Publication: Packaging World

Scrap the stale female clichés

by
October 30, 2016

 

Benefit Cosmetics strikes a tongue-in-cheek tone that doesn’t take beauty too seriously.

Women are looking for products and packaging that go beyond the tired clichés of femininity. CBX’ Allison Koller explains how brand owners can create more authentic packaging for female consumers.

Allison Koller, Executive Creative Director of CBX, recently gave a TEDx talk on the clichés used in packaging for products geared toward women. Here she answers some questions on the topic and provides examples of how brand owners can convey a more authentic story.

Packaging World:

How do female stereotypes and clichés currently manifest themselves in retail product packaging and branding?

Allison Koller:

Representations of women in packaging and in store displays cue off many of the same clichéd codes present in advertising, where women are depicted as perfect, without flaws. This sets up an unrealistic standard, where women can’t get real. No sweat, no blemishes, no aging, perfectly run households—no individuals with real thoughts or feelings.

Common codes include: “Magic”—products that promise to make you flawless, or forget any challenges you may face; “The Ingenue”—an innocent (usually blonde) who never ages; “The Goddess”—either perfectly sculpted from a sweat-free workout or wearing a sparkling […]

Continue Reading

Classic Brands Are Going Organic: Will Consumers Go For The Change?

by
May 23, 2016

To compete with niche brands offering better-for-you products, mainstream CPGs are rethinking their products and packaging to convey greater authenticity and quality.

Consumers today are more health-conscious than ever. They want less processed and more natural and organic versions of foods they love. They want to know where their food comes from and whether the ingredients used to make their products are healthy and natural. As a result, many consumer product companies are concerned about their mainstream brands losing market share to smaller competitors focused on conveying quality and transparency. The possibility of losing traction with authenticity-focused Millennials is surely a big part of the equation.

This trend is affecting classic American brands that have remained untouched for decades. Traditional manufacturers are scrambling to meet these needs in meaningful ways and offer options that keep these brands relevant with consumers.

Staying current via acquisitions One way is to buy successful brands that effectively compete in or have helped to create a category and simply add them to the portfolio. Companies are not always transparent about these ownership changes. In fact, some of them go out of their way to make sure consumers continue to view acquired brands as small and […]

Continue Reading

Bean Pouches Present a New Take on Organics

by
May 9, 2016

A new line of organic beans is breaking through the “sea of sameness” in the organic shelf-stable vegetables category through the use of a stand-up pouch decorated with fresh and fun illustrations. The five varieties of beans in pouches were launched by startup company Green Valley Foods, LLC out of Salem, OR, in October 2015 along with four canned bean varieties, one canned pumpkin product, and three canned seasonal vegetables – all with the same lively graphics.

“Green Valley wanted to create packaging that disrupted the aisle, but also captured a younger, health-conscious audience: the adventurous, better-for-you Millennial Mom,” says Pete Chieffo, Associate Creative Director for CBX, the firm responsible for designing the package graphics. “The canned category relied on a gritty, natural palette of earth tones and farm cues. While these cue the natural organic aspect shoppers are looking for, there wasn’t anything that spoke to our target’s desire to make food fun and creative for her family.”

Through research involving both East and West Coast Millennial Moms, Green Valley and CBX learned that organics had changed over the past several years, “with Millennials expecting their organic brands to match their optimistic and adventurous lifestyle, rather than traditional organic […]

Continue Reading

Bean Pouches Present a New Take On Organics

by
March 12, 2016

Organic vegetables break category norms though the use of a stand-up pouch and fun and colorful graphics that stand out from the gritty, natural palettes traditionally used.

A new line of organic beans is breaking through the “sea of sameness” in the organic shelf-stable vegetables category through the use of a stand-up pouch decorated with fresh and fun illustrations. The five varieties of beans in pouches were launched by startup company Green Valley Foods, LLC out of Salem, OR, in October 2015 along with four canned bean varieties, one canned pumpkin product, and three canned seasonal vegetables—all with the same lively graphics.

“Green Valley wanted to create packaging that disrupted the aisle, but also captured a younger, health-conscious audience: the adventurous, better-for-you Millennial Mom,” says Pete Chieffo, Associate Creative Director for CBX, the firm responsible for designing the package graphics. “The canned category relied on a gritty, natural palette of earth tones and farm cues. While these cue the natural organic aspect shoppers are looking for, there wasn’t anything that spoke to our target’s desire to make food fun and creative for her family.”

Through research involving both East and West Coast Millennial Moms, Green Valley and CBX learned that […]

Continue Reading

Toss the Tacky, and Other Strategies For Inspiring Holiday Packaging

by
November 29, 2015

To create holiday packaging that will enchant consumers, you need to move beyond seasonal clichés and embrace quality design that brings a bit of the unexpected.

With the holidays upon us, celebrations beginning, and an influx of plastic Santas on rooftops, I can’t help but pine for more sophisticated creative this season. It goes without saying that much of the holiday packaging we see is, let’s face it, pretty tacky. It’s as if someone said, “Just slap a reindeer, Santa, or snowflake on the package and call it a day. Oh, and make sure it’s gaudy!” I believe that brands that use cheap tactics are underestimating the public’s ability—and desire—to embrace quality design. Let’s look at some great examples that haven’t used tacky gimmicks to convey “holiday.”

Tissue boxes conjure classic holiday settings

There’s corny Christmas humor—ugly sweater contest anyone?—and then there’s keen Christmas wit. Kleenex opted for the latter when it launched its limited-edition tissue box holiday collection in 2013. Festive enough to leave out on the mantel alongside your stockings for those emotional holiday moments, the holiday tissue boxes were made to resemble quintessential settings like a gingerbread house and garland-draped fireplace. Best of all, the structure […]

Continue Reading

Master the Art and Science of the Brand Stretch

by
August 26, 2015

Build brand awareness, enhance brand credentials, drive incremental usage among loyalists, and attract new users by stretching your brand into new and different areas.

