The Total Package
Branding: It's Business 101, but for many businesses, it's hard to do it right. The simple explanation? Some marketers just aren't listening to their clients.
Take the packaging sector, for example. With companies fighting for control of retail shelves, it's easy to lose sight of what drives purchase intent. An uninformed vision can only lead to multiple variables (i.e., color, shapes, symbols and text) working against each other.
Now that print distributors double as marketing service providers, it's their job to understand the components of packaging design. This requires time, creative energy and a deliberate strategy. In other words, they're going to need a bigger box to hold their ideas.
"Some of the most important aspects to good packaging [are] a well-designed piece that has good functionality, a piece that communicates well, prompting an action or response," said Lance Wilson, vice president of sales and marketing for Labels West Inc., Woodinville, Wash. "If it's well-designed, it should be easy for the end-user/consumer to use and understand."
This is where labels can provide the assist to meet the needs of brand owners. But as Wilson pointed out, oftentimes, the label is the package.
"From a label manufacturer's perspective, we continue to see the envelope pushed in what is expected out of a label," he observed. "Look around, labels are so sophisticated now. You can have a 10- or 12-color label with HD Flexo, variable data, multiple ply of information or high-end foiling and embossing effects."
Pat Larson, marketing director of Repacorp Inc., Tipp City, Ohio, agreed and expanded on the label's growing responsibilities. "[Labels] need to convey brand recognition, information about the product, and grab the shopper's attention during the few seconds of the purchasing decision," she noted. "Straightforward designs that differentiate the brand and product from all of the other options on the shelf are critical.