tackle those projects is to really start with the consumer, then see and match where the technology could actually fit. Sometimes, it may require some reengineering the original platform they originally came to us with. We worked on the Febreze home fragrance lantern. The way we got to this particular concept was first and foremost to understand what consumers really want as a home décor/scent/imaging unit. We asked: “What do consumers really want as far as look, size, materials, colors, etc.?” There were a lot of different things we had to weave into the discovery process in order to create the stunning prototypes that later became the successful launch for the new brand. New: Depending on the situation, we bring research into the mix. Either from a brand standpoint, as in: “What are you really about?” and “What do you want to be about five years from now?” The question then becomes: “How can we communicate that?” Your brand wants to be one or two things, and you really want to communicate that. The tighter the competition, the more you need to make that very clear. So we’re helping clients answer those questions, we’re helping them define what’s the best, quickest way to communicate that message in the cluttered store environment. continued on page 32 »

The effectiveness of this Windex product innovation is broadcast with enticing in-use graphics, and a die cut lets consumers touch and get a peak at the product quality inside.

november 2010 |


RESEARCH Makeover Challenge


red | brand builders

Current Design HBN Brand Design

Prime Studio

A Cleaner Image Research findings emphasize successful elements of the 2010 Makeover Challenge By Ron Romanik and Hotspex


he seventh edition of the Package Design Makeover Challenge was a very closely contested exhibition of exciting design solutions for the Sun & Earth brand of all-natural laundry products. The online consumer research firm Hotspex agreed to analyze the four Makeover Challenge designs for us, using a number of their tools. The firm uses online attention-tracking tools that capture how consumers navigate the shelf, navigate a package, which products they notice, and how long it takes them to find a particular package or brand. Shopspex, for instance, is a simulated shopping tool that replicates a real-world competitive retail environment based on a planogram that is category and retail channel specific. Another tool, Personasphere, is a brand personality lexicon that consists of 182



attributes that leverage the consumer’s natural, subconscious tendency to personify brands and packaging designs. The qualitative Clickspex tool is an online point-and-click technology tool that provides detailed, focused consumer feedback that allows for meaningful evolution of a design idea. A noisy retail environment

Sun & Earth has quite the challenge on its hands, as an unknown brand in a category that is dominated by a single brand, Tide. The packaging has to do all the work of communicating the brand name and brand proposition, garnering attention on the shelf, and persuading shoppers to place it into their shopping carts. But it’s not a hopeless challenge. First, previous research by Hotspex has indicated that that about half of laundry

care shoppers are open to browsing the shelf and potentially switching brands at any time. Second, Gain has proven an exceptional case study (reconfirmed in this study) that captures more than its fair share of shopper attention—and purchase intent—with only a tiny share of shelf presence. Gain owns the color green and its own corner of the planogram in this category. The mission of the Makeover Challenge was to improve Sun & Earth’s existing packaging design to increase consumer interest, shelf performance and sales, and compete head-on with the high-impact graphics of national brands in mass-market channels. The packaging also had to communicate the appeal of a hypoallergenic product that is also efficient and works well with only seven all-natural ingredients.

The “A to F” approach collects the findings in multiple format studies and summarizes them into seven key consumer response criteria.

The “A to F” approach

The Hotspex team takes all the data from the multiple tools they use and summarizes the findings into an “A to F” report to indicate which designs performed best on seven key consumer response criteria. The Sun & Earth Makeover Challenge teams performed as follows: Attention – Though most of the attention on shelf was taken up by the national brands (Tide, Arm & Hammer, All), the HBN Brand Design and GROUP360 designs had more shelf breakthrough than the current design, but they did not outperform the other concept submissions significantly. Branding – The Prime Studio design was easier to find on shelf than the other concepts, but not easier to find than the current design. GROUP360 and red | brand builders did not perform as well as the current design. Communication – HBN and Prime Studio performed better than the current design on appeal and advantage. HBN and GROUP360 were considered more compelling than the current design, and GROUP360 performed the best at communicating the brand’s strong positioning of being hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and recyclable. Demand – HBN and GROUP360 performed better than the current package on all demand measures. However, no concept (including the current design) was “purchased” online by a significant number of the respondents. Emotion – Prime Studio, GROUP360, and the current design had similar persona profiles, all being down-to-earth, easy going, and likeable. HBN had these characteristics and was also considered interesting, cool, and successful. However, being interesting and cool without communicating the brand’s key propositions might not be enough to generate purchase interest at shelf. Feedback – All the package designs in the Makeover Challenge had positive features, according to the test subjects, but all could probably be optimized in certain continued on page 39 »

Eyespex is an online attention-tracking tool that captures how consumers navigate the shelf and which products they notice.