Marketers have always used line extensions to build business and grow consumer loyalty. Oreo is a classic example. You start with Oreo sandwich cookies and then extend in subtle ways. You add more filling (“Double Stuf”) and make the cookies bigger or smaller. Then you vary the base product a bit further by, say, covering the cookies with chocolate or changing their flavors and filling. This classic approach to line extensions worked decades ago and still works today.

But today there are reasons for brands to stretch further—to go beyond the simple and obvious. Today’s buzz-hungry, relevancy-oriented, social media-rich marketplace is fertile ground for brands to connect with consumers by innovating even more. By leveraging existing brand equities and stretching them into new and different areas, companies can build brand awareness, enhance brand credentials, drive incremental usage among loyalists, and even attract new users to the fold. Successful “stretching” leverages key packaging equities as a bridge to maintain a strong connection between the existing brand and the new innovation.

Brand stretches that make sense A prime […]

Continue Reading

Packaging Gets Real

by
May 22, 2015

As consumers demand greater transparency from CPG brands, brand owners are blazing new trails with refreshingly honest and real on-pack messaging—even for ‘delicate’ products.

Have you noticed that brands have been “getting real” lately? I’m talking about refreshingly honest, no-BS messaging in ad campaigns and on packaging that tells it exactly like it is. This trend is not surprising. In today’s challenging market, honesty is a surefire way to establish reliability and connect with consumers. In fact, according to an October 2014 study on authentic brandsby global public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, the number-one quality or behavior that people demand of big brands is that they communicate honestly about their products and services. With information about a brand in real time readily available, consumers are now investigative reporters, and companies can’t risk having the public discover that something about their brand is dishonest.

We’re seeing this trend transcend categories. Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, in which Misty Copeland proves that not all prima ballerinas are stick figures, and Sir Richard’s condoms’ ads, with copy lines like, “Let’s Change Positions, Not Diapers,” are blazing new trails with their honesty and humor. Forget about “beating around the bush,” […]

Continue Reading

Amway haircare rebranding brings global appeal

by
March 6, 2015

In a complete redesign of the packaging for its Satinique haircare line, Amway creates a vibrant, elegant, and easily navigable system expressly designed for a global audience.

Amway Corp. is an $11.8 billion direct-sales corporation based in Ada, MI, that distributes consumer products in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide. Among its brands, the Satinique portfolio of haircare products—with its emphasis on the nexus of health, beauty, and hair—offers a universally appealing solution that is popular across the globe, especially in countries such as Russia, China, and Southeast Asia.

Satinique’s point of differentiation is its proprietary ENERJUVE Complex, which Amway says was developed specifically to isolate where hair is at its weakest and then bind to it from the inside out, to strengthen, repair, and restore its original state of health. The result is hair that is energized and rejuvenated “from root to tip,” the company says.

“Amway’s deep commitment to scientific innovation elevates Satinique to be among the best haircare brands on the market,” says Amway VP Global Beauty Maud Pansing. “We’ve raised the bar in the category with technology and performance in the formulations that truly make a difference to the health of hair, inside and out.”

[…]

Continue Reading

Ageless and Timeless: Packaging for Boomers

by
December 8, 2014

As the Baby Boomer population grows, brands relevant to their demographic use youthful packaging that highlights health and wellness, without emphasizing age.

In early September, Apple introduced the highly anticipated Apple Watch. Naturally, the world was buzzing with the news, but what exactly is the defining difference? The Apple Watch helps consumers manage their health, which is of particular interest to aging populations like Baby Boomers. Even disruptive brands like Apple are seeing value in expanding their target audience to include Baby Boomers, in addition to Millennials. With its youthful ad campaigns and cutting-edge products, Apple doesn’t feel like a Boomer-centric brand, but it does make consumers of all ages feel cool and intentionally included in their tribe.

It is estimated that from 2010 to 2050, those aged 65 and older in developed regions will grow from 197 million people to 337 million people. And with people living longer, older generations are trying to hold on to their youth and vitality longer than ever before. How many times have you heard a 60-year-old say, “I feel like I’m 35”? It’s no surprise then that this generation is concerned with things like maintaining their appearance—hence the success of brands like “Not […]

Continue Reading

Ready, (Re)aim, Fire: Targeting New Audiences Through Package Design

by Nancy Brown
June 18, 2014

Mom is no longer the only consumer shopping the retail aisle. Changing consumer demographics mean brand owners must rethink their packaging to hit a new bull’s-eye.

Not long ago, it seemed that supermarkets were designed to speak to one audience, and one audience alone: Mothers. Nearly every product in every aisle was designed for Mom and her family. But today, it’s not all about Mom. Consumers are changing and so are brands. There are new generations, new behaviors, new attitudes, and ultimately new target audiences to consider

Successful brands are finding unique ways to reach and attract new consumers to their brand. That often means shifting a brand’s focus away from the traditional bread-and-butter audience, toward another audience that could generate a new revenue stream. This is more than thinking out-of-the-box; this is creating a new box altogether, and it is the way that industry leaders have managed to stay on top of the competition in an age when competition is fierce.

Rethinking gender stereotypes One exciting example of this kind of retargeting is the proliferation of playthings and weaponry targeting young girls. Toy companies such as Hasbro, and Zing have retargeted their typically male audiences after the popularity in […]

Continue Reading