Posts Tagged ‘Packaging’

Can new packaging and a new logo stimulate sales?

Posted by Joe Cannon

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 3.33.21 PMDoes the subconscious influence our purchasing behavior? And if so, can we understand how that works? A U.K. based design firm, Elmwood, believes the answer to both these questions is “yes” — and it has applied its expertise in this area to package design.

Gressingham Foods decided to see if Elmwood’s ideas could boost sagging sales of its duck breasts. Whereas most meat products were using rectangular logos and packaging, Elmwood suggested a curvy new package and logo — theorizing that customers subconsciously feel more comfortable with rounded shapes. Gressingham attributes a startling turnaround in duck sales (from a decline to 47% growth with no additional spending) to the changes. This article in AdWeek How Package Designers Use Science to Influence Your Subconscious Mind” offers more details.

This article might fit well when you cover packaging, product, or market research.

Brilliant Packaging Design Helps Sell Smart Phones to Older Consumers

Posted by Joe Cannon

Older consumers have been slower to adopt smart phones.  Many fear the complexity of the new technology — and many cell phone salespeople don’t have the time or patience to walk a customer through the whole process.  Enter Samsung’s Tocco Lite.  With the help of UK design studio Vitamins, the new phone has a simple, easy-to-use owner’s manual.  This is an absolutely brilliant example of design.  To read a short theoretical take on the design, see “Innovative packaging bridges analogue and digital divide.” (SmartCompany, October 15, 2012). The video below shows it all.  Clearly this is not your typical inexpensive owner’s manual.  But let’s say it costs $10, does it bring that much value to an adopter who might otherwise avoid the technology?  I would say there is probably a significant market segment where that is true.

We cover packaging in our product chapters — though you might also find it relevant when you discuss segmentation or consumer behavior.  This provides a great example to use — particularly showing how Samsung and Vitamins address the needs of older consumers. We also posted this at Learn the 4 Ps.

“How Food and Clothing Labels Affect What We Eat and What We Wear”

Posted by Joe Cannon

How many ounces in a medium soft drink at a fast food restaurant?  I might have two surprises for you — first it depends.  Every restaurant is different.  The second surprise — is how big a “medium” drink really is.  It ranges from 20 oz at KFC to 32 oz at Burger King!  These surprised me.  What was also interesting was hearing how labeling the size of food and clothing influences consumption.   Food and drink sizes have drifted higher — today’s small is yesteryear’s extra large.  In clothing, sizes keep drifting smaller so people feel better about themselves.  This radio story “How Food and Clothing Labels Affect What We Eat and What We Wear” (NPR Morning Edition, September 25, 2012 — text also available at same link) describes research being conducted by Aradhna Krishna at the University of Michigan. I have also posted this at Learn the 4 Ps.

The story provides some interesting examples you can use when you cover consumer behavior or packaging.

Coke Pulls White “Save the Arctic” Cans After Market Confusion

Posted by Joe Cannon

It sure sounded like a great idea.  The idea, draw attention to global warming and the plight of polar bears.  The bears have been a Coca Cola holiday symbol for almost 100 years — so the actions also fit with the brand’s heritage.  Coke did this by changing the iconic red cans to white for the holidays.  It sure sounded like a good idea.  Unfortunately, the new cans confused consumers — especially Diet Coke drinkers who confused the white can with their familiar silver Diet Coke cans.  This article, “Bad News, Bears:  Coke Pulls Back on White Cans in Holiday Campaign to Save Polar Bears” (brandchannel, December 1, 2011) describes many interesting elements to the story.  For example, by monitoring social media, Coca Cola marketing managers heard complaints early.  This case is also a demonstration of a low involvement product that consumers buy out of habit.   In the end, it probably marks a mis-step by the soft drink giant.  But I would say, if you take chance, you will make mistakes sometimes.  And this whole outcome, like the New Coke introduction 25 years ago, may yet generate positive publicity for the brand.  Also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.

This article has examples that can be used in teaching consumer behavior, market research, brand management, packaging, and advertising & promotion.