Personasphere is a brand personality lexicon that consists of 182 attributes that leverage the consumer’s subconscious tendency to personify package designs and experience powerful emotional impulses.

Study Methodology: • • • •

20-Minute Online Survey Fielded: Sept. 23 to Sept. 28, 2010 Total Sample: n=1,365 (ages 18 to 65) U.S. Regional Representation: Northeast – 268; Midwest – 313; South – 482; West – 302

Subject Specifications: • Two age breaks defined, balanced split between 18-39 yrs. and 40-65 yrs. • No defined gender split • Split purchase decision-makers within the category (historically 70:30 female:male) • Must have purchased laundry detergent or fabric softener in the past three months • Must be the category purchase decision maker or share purchasing responsibility in household • Must be responsible or share responsibility for doing laundry in household • Respondents were randomly assigned to one of five test cells Test Drive the Study: At



SPOTLIGHT Perfect Coat



A Pet Project for Pets Spectrum Brands creates a cleaner look for Perfect Coat shampoo


ets don’t have money to spend, but their owners certainly do, and sales figures clearly illustrate why pet retail aisles are every bit as competitive a marketplace as high-end boutiques and salons. In 2009, Americans pampered their pets with more than $10.4 billion worth of pet care products and overthe-counter pet medicines, according to the American Pet Products Association. Even if you’re allergic to dander, that’s nothing to sneeze at. The big dollars and the chance to extend brand equity from the human to the pet realm explain why many of the same players that rule the human health and beauty aid segment are carving out pieces of the pet market. That raises the stakes for long-time pet care companies like the Spectrum Brands Companion Animal Division in Islandia, NY, whose Perfect Coat line of pet shampoos has been a premium stalwart for years. Nina Lombardo, creative director for UPG’s Companion Animal Group, says 30


her company feels the need to update its package design about every three years to keep current. “The consumer is much more used to change, and they’re expecting new benefits when we update our packaging,” explains Lombardo. With the introduction of Perfect Coat’s easyrinse formulation, Lombardo and her team pushed for salon-quality elegance to stake out their territory against wellfunded consumer product companies’ incursion into the pet market. “We needed to update without losing the equity of our brand, and we wanted a much clearer communication of what’s inside that bottle,” Lombardo says. She adds that the package design really has to work hard to be each product’s advertising, free-standing insert, and package. Friendly faces

The new Perfect Coat design replaced screened stripes of color with bold panels of warmer tones, gently gradating to a near-white glow in the lower-right

corner. Thin gray arcs allowed Lombardo and her team to maintain the diagonal motion of the older design while cleaning it up and making it easier to print. A finer sans serif typeface unified the product name and descriptive copy, and removing rules and knock-out boxes simplified the front panel without losing information. The Perfect Coat logo gained power from a bright white background and is now physically linked to the words “easy rinse formula” in a bold oval. The most dramatic change is in the portraits of the dogs on the label. Today’s friendly faces peer off the shelf larger than ever. Lombardo says UPG was going for much more than the “Aww!” factor with their dog portraits. “We wanted a clearer

communication of our animals,” she says. “These are problem-solving shampoos. We try to correspond the dog and its particular needs with the shampoo and its highest function.” For longtime Perfect Coat customers, the breed on the package has become closely identified with the shampoo inside its bottle, making the dogs a vital link between the old and new designs. For instance, White Pearl features a snow-white lap dog, Tender Care Puppy showcases a take-me-home golden retriever pup, and Shed Control is symbolized by a collie. “We felt our consumer was really shopping for that color and that dog,” Lombardo explains. “We made sure both were very prominent. We also really worked on building the connection between the animal and the consumer. We photographed the dogs to look the shopper straight in the eye, the way characters in the cereal aisle connect with kids.”

whether it would also work as a label.” Label production actually got easier and more cost-efficient with the redesign, notes Anita Sparrow, v.p. for production for Logotech in Fairfield, NJ,

which has produced Perfect Coat labels and sleeves for years. continued on page 39 »

