Store Brands

APR 2016

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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Packaging 4 8 Store Brands / April 2016 / hether it's a box of chocolates imported from Belgium or a pasta sauce made from an old-world recipe, a premium food or beverage is meant to be something special. Most retailers offering own-brand items within the premium food and beverage space understand the importance of developing high-quality, taste-tempting products. But too often, those products retail in packaging that sports a mediocre design. "The package is a vital signature of your brand and an important reflection of the store and the culture you want to present to your loyal consumer base," stresses Gary Oakley, creative director for Toronto-based Shikatani Lacroix Design. "The visual tone and voice of your package design is a mirror of its personality." For the differentiating premium tier, packaging design actually could be the most important marketing vehicle available to retailers, notes Glenn Pfeifer, general manager and executive creative director for Daymon Worldwide's Galileo Global Branding Group, Stamford, Conn. "It's true there is more white space and opportunity to develop new and exciting products in the premium space, and outstanding package design and innovative packaging structures should accompany those product innovations," he says. Beware of mistakes Before engaging a design firm and be- ginning the packaging design process for a new premium food or bever- age, retailers will want to be aware of — and avoid — a few common mistakes. One such mistake applies to the product itself; sometimes re- tailers erroneously label an unspec- tacular product as premium. "The premium tier must be an elevated offering," maintains Charlene Codner, chief creative officer for Fish Out Of Water Design Inc., Toronto. "It is crucial that the product itself live up to the packaging design." Inconsistency from category to category when it comes to implementation of the design is another common misstep, notes Michael Duffy, managing partner of Equator Design, Chicago. Failure to set criteria for the brand — and guidelines and safeguards — can lead to such inconsistencies. If a retailer's premium brand has 400 SKUs, for example, the designer could potentially be working with numerous printers, as well as numerous substrates, which will all react to the ink in a different way, he says. "So you need to design to the shelf without compromise," Duffy says. "You have to protect that design all the way through the process to make sure the printing is right, the photography is right, the production is right, the brand equity is intact and your 303rd SKU looks as beautiful as your third SKU did." Yet another common mistake, Pfeifer says, is the use of sub-par photography. If retailers truly want to succeed within the premium tier, they need to invest in high-quality custom photography for their packaging design. Many retailers also err in waiting until the end of the development process to consider design, notes David Peters, creative development manager for API, Stockport, England. "It is essential that the design process start at the beginning of the development of the brand tier and that consistent design effects and visual cues are played across the product range," he says. "This ensures brand recognition and helps unify the premium positioning with the consumer so they can be clear on why they are paying that bit more for an own-brand product." Keep an eye on trends Retailers will want to pay attention to current and emerging trends, too, when it comes to the packaging design for premium store brand food and beverages. Duffy notes a significant trend toward Tempt them to taste Packaging design is a critical marketing vehicle for store brand premium food and beverages. By Kathie Canning t n m s t b p t t K R a

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