Category: Packaging

Summer 2017 Interns: Introducing nth°

August 24, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

Every summer at CBX, we welcome a talented group of interns to work across our design, strategy and client management departments. Alongside working on client projects, we task our interns with a group project to work on autonomously together. We ask them to combine their individual department expertise and work on the project as if it were a real-life client brief. Our ask: Develop a product and brand experience marketed to the C-suite.

Here’s a recap from the group themselves. Thanks to our class of Summer 2017: Sarah Mitty, Marie Daigle, Megan Brown, Eric Higgins, Darby Philbrick, Lindsey Case, Rachel Bergmann, and Emily Schaefer.

Phase 1: Assessing the ask

As a group that joined CBX eager to learn about as many aspects of branding and design as possible, we were excited about the broad and intriguing ask. Specifically, the opportunity to tackle an all-encompassing brief that would allow each of us to participate in duties beyond our departments. After our initial briefing, we collectively agreed the biggest challenge of the ask was how to market a product to a group we knew very little about. As a group of Millennials, we had few insights about C-suites, and realized our best […]

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How Do You Create Brand Resilience?

July 10, 2017 — Todd Maute

As legacy brands continue to expand into different verticals and technology offering more choice and points of purchase for consumers, brands in all industries must reckon with the old adage faced in the modern business era: What comes next?

The concept of disruption is not a new one. But typically, it refers to a brand attempting to make waves in a market it exists in. However, some of the biggest innovations in the past decades have been brands willing to foray into creating products and services not in their direct wheelhouse- who would’ve thought a computer hardware maker would have disrupted (and possibly saved) the music industry so massively and drastically? The act of disrupting your own brand- your value proposition, your core offering, your target demographic, the list goes on-is a harder path for brands. Understandably so, why would a brand risk the equity they’ve accumulated over the years in their category? Because, as Ted Minnini points out, “If a brand stakes out its ground as a disruptor, it has to build a culture that will keep on disrupting. Because if it doesn’t, another brand will come along and disrupt the disruptor.”

At CBX, we work with brands across […]

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Food for thought on the new FDA label

November 1, 2016 — admin

Big news, food manufacturers, the FDA is making changes to the nutrition facts label. All food manufacturers will be expected to comply with these changes by July 26, 2018.

What does this specifically mean for you? It means you’ll be:

– highlighting calories and servings, so consumers can make more informed food choices – indicating “added sugars” instead of just “sugars” – disclosing “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutritional information (because who ever really follows the recommended “per serving” information anyway)

(as well as several other changes, but these three are the big ones)

A few suggestions for you to consider when making these changes:

1. Stay calm and be true to your brand

Remember it’s all about authenticity these days. Don’t try to reinvent your brand as something it’s not. Consumers buy your brand and love it for a reason. Continue to do what you do best – stay true to you.

2. Educate your consumers

Tell your consumers all the good stuff happening in your product. While many of the changes seem like doom and gloom (hello 45g of sugar in a 100% juice brand). There are a lot of great things to tell consumers about […]

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Date At Your Own Risk: Licensing in Branding

August 26, 2015 — Lucila Tessi

Becoming a “licensee” allows brands the opportunity to extend into a new category or industry, modernize, stay relevant and build upon their brand value. When choosing the right licensing opportunity and when implemented effectively, it can have tremendous benefits. As of late, we’ve seen this with Minion-mania. It’s been said that Universal will make more off of licensed products than the Minions movie that just came out in July. Sounds tempting, right? But before jumping in, let’s take a step back and evaluate licensing.

The way I see it, licensing is a very personal tool used by brands. I often think of it as a relationship. Two people joining as one and representing what each other stands for. You look to benefit from each other, you meet each other’s friends and as a couple you work together to make each other happy. But unlike a relationship, you have the opportunity to plan for success prior to creating the partnership.

Here are five guidelines for brands to keep in mind when thinking of entering a (licensed) relationship:

What are you looking to get out of this?

Licensing should be used as a strategic business tool. Brands that want to license someone else’s intellectual […]

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Serving up a slice of delicious

February 19, 2015 — Jane Sayer

I honestly don’t know how this happened but somewhere along my career path I became the food girl. Literally, from soup to nuts, I’ve worked on it. And besides being to blame for the many fluxes in my weight management (I challenge YOU to search for dumpling imagery and NOT eat them everyday for a week) I have enjoyed every minute of it.

The many restrictions put on food packaging that some might find challenging, I find exhilarating. Ad campaigns have free range to get creative––take, for example, the wonderful Oreo commercials that aired over the last year or so. And then compare that to the Oreo Packaging––it’s not BAD exactly––it’s just very literal. Because ambiguity is the enemy of food packaging and we don’t want any surprises when we open that box, unless, you know, they are really GOOD surprises. But still it’s the possibilities that keep me intrigued. Some of my more brilliant ideas could see the light of day one day right (pig wearing a bow tie as a pork sausage mascot anyone?)?