Mimaki_JFX1615_HI_PD1110.qxd:Layout 1 10/18/10 3:51 PM Page 1

Technical ease

On the production side, Lombardo’s design group faced another challenge. UPG switched from labels to shrink sleeves in 2007 to gain more real estate on the narrow-waisted 16-oz. shampoo bottles at the heart of its line. These bottles offer less than three inches of width on their front panels. Lombardo says the company made the transition to shrink sleeves only after she could be assured of getting a print quality equal to the super-sharp letterpress labels that they had used. Today, UPG works to ensure that the shrink sleeves on the 16-oz. bottles have a good aesthetic and technical match with the pressure sensitive labels that decorate the line’s 32- oz. and 64- oz. bottles. “We didn’t just design one and move to the next,” says Lombardo. “We looked at the entire line holistically. We were very mindful of how it would work as a shrink sleeve and

Shown with optional Roll Adapter.

Use the JFX-1615plus in combination with the CF2 flatbed cutting plotter.

Give your comps & presentations realistic quality. Flatbed Cutting Plotter

Quick & accurate cutting and creasing on a wide variety of material. 3 sizes to suit your workplace needs.



u Space-saving size; 63"x 59" print area. u IDFM media feeding for precise ink placement. u Close-view 1200x1200 dpi, variable dot technology. u Prints on PVC, flexible films and heat-sensitive materials.




888-530-3985 LA 888-530-3987

© 2010, Mimaki USA, Inc 150 Satellite Blvd., NE, Suwanee, GA 30024-7128, USA Fx: 678-730-0200 Outside the USA: Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd. •

november 2010 |


designer roundtable » continued from page 27


The ever-more-popular minimalist branding approach aims to cut through all the noise at retail, but are brand personalities getting washed out?

Goodwin: There’s a ton of trends that created today’s simplicity. Years ago, dynamic graphics became dominant; the pharma section all looked like logos for video games—active, swirling, and bright. The whole store started to scream. Then people went with a more simple approach, and that kind of gave products a clarity, and premium appeal. The Web 2.0 visual language is going to become the language of the day—and it’s happening. Simplicity, clarity, wavy. I think it’s gone too far already, and there’s going to be a shift, but I don’t think it’s going to go back to where we were. Tucker: Does the Pepsi can look an iPod now? I don’t know, but I think it might have lost a little bit of its refreshment appeal. Clients sometimes want iconic graphics for iconic graphic’s sake. A problem with this minimalist approach is this: If you have competition and if you’re not touting your unique selling proposition, visually and textually, then you might not be showing why your product is superior, or even different. For consumers, branding is a comparative visual exercise. Structurally, consumers are starting to resist excessive packaging. So, I think it’s a very good strategy to go simple and minimalist as far as how many layers of primary and secondary packaging are used. Kwan-Waski: There’s a fine line between sophisticated simple and generic. Private label is working fast and furious to become sophisticated simple after years of being known as generic. Good examples are Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Simple is always good, because when designed properly it shows focus of the brand and the product. A good design firm will have the sensitivity to approach this style in a manner that will translate into profit. Goodwin: Some large CPGs are experimenting with a new simplicity. If the sales remain strong, then we might not see much evolution moving forward. The simplicity and the core elements of the visual language become the brand standard manual that influences everything. Are consumers looking for that? I don’t know. I don’t think they’re the ones asking for it. And research is a driver too. There’s so much research going on that simplicity, of course, hits the key benefits. But does that have the same long-term effect on the brand? No. Though no one is saying it, the economy and cutting packaging costs is also driving the simplicity trend. Ziegler: Within the CPG world, there seems to be a large movement toward simplicity in packaging, particularly when it’s related to health and wellness. A good example is ConAgra’s Healthy Choice. And we’re seeing a lot of informational graph32

November 2010 |

The stripped down presentation of Walmart’s Great value package designs have had a wide-ranging effect, creating a divide between me-too and not-me-too reactions.

