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Digital Brands Going Brick & Mortar – Live Session 6/25

Posted By: SGK June 22, 2015

There’s an irony in the concern that brick and mortar is doomed to slowly erode: Some of the largest global brands are very intentionally giving birth to their brands in the physical space – in real life. Their challenge is, “How do we impactfully engage the consumer when the consumer only knows us on-screen or online?” 

Google and Nickelodeon are two such examples whose thinking and executions offer key lessons for any brand. Why? Because this type of migration requires a deep understanding of what a brand stands for and the key elements of what makes a brand compelling to its consumers, says Alex Vera, Director of Creative Services at IDL Worldwide and the July 25th BrandSquare presenter on the migration of digital brands to a brick-and-mortar presence

This goes well beyond the brand’s visual attributes and intellectual property, to what truly makes those attributes connect with the shopper and the fan. When you’ve hit on this, the transition from digital to physical is so transparent it’s almost self-evident. But when brands simply migrate their literal assets to the store setting and expect them to cue their deeper values, it’s very easy to miss the mark.

For example, Google opened its first branded retail environment – actually a shop-in-shop – in London this March. In so doing, they thought long and hard about a key element of their persona – the notion of playful innovation. Yes, Google is a tech powerhouse underneath, but think of its two core brand beacons: the ever-changing “GOOGLE” logo on its search engine and the barely human but very lovable Android for its smartphone business.

Google took this sense of playfulness and adventure to heart and delivered it in-store not just in the shop, but in their store fixtures as well. Google used a laminated wood texture that introduces a natural feel, and brought in their primary colors through a stained application. This appears in a broad range of executions, which feel comfortable and warm whether through the use of wood, lighting or accents.

The result is a retail persona that’s tactile and welcoming, and a tone that invites the sense of childlike exploration that matches what we’ve come to love about the brand through their search engine, Android platform and Google experiments delivered in the digital space. 

When you walk in to the shop and see these technologies brought to life, the experiences close the loop that the retail presentation started, with the presentation providing context and color to their relationship with the consumer. Google has found opportunities to interpret its brand physically without sticking too rigidly to its traditional brand guidelines. When the shopper combines his or her understanding of Google’s vast technological expertise with this very tactile, inviting context, the result is a surprising and delightful experience that meshes the human with the digital, elevating the brand in ways that support its digital persona.

Nickelodeon’s migration to a physical space shows the same kind of deep understanding of the brand’s persona. Nick is a longstanding, iconic American brand with roots in the earliest days of cable TV and an overwhelming popularity with young people. But how did Nick interpret its evergreen properties and characters in a chaotic competitive environment for the first time? By delivering them very cleanly.

For its installation in the Times Square Toys“R”Us, Nickelodeon color-bombed the entire space orange – one dominant color drawn from its core brand. This is brilliant, because it’s on-brand but not necessarily what you expect in this context from the loud, boisterous, hey-you-can’t-do-that-on-TV home of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Nickelodeon chose to stand out with simplicity, to ID the brand and mark the space, then employ the medium it knows best to digitally implement the characters we know and love, on big bug-catcher video screens. There’s a surprising amount of physical space between the various installations, so that the orange context isn’t cluttered and obscured. And the installations themselves are geometrically precise and well organized, so that your eye can focus on them individually. Nickelodeon appears to have learned from the wiser children’s museums, employing the right balance of irreverence and focused presentation.

At that point you start to interact on the micro level, and here’s where it gets more energetic. There are buttons that say, “Do Not Touch” that, of course, you’re going to touch. Collages of characters on the columns provide visual reference and texture. Now you’re fully engaged and you say, “Yes, this is why I identify with this brand.”

There are some key lessons from Google’s and Nickelodeon’s successful interpretive executions. Consumers have come to expect that a brand promise will be delivered consistently through all touchpoints. This is the basis for omnichannel marketing. But this doesn’t mean that all – or even a lot – of the brand’s many assets have to migrate literally with it from the digital realm into the built environment.