Some brands have successfully broken the paradigm, such as Campbell’s Go soup and the now defunct Kashi Good Friends cereal that feature people on […]

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Smucker’s Acquires Big Heart Pet Brands

February 11, 2015 — Admin

CBX congratulates Smucker’s on its forthcoming acquisition of Big Heart Pet Brands from a consortium of investors led by funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., Vestar Capital Partners, Centerview Capital, and AlpInvest Partners Inc., for approximately $5.8 billion.

The pet food and snacks giant changed its name from Del Monte Corporation to Big Heart Pet Brands following the sale of its fruit, vegetable, and other consumer foods portfolio in February 2014. CBX is proud to have collaborated with the management of Big Heart Pet Brands to create the company’s new name and identity. We have also assisted on the redesign of Big Heart’s headquarters, field offices, manufacturing plants, as well as certain product packaging and marketing materials.

Big Heart Pet Brands is home to a number of iconic and beloved brands, including Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, Natural Balance, Kibbles ‘n Bits, 9Lives, Milo’s Kitchen, and Nature’s Recipe, among others.

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Look Me In The Eye When You Say That

November 17, 2011 — Karen Smith


Research methodologies have evolved tremendously since my first days in package design.  Focus groups were pretty much the only game in town back then, and the only revolutionary ideas were group location and discussion flow. Now, we have great options for qualitative, quantitative, and even hybrid qual-quant methods, all designed to get into the consumer’s head.

There are pros and cons to every type of research. For deep-dive insights into attitudes and behaviors, personally, I’m still a big fan of traditional focus groups and one-on-one interviews, particularly in the beginning stages of brand exploration. Brand managers know the data behind their consumers, but the needs, desires and concerns of the consumers change over time. Digging into these insights become much more meaningful through qualitative research.

Economic trends, life stage changes, and “keeping up with the Joneses” can change behaviors and attitudes, creating important shifts in purchase behavior. Or, more importantly, can encourage an attitude, but not a behavior. For several years, natural, organic and better for you have been key trends that the media, consumers and brands have been talking about with great interest. Brands like GreenWorks helped to redefine how companies could play in the […]

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Branding the Chef

October 13, 2011 — Jennifer Curulli


Paula, Mario, Giada, Tyler, Ina, Jamie, Emeril. No, not the names of the new 7 dwarfs but of some of the most famous celebrity chefs who started at the stove, made their way onto your television screen and then into your cupboards and refrigerators. These people are living examples of a brand in 360 degrees. From an action (cooking) they turned themselves into entertainment (a cooking show) and then into an actual product.


It is these actual products I want to share. As an avid fan of all things related to cooking (the Food Network, the new Cooking Channel, Bon Appetit magazine, food blogs, etc), I love to check out the packaging in gourmet food stores and specialty shops as well as just in the basic grocer’s. I stumbled upon Giada Delaurentiis’ olive oil just a couple of weeks ago. My first thought was “Wow! Giada has olive oil now?” and then this: “Why is her face on the label?”. If you know her name, then you know her face so why make a product that is most likely high-end quality and bring down the design with a photo of the chef promoting it?


After […]

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From France (Er, I mean Chicago) With Love, Home Grown VOSGES Brand Gets It Right

August 15, 2011 — Sandra Creamer



Walking through Chicago O’Hare the other day I noticed a cute pop-up style shop for a fancy looking, seemingly imported chocolate brand called Vosges. Much to my surprise, the back of the Mo’s Bacon Bar featured the story of the founder, Katrina, as well as her inspiration for the recipe and her company.


I checked the production location, expecting to see an exotic French address, given that Vosges is a department in northeast France. But alas! Vosges is from Chicago in the good old US of A!


So what can we learn from a Midwestern candy entrepreneur about branding? The answer is – a lot!


The overall branding makes Vosges seem exotic, artisanal and giftable, with an underlying nod to indulgent luxury mixed with approachability. This combination is what makes the brand stand out.


Let’s take a quick look at how Vosges does this in five easy steps.


Step 1: Use a foreign name, real or made up.

Let’s be honest. Anything French that is related to food sounds tasty. Chocolate has long been part of the French elite, with King Louis XV eating it regularly at breakfast, and we have […]

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Keep Magazines Alive!

June 28, 2011 — David Weinberger

I often encourage strategists and designers to hold on to design material that inspires them or may help as reference on future projects. Tags, invitations, clippings, packages, annual reports…they are all valuable resources. I try to collect stuff from every project I work on and then add it to the pile. This inspiration can come from literally anywhere, so it helps if your eyes are always on the lookout. I still find that magazines are one of the easiest and best ways to get a quick view of the world.

Magazines are relatively cheap and flimsy, so you don’t feel bad ripping out their pages. Most importantly, new issues come out every month, enabling them to capture the cultural and visual feel of the moment. New ad campaigns, new products, points of view and color trends, photographic styles, typefaces — these can all be found in a single issue.

I know, I know. There’s a thing called the World Wide Web out there. I’ve heard of it, and I am an avid user. Google Images, Flickr, FFFFOUND, siteinspire, The Dieline. And they are updated several times a day, if not up-to-the-minute. There are a million sites out there, […]

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