ics that are calling out the benefits of products in a happy little code system on the container. The other thing that simplicity talks to in food is the simplicity of preparation. Now you have a style that reinforces two things—convenience and health. Simplicity in personal care products, however, means purity and efficacy. Simplicity in the healthcare category can be more about categorization of the product and communicating the functional benefits of the product. Newmaster: I think simplicity, or minimalism, us more or less a “style.” If it’s done properly, it speaks to quality and premium. Walmart was careful about it, so that it didn’t look too upscale. You still have high-end, gourmet items that are ornate or decorative, but I think simplicity is a trend that won’t turn around quickly—unless everything starts looking that way. Brands that have a really strong brand heritage have to be careful, that all of sudden they become trendy and lost who they really are. CocaCola has always been a simplified brand. In recent years, they’ve actually gone back to who they really were. de Vlam: We try to educate clients. It’s about how much messaging you put on the front of the package and how you create a hierarchy of communication. It’s also a way that you help consumers navigate a shelf and help the consumer choose the product that he or she wants. The more violators and the busier the copy on the package, the harder that is. And we go through quite a lot of distilling to see how much we can get away with and how much we can remove. With recent design work for Valspar paints, a lot of the benefit statements that might normally obliterate the front of the package had to be removed so that we could give the consumer really easy navigation. That’s given the brand a huge uplift in the category. I think this will happen in all sorts of other areas. I think that breaking through with quiet and

breaking through with subtlety will help brands stand out and be more succinct with who they are and what they want to express as well. I think we’re still on an upward trajectory for that. Ziegler: I think a big driver for simplicity is the economy. We believe something has value when it’s simpler, and we can understand it. The pendulum shift to simplicity may stay beyond the recovery of the economy, because this generation of younger consumers is far more savvy about exaggerated or false marketing claims. The one thing about Target’s Up and Up brand is that it does cut through the marketing B.S. and gets right to what people want. New: Some of it is the economy, people don’t want to feel that their paying for frills. I think some of it is coming from a good place, where your brand should stand for one or two things and let’s make that clear and cut through the clutter. It’s about if you can simplify what you’re saying and not be all things to all people, and not have everything on the front, you can get noticed more and you’re more clearly defined. There are ones out there that took it the wrong way, who have lost their authenticity or have washed out the personality of the brand.


Any closing thoughts about what trends are you looking for in package design for 2011?

Goodwin: I don’t think there’s all that much new in food or beverage right now, but I know that there’s tons of ideas incubating. But new for new’s sake won’t work for this Twitter generation.

New: Being more specific and having your brand stand for one or two things are good things. Being really clear and quick to communicate to the consumer what you are is also good. I think that people make decisions quickly, and whatever the benefits are, that’s going to win out. Newmaster: As far as minimalism is concerned, if your packaging looks way too premium, the consumer may feel that they don’t want to pay for all the bells and whistles. They want to buy smarter. So if the packaging looks like it’s being done smarter, it might connect in that way. Kwan-Waski: Consumers have had a nice taste of private label products and many may not return to their familiar branded items. The price is right and product may be the same or better than branded. There will always be those few who are branded users, but with most of the country still with high unemployment rate, this trend will not end soon. Unfortunately, we feel that this then has become a vicious cycle as you can imagine. Tucker: How we use neuro-marketing has yet to be determined. One thing neuro-marketing can do is to actually bridge the gap between what the consumer thinks and what he or she actually says, which then leaves the market research moderators to sort it all out. Social media’s future hangs on the adage “content is king.” In my opinion, the exceptional content-makers are another level of creative genius. Ziegler: There are fundamental differences between design and innovation. With Apple’s example, we (as designers) make the assumption that good design will automatically get us places. What it will do is it won’t offend, but it won’t necessarily drive more consumption in and of itself. There are many psychographic and demographics segments of the population which don’t—and won’t—increase consumption based on good design. Bad design, however, will drive away consumption. de Vlam: When there’s a change in personnel at a brand, sometimes the previous agency of record gets bumped. Then you need to show good examples of evolutionary work and demonstrable change the keeps the brand fresh and relevant within the category—impactful but not changing it so much that the consumer can’t find you on shelf or gets turned off. Consumers are quite fickle these days, with lots of choice. ■ Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part Roundtable Discussion series. Look for Part 2 in the December issue and Part 3 online in December.

Product and packaging innovation worked hand in hand to produce this bacon product that doesn’t require refrigeration, packaged in a recloseable tray.




Rings around the Label Little big brands breathes new life into Wisk laundry detergent AFTer



isk is a brand known by many for its long-running “Ring around the collar” television advertising campaigns. However, the once potent brand message of cleaning performance had become watered down over the years by unfocused strategic package design updates. “Wisk had lost its brand voice over the years,” says John Nunziato, creative director of Little Big Brands in Nyack, NY. “The brand really lost its brand color. It was split 50% blue and 50% red. But Wisk is red.”