First the brand has to peel away assets that are merely layers to arrive at those that can identify with consumers at retail most authentically. These can be a broad range of physical attributes. Google and Nickelodeon employed very different physical, real-world techniques – for Google, subtle, surprising textures; for Nickelodeon, a single iconic color.
In both examples, the brands dug deeply into their own core personalities and chose – then evolved – crucial assets to put the shopper in a place that’s both exciting and new but reassuringly familiar.

Join us Thursday, June 25th at 1pm ET for a special Live Session with Alex Vera, Director of Creative Services at IDL Worldwide, part of our brand development group. Register here!

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A Taste of the Future: Highlights from the 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show


Posted By: SGK March 17, 2015

As consumers are starting to develop increasingly sophisticated palates, we’re seeing new trends arise to meet their changing needs. Trends that can reveal a great deal about the future of food, marketing packaging and more. 

In the next BrandSquare Live Session, Nanda Sibol, Senior Director of Brand Strategy at Anthem, part of our brand development group, shares key takeaways from the 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show. These trends could have vey real implications for future innovation, product development, marketing and packaging design in categories beyond food. 

Register for A Taste of the Future: Highlights from the 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show, Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 1 p.m. ET, to learn how your brand can turn these trends into opportunities. Join us!

About Nanda Sibol:

Nanda champions driving performance through strong brand building. She believes winning in the marketplace requires an understanding of business objectives, a robust strategic assessment and deep consumer insights. As Senior Director, Brand Strategy at Anthem, she enjoys engaging and collaborating with clients to solve their business and brand challenges. Nanda brings over 20 years experience in strategy consulting, market research, brand marketing, and general management. Prior to Anthem, Nanda was a Marketing Director at Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, where she led the premium wine portfolio and also served as head of strategic planning. Earlier in her career, she worked for The Gillette Company, Information Resources, Inc. and Braxton Associates. Nanda has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.S. from Brown University. 

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How to start envisioning your next smart, hard-working package

Posted By: SGK March 02, 2015

Smart, hard-working packages can do so much more than just contain the product. They can assure you that the product is fresh, make it easier to use, help eliminate waste, simplify dosing and even deliver entertainment.

In her BrandSquare Live Session, “Bridging the Innovation Gap: Functional vs. Disruptive Packaging,” Viktorija Gnatoka, Global Packaging Analyst at Mintel, shared examples from around the world of existing and emerging packaging across platforms, categories, geographies, design and demographics. 

Viktorija encouraged viewers to ensure that their teams (whether they are in procurement, R&D, packaging, brand, insights or marketing) understand the differences between disruptive packaging innovations and solutions-based, hard-working functional packaging innovation. 

They should also consider the packaging status quo within categories and channels they are operating in and determine the solution that will create emotional differentiation on shelf, for example using local claims and providence attributes.

While many solutions might favor functionality over fun, Viktorija also reminds us not to forget that consumers like to be entertained! The intersection of functionality and attributes such as smart packaging and mobile can be the sweet spot for bridging the innovation gap.

How can your package do more? How can it meet unimagined needs? How can it connect? Watch the full recording of “Bridging the Innovation Gap: Functional vs. Disruptive Packaging,” by Viktorija Gnatoka.

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How to Turn FLMA Into Your Competitive Advantage - Live Session 1/22

Posted By: SGK January 06, 2015

Consumers want better, more transparent labeling and the brands that capitalize on this can turn the nutrition label update into a competitive advantage, says Bruce Levinson, VP of Client Engagement at SGK. 

In his BrandSquare Live Session, “How to Turn FLMA Into Your Competitive Advantage," next Thursday, January 22, 2015, Bruce will discuss why the Federal Label Modernization Act (FLMA) presents a huge opportunity for brands to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Register for this Live Session to find out what you can expect from the nutrition label update and what you can be doing now to give consumers the informative, clear labels they want, while turning the change into a competitive advantage for your brand. Grab your colleagues and join us Jan. 22, 2015 at 1pm ET. See you there!

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New Marketplace, New Opportunities: How To Gain Brand Share In The Expanding E-Commerce Market

Posted By: SGK December 17, 2014

You’ve gone to great lengths to make sure that your packaging stands out on the shelf. But in today’s quickly evolving retail environment, how can you translate this into success in the online marketplace? 