Online Retailers Look to Packaging to Enhance the Purchase Experience

Posted by Joe Cannon

Online retailers seeking to enhance their customers’ shopping experience are focusing on what’s in the box.  In Basic Marketing and Essentials of Marketing we note three primary roles of packaging:  promoting, protecting, and enhancing the product.  This multimedia Wall Street Journal story (which includes an article, interactive graphic, and  video) Boxing Up Shopping’s Magic Moment,” (November 17, 2011, non-subscribers may have to click here) provides great reinforcement of all three roles of packaging:

  1. Extensive testing of many packaging materials to assure that packages survive the trip from the retailer’s warehouse to the customer’s home in good shape.
  2. Many online retailers are wrapping the inner package in a beautiful manner to enhance the overall experience when the package is opened at home.
  3. The beauty of that inner package makes people feel better about the brand and promotes the next purchase.

This Wall Street Journal “package” offers a variety of examples you can use when you teach product or retailing.  The video might work well in class because it is more than just talking heads and includes some nice images to complement the story.  This was also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.

Heinz Reinvents the Ketchup Packet

Posted by Joe Cannon

This is a great story of customer needs, marketing research, and new product development.  Those of us eating French fries while driving know that the squeeze packets didn’t work real well.  Actually, the squeeze packages don’t work well in a fast food joint either.  Ketchup-maker Heinz knows that better than any of us.  So they set about to change the packet — and came up with a great solution.  The new packets allow you to squeeze the ketchup onto a sandwich or if you tear off the top, to easily dip your fries.  The packets cost more, but customers use fewer packages and fast food restaurants hope that the new packages heat up slow sales of fries that the drive-thru window.

You can read more — including examples of some of the marketing research Heinz used to develop the new packaging in “Old Ketchup Packet Heads for the Trash,” (Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2011, non-subscribers may have to click here).  The article provides you with useful examples of customer needs, marketing research, new product development, and functional packaging.

Brewers Differentiate With Innovative Packaging

Posted by Joe Cannon

We recognize that many instructors prefer not to use alcoholic products as in-class examples (and we keep them out of our books).  So we leave it up to you whether to use these creative examples in class.

The beer industry has recently come out with some very interesting packaging innovations.  This article, “Brewers Hope Consumers Will Judge a Beer By Its Cover” (AdvertisingAge, May 16, 2011 – I think that non-subscribers will be able to link to this article).  You can read about Coors Light bottles tell you when they are cold — and Miller Lite’s vortex bottles and nine other examples.  The article offers some brief critiques, suggesting “Why It Works” and “Why It Doesn’t” which might be useful discussion starters in class.  I could see a discussion of selected packaging innovations with a discussion about the appeal to target markets and consistency with positioning.

The examples could obviously be used when discussing product and packaging — but you could them as examples of differentiation.


“Häagen Dazs: A Taste-Full Redesign”

Posted by Joe Cannon

In many product-markets, consumers make decisions at the point of sale.  In these situations, packaging can be an important differentiator.  I like this little story in Brand PackagingHäagen Dazs: A Taste-Full Redesign” (July 21, 2010), because it provides:  a) the company’s objectives, b) the results of some consumer research, c) before and after packaging images, and d) some preliminary results.  You can right-click to save each image to your computer if you want to put it into a PowerPoint to make a point in class.  This might be a good example to use in discussing Product or market research.

“The brand, the package, the story, and the worldview”

Posted by Joe Cannon

Seth Godin is great and I always enjoy following his blog.  In this blog post, “The brand, the package, the story, and the worldview,” Godin offers advice to African chocolate maker Madecasse on how putting a story on its package might help its sales.  Could be a good example, or turned into a mini case for discussion.

I am becoming more and more a believer in the power of stories.  I think they help in marketing and for teaching marketing.  If you are interested in learning more about stories, you might read Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind:  Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future” (this morning I listened to the “Story” chapter on my way in to work) or the Heath brothers “Made to Stick.”  I know we all use stories (extended examples) to supplement our teaching, but what I am reading has me thinking about how I can develop better stories.