Cleaning up the look

The brand owner, Connecticut-based Sun Products Corporation, wanted a design that would retain the essence of this iconic brand while providing a canvas to highlight Wisk’s powerful new formula with “Stain Spectrum Technology.” Little Big Brands, partnering closely with Sun Products' Visual Branding team, developed a package design that embraces the brand's heritage while strengthening its presence with strong red color-coding and a dynamic new logo. "Our design objective was to rediscover the stain-fighting technology and heritage of the brand in a contemporary and iconic way that captured both hearts and minds," says Vincent Masotta, Sun Products' Visual Branding director. Little Big Brands distilled the previous design and addressed each element for relevancy, equity, and impact. By stripping out the essences of the brand, the design team could discover what they had to maintain and what they 34

November 2010 |

needed to enhance. The design was stripped of unnecessary copy, drop shadows, in-lines, and fluorescent colors that made the previous design feel heavy and dated. The result is a brand with renewed depth, dimension, and energy. Both bottle and label are rich reds, and the label itself uses several reds to integrate seamlessly into the structure. The addition of reflective foil adds to the premium appearance and strengthens cleaning cues. The new bold, clean white logo was redrawn and maximized in perspective form. Like the previous logo, it is cropped on the 50-oz. bottle to make it appear too big for the label. The new logo is purposely not perfect in its dimensions. The perspective is off a touch, skewed at 2% angle, to give it action and energy. The effect is that the logo is coming off the bottle at the consumer, powerfully, and the dynamic dot above the “i” further supports the motion effect. Reds on top of reds

With the red canvas, the die cut of the in-mold label disappears. The prototyping company Kaleidoscope in Chicago helped greatly in color-matching to achieve a strategic combination of four different reds. The swirls of red not only created vortexes down into the bottle but also lifted design elements further off the bottle. The foil flashes create an additional level “above” the label. The rainbow effect of the foil fits perfectly with the Stain

InternatIonal trade FaIr


+2:'2:(.12: 7+$7<28:,//%( 68&&(66)8/,1 0$<" )520(;3(5,(1&( 6ROXWLRQVDKHDG ZZZLQWHUSDFNFRP

order your entrance passes online in advance of the show! For show information: Messe DĂźsseldorf North America 150 North Michigan Avenue Suite 2920 Chicago, Il 60601 Tel. (312) 781â&#x20AC;&#x201C;5180 Fax (312) 781â&#x20AC;&#x201C;5188 E-Mail:

For hotel and travel arrangements: TTI Travel, Inc. Tel. (866) 674â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3476 Fax (212) 674â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3477

november 2010 |


04.10.2010 USA interpack 2011 82 x 254 â&#x20AC;˘ 4c Package Design / Nov. 2010

Spectrum Technology benefit statement. Melanie Edwards, manager of business development for Multi-Color Corporation, with headquarters outside Cincinnati, OH, explains that the quality of the foil effect in this application was not really possible five years ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having the opportunity to use cold foil on the inmold label was exciting,â&#x20AC;? says Edwards. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But you have to make sure it can handle the heat.â&#x20AC;? The key factor is having The new Wisk also features the foil and label shrink at the same rate while limiting â&#x20AC;&#x153;crazvariety name updates, as the flagship product went ingâ&#x20AC;? that might detract from from "original Clean" to the brilliance. "Deep Clean." The Multi-Color team conducted ideation sessions to generate possibilities for the Wisk brand, and they knew the foil direction would face some obstacles. One was a long-running perception among blow molders that the foil would cause issues in the regrind system. Multi-Color pushed for trials to prove that this was not the case and was thus able to get the buy-in from the blow molders. Cap colors and product variety name are color-coded in a manner so that each variety can become familiar to consumers and align with their preferences. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were able to achieve a clean, crisp system, but the typography is able to live on its own,â&#x20AC;? Nunziato explains. Considerations of store lighting and brand blocking guided many of the color decisions as well as the proper application of the foil. On shelf, the design elements seem to float over the bottle without any of them becoming jarring or obvious violators. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really saw this project as an exercise in control,â&#x20AC;? concludes Nunziato. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The graphics work synergistically with the structure.â&#x20AC;? The colors came out of an extensive color study by Kaleidoscope, and a fluorescent element was added to the variant names. The type treatment of the variety name is immediately clean, contemporary, and readable without any adornment or drop shadow. Similarly, the effectiveness of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;32 Loadsâ&#x20AC;? indicator is a result of the designers respecting the typography and not over-designing typographic elements. The new Wisk laundry detergent is hitting stores shelves this winter with a bold, dynamic new look that becomes the dramatic star in their new television advertising campaign. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The brand is now a standout in the categoryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;screaming premium and performance while remaining relevant and approachable to the consumer,â&#x20AC;? concludes Nunziato. n