In his BrandSquare Live Session, "The Packaging Opportunity in the Digitally-Managed Home," SGK President, Eric Ashworth examined how rapid growth of the online sector can lead to huge opportunities for brands that are ready to adapt their packaging strategy. 

As the purchasing pathway continues to fragment with online becoming a new channel to market products, brand equity is put at risk, says Ashworth. In the online marketplace, there is also a reduced barrier to entry for new brands, which means increased competitive intensity with the emergence of start-ups such as Dollar Shave Club, sourcing their own private-label products and disrupting legacy, insulated products and categories. They're connecting and communicating with consumers in ways we haven’t seen before. 

These new companies demonstrate the opportunity that’s created by online and direct-to-consumer channels. For more insight, watch “The Packaging Opportunity in the Digitally-Managed Home,” and see how disruption can lead to opportunity for you brand!

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Eric Ashworth Explores Packaging Opportunities In The Digitally-Managed Home – Live Session 12/11

Posted By: SGK December 08, 2014

Today’s retail environment is in a state of significant transition. As consumers do more and more of their shopping online, it’s up to brand owners to adapt if they want to remain relevant in the estimated $440 billion global business-to-consumer market. 

The good news? You now have the opportunity to communicate and connect with consumers in a more intimate way. Join Eric Ashworth, President of SGK, in the next BrandSquare Live Session: The Packaging Opportunity in the Digitally-Managed Home, Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1 p.m. ET. You’ll find out how to take advantage of the new consumer paradigm and gain greater brand share by creating one seamless shelf for your brand – online and offline.

Discover how to adapt your packaging strategy to unlock huge opportunities for growth. Register today!

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Consumer Packaging Mega-Trends Influencing Pharma Brands – Live Session 10/23

Posted By: SGK October 20, 2014
Consumer Packaging Mega-Trends Influencing Pharma Brands – a Live Session

How CPGs are managed and marketed has been revolutionized in recent years. These big changes are now coming to the pharmaceutical industry. Are you ready?

Join us this Thursday, October 23, 2014 as Bruce Levinson, VP of Client Engagement at SGK, explains how an understanding of today’s big CPG trends can help you position your brand for greater success

Bruce will share how the nature of branding has been redefined, highlight six CPG mega-trends that are creating new risks… and new opportunities, including these three:

•    Global Consumerism – International access, travel, cuisine, fashion and sports have created a taste for the world beyond one’s doorstep.

•    Celebration of Authenticity – Demonstrated by brands with a compelling, lasting narrative: the brands that don’t change with the whims and fancies of the latest fads, plus newer brands that offer something distinctive and not easily copied.

•    Sustainability Consciousness – It’s not just about saving the planet. It’s about how a company and its brands interact with resources, people and even ideals in an efficient manner.

Register now for CPG Mega-Trends Influencing Pharma Brands, a BrandSquare Live Session – 10/23/14 at 1pm EDT. Join us!

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How Structured Data Can Lead To Brand New Possibilities For Your Company

Posted By: SGK September 28, 2014

What is structured data and how could it dramatically impact your packaging supply chain? 

In his latest BrandSquare Live Session, The Inherent Power of Inheritance, Stephen Kaufman, CTO at SGK, strips away the “IT speak” to illustrate how structured data is opening up new possibilities for collaborative workflows, more efficient approvals, and time and money savings for global CPG, retail and pharmaceutical companies.

According to Stephen, while there are pros and cons to maintaining structured data versus unstructured data, when it comes to the package production process, structured data is almost always the more favorable course.

Dive deep into this complex, technical topic, made highly accessible by Stephen through real-world case studies and practical insight. Watch The Inherent Power of Inheritance on YouTube now!

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The Inherent Power of Inheritance: Learn What Structured Data Can Do For You

Posted By: SGK September 09, 2014
The Inherent Power of Inheritance: Learn What Structured Data Can Do For You

Get ready to see just how powerful structured data