Making love last: Advice for the jaded shopper marketer

Dear Dominique,
I’m a marketing director for a major Canadian food brand and we have body image issues. The look of our main product line feels plain and inadequate. I’ve been tasked with a redesign of the packaging but the trouble is I have no idea what’s in fashion. Do you have any suggestions to help our product get its groove back?

Low self-esteem

 

Dear Low self-esteem,
That’s an easy one. First, go to a supermarket and look at the shelves where your competitors are. See how they shout at you and compete for your attention? Make sure you shout loudest. Forget the trends or what’s in fashion. Just be big and bold.

Sarcasm, I love it.

I got you for a minute. I would never, ever, go down this road. As a trained designer, I believe you can break through the clutter by doing things differently. Instead of being part of this tasteless, ugly fight occurring in those infinite aisles of mediocrity, inspire with great design.

Skim the countless blogs and design mags for inspiration. All the fashion and trends are in there for you to choose from. Let those clean, crisp, modern, minimalist package designs brainwash you. After all, design annuals are the best manuals!

Double-sarcasm. Sorry. As someone once said to me, annuals are definitely not manuals.

No more kidding. Here are the steps I would take:

1) Understand why change is required. Are sales down? Is there fresh competition? Has your product improved? Are you freshening up a dusty brand? Pushing a new brand promise?

2) Get your story straight. A defined and clear brand promise is your best asset. Remember, your product is your best owned media, so ensure your packaging delivers the right story. It’s not just a nice graphic on a box, it’s your Trojan horse.

3) Make things right. If your promise and story are unique, you should end up with a unique design. Nothing will look like it and nothing will compare. You will stand out.

I triple-dog-dare you to follow these three steps. If you do, customers will recognize you, buy your products and share the love. Well-crafted, insightful communication always works.

Dom

 

Published in Strategy Magazine, March 14, 2014

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