The Future Is Now bailey brand Consulting takes the Project 2020 top prize with practical dissolving soap sticks concept


he inaugural “Project 2020: The Consumer Experience,” sponsored by DuPont, was conducted leading up to Pack Expo International 2010 in Chicago’s McCormick Place. PMMI and Pack Expo asked design firms what will be the primary drivers propelling packaging innovation 10 years from now and what breakthrough innovation would look like. At the show, a Project 2020 pavilion demonstrated groundbreaking packaging technologies such as augmented reality and the potential applications of mobile devices. The top 10 most innovative entries were displayed in at the Brand Zone at Pack Expo and awarded EskoArtwork’s Studio Designer program. As Grand Prize Winner for its patent-pending Dissolving Soap StixTM concept, Bailey Brand Consulting won a Complete Studio Bundle, valued at over $22,000, again provided by EskoArtwork. Bailey Brand Consulting ( is a strategic design firm in Plymouth Meeting, PA, serving clients such as Pfizer, Welch’s, Maxell, Unisys, and Johnson & Johnson. 36

November 2010 |

Bailey Brand Consulting won the top prize by getting to the core package design issues with current refillable soap dispensers. Liquid hand soap was originally developed for hospitals, restaurants, and public restrooms. Eventually, the demand for a home version led to a wide variety of hand soap products— from anti-bacterial versions to foaming soaps to skin softeners. Chris Bailey, principal at Bailey Brand Consulting, relishes these contest opportunities to think and look forward. “It’s a great exercise in being able to look at optimizing the way we work,” says Bailey. “We ask: How do you change the mindset of a category?” Reasons to believe

Liquid soaps are easy-to-use and less messy than bar soaps, which can leave soap scum on the sink. In addition, liquid soaps can be used in the containers they come in or transferred to pumps that match the room décor. Most are relatively inexpensive and come in bottle sizes from 8 oz. to 12 oz.

So what’s the issue? Well, it’s all about the refill. Typical liquid soap refill bottles are big, bulky, messy, and not very eco-friendly. For manufacturers, it means more raw materials, molds, labeling, and extra shipping weight and space. Retailers need extra shelf and warehouse space to accommodate the larger bottle sizes. Consumers have to lug them home, find storage space, and be extra cautious when refilling the decorative containers with extra caution to avoid spillage. The thought of trying to refill that decorative dispenser with the large jug of liquid soap is just not thrilling to consumers. Steve Perry, creative director at Bailey Brand Consulting, believes consumers avoid the task because of the heavy bottle, the likelihood of a spill or two, and the hassle of cleaning up the spill. “We try to identify product scenarios that are actually challenging,” explains Perry. “We think this solution capitalizes on the opportunity to dramatically improve the consumer experience with liquid soap—from start to finish.” To solve this problem, the Bailey team designed dissolving soap sticks that offer consumers a unique, easy, clean, and sustainable way to refill their liquid soap dispensers. Users simply open the cabinet, take out a small dissolving soap stick in the scent of choice, drop it in the dispenser, and add water. There’s no mess or struggle. Simple and cost-effective, soap sticks are solid gel cylinders, similar in size and shape to glue sticks used in hot glue guns. The soap sticks could be sold at retail in any quantity sizes of one scent or in variety packs. Depending on the retailer, soap sticks could also be made available individually so that consumers can customize their scent selection to their own personal taste.

The complete package

The molded fiber clamshell for the soap sticks is made from recycled paper, printed with soy inks, and is also recyclable. If it is thrown away instead of recycled, it is biodegradable. The retail display would be primarily peg board, but adding a standup footer on the package would not be difficult. ROBRADY Design (, based in Sarasota, FL, engineered and developed the prototype of the product and package under direction of the Bailey firm. Bailey also developed a brand name for the product—Flux—to play on the transformation of the product from solid to liquid. For manufacturers, the gains in sustainability and carbon footprint are obvious compared to traditional weighty refill bottles. For retailers, the refill soap sticks would require less space in storage and on shelf, would be easier to keep in stock, could create eye-catching displays, and would offer a greater variety of choices for customers. For consumers, messy refill operations will become a thing of the past. Other benefits include more choices in scents and soap varieties, flexibility in dispensers, ease of storage, costeffectiveness, and environmental friendliness. Bailey believes that the dissolving soap stick concept opens up a variety of other opportunities in health and beauty category, including convenience gains in commercial, industrial, and hospital applications. “This is applied to a very specific solution, but it’s a concept that could be used across many categories,” Bailey concludes. n

november 2010 |


designer's corner » continued from page 10

Brand design can add value through substance; even if it’s a low-budget product it still needs to be relevant and interesting.

for brands to behave more responsibly— environmentally, socially, and culturally. Those that build strong and differentiated

roots will stand a better chance of growing into successful, irreplaceable brands. n

Value and Ideas

It has been proven time after time that the strongest brands are those that are built on simple ideas. Safe ideas are boring and unlikely to differentiate you. Great ideas create value by providing you with inimitable intellectual property, among other benefits. Ideas can be used across other areas of business marketing, reducing the need for additional spend and creating new possibilities for brand design. Design can add value to your brand through meaningful change in many ways, and these are just a few ideas on how to begin. The pressure is increasing

Rochelle Martyn (top) and Lisa Simpson (bottom) are founding partners of Monday Collective (www. Martyn brought her UK strategic design leadership skills to New York in 2003, setting up the NYC design studio for the London-based Pearlfisher design firm. Simpson joined the New York office of Pearlfisher in 2004 as creative director, contributing towards its growth and building its creative reputation.

Package Designers’ Datebook NOVEMBER 2010 Nov 14 - 16 | PLMA 2010 Private Label Trade Show Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL Web: Email: Phone: 212-972-3131

DECEMBER 2010 Dec 8 - 10 | Shanghai Private Label Fair Shanghai Mart, Shanghai, China Web: shanghai2010home.html Email: Phone: 212-972-3131

Nov 22 - 25 | Emballage/Pack the World Paris Nord Villepinte, Paris, France Web: Email: Phone: (+ 33) 01-7677-1280

FEBRUARY 2011 Feb 8 - 10 | WestPack Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA Web: Phone: 310-445-4200



11:21 AM

index of advertisers















Dana Industries






Sustainability Webinar


HBA Global Expo


WestPack (Canon Comm.)

9 (insert)

Henkel Messe Dusseldorf




November 2010 |


Mimaki Owens-Illinois

Access Business Group

7575 Fulton Street East Ada, Michigan 49355-0001 800-879-2732

Page 1

SPOTLIGHT Perfect Coat » continued from page 31

Sparrow notes that UPG switched from clear plastic substrate to white paper coated with a gloss varnish to add shine and drip resistance. That eliminated the need for a silkscreen station on the press to lay down a thick enough white to make the old type pop. “We used to have silkscreen for the white type, then two hits of letterpress white for the outglow, then the four-color process, and registration was really tight,” says Sparrow. “Now they’ve eliminated the silkscreen by going with the white material—which reduced the cost and made it easier. The gradation is nice and subtle, and our Esko computer-to-plate system handles it really well. It’s still a six-color label, but it’s great to print.” Sparrow says Perfect Coat is a great example of the effect a designer can have on all aspects of a package, from its look to its production. “It’s good design,” she says. “That’s what it comes down to.” ■

RESEARCH Makeover Challenge » continued from page 29

ways to enhance consumer attention and appeal. HBN had a unique design but some questioned the handle’s ease of use. GROUP360 effectively communicated the brand’s environmentally friendly positioning, but consumers were unsure of the handle and the stability of the base. Prime Studio’s citrus scent was a prominent feature and was appealing to some, but others could not associate this scent positively with clothing and laundry. Choosing the most effective

Though the competition was close between all four entries, GROUP360 and HBN were closest at the top in the Hotspex summation. The Hotspex analysis determined GROUP360 as the most effective design to get consumers’ attention because it performed better than the current design for shelf breakthrough and in all demand measures. “We came to the answer only by creating scorecards

and looking at their performances across the seven measures (A to F) to discover a compelling story,” says Gera Nevolovich, Hotspex vice president. The GROUP360 design successfully focuses shopper attention on the sun logo, the brand name, the orange citrus power, as well as the hypoallergenic and safe for babies benefit. The Hotspex analysis also indicated specific recommendations for enhancing GROUP360 design elements: 1. Emphasize the cleaning power of Sun & Earth more. There is a chance “citrus power” is being misinterpreted as “strong citrus scent” versus “the cleaning power of citrus”—the intended message. 2. Make the brand name more visible by changing white type to black type. 3. Change the handle design to a more familiar grip handle.

4. Change the bottle color to one that conveys “clean + environmentally friendly.” An oatmeal color or a transparent bottle might create a more honest, straightforward, and pure image. Nevolovich sums up the competition by noting that GROUP360 stood out because research subjects associated the design with different rational criteria. The design had good rankings on all positive attributes, indicating a coherent strategy supported well by design. Finally, the emotional mapping revealed that the GROUP360 designs made consumers feel safe with a reliable brand image that was the most consistent with its all-natural personality. “If the first moment of truth was the only moment of truth, you’d have to go with GROUP360,” Nevolovich concludes. ■



wow! what a package

Lean In A closer look reveals surprising inspirations from Italy By Lynn Dornblaser


The Prelibato closure also offers a higherend experience with a plastic cap fitting snugly over a regulated-flow rubber stopper.


november 2010 |

t Mintel, when we talk about identifying new package ideas, we often say that one of the best ways to come up with a new product package is simply to “steal with pride,” or “copy and improve.” We don’t recommend breaking any laws or violating any ethics, but rather to look at a wide range of products and categories when thinking about a new product package. That’s exactly what we see here with this balsamic vinegar from Italy. Acetaia Malpighi Prelibato White Balsamic Vinegar comes in a package that clearly has its heritage in both alcoholic elixirs and in fine fragrances. Condiment bottles of all types stand up straight, and they have a closure in the center of the top. This one has neither. Instead, the bottle is designed so that it leans a bit. It’s not enough to impact significantly how the product may be shelved, but it’s just enough “off ” so that you can’t help but notice. And the closure, instead of being centered on the top of the package, is offset. But, unlike the rest of the bottle, the closure does not “lean,” but rather is quite vertical. The package borrows more than just its unique shape from other categories—it also borrows its positioning. Like an expensive bottle of vodka or the latest fine fragrance, this vinegar uses its unique package to help reinforce the hefty price tag. This vinegar, in a relatively small bottle, sells for the equivalent of about $25. What goes along with the steep price tag is a strong story about how the product is aged for five years in ash barrels, which helps ensure its light color and well-balanced flavor, the company says. With the growing trend of cooking elegant meals at home and experimenting with new ingredients (sometimes luxury ingredients), this product helps consumers elevate their cooking experience with distinguished taste and a status symbol—thanks to a unique package with an undeniable “Wow!” factor. n Lynn Dornblaser is the director of the Custom Solutions Group at Mintel International. She can be reached at 312-932-0400 or

HBA11_WeAre-AD_BtyPkgREV1:Layout 1


12:14 PM

Page 1

we are beauty


Summer 2011 | HBA Global Expo & Conference June 28-30, 2011 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY

Final Good Reflection Ad:Mech 3525 PkgPrint Half Ad


4:16 PM

Page 1

Good Reflections

Nothing on retail shelves matches the exceptional appearance of packages and labels with the unique sheen of Brushfoil. And in today’s challenging marketplace, Brushfoil is a brilliant performer – commanding attention, projecting quality and reflecting the value of what’s inside every package. Give your next package or label the look of quality it deserves.

Success begins with the finish.

A division of Interfilm Holdings, Inc. 800-493-2321 1 Shoreline Drive, Unit 6, Guilford, CT 06437 (USA)

Package Design - November 2010  

In this issue: Meet the 2010 Makeover Challenge Winner: HBN Brand Design accelerates brands through strategic design and simplified commu...

Package Design - November 2010  

In this issue: Meet the 2010 Makeover Challenge Winner: HBN Brand Design accelerates brands through strategic design and simplified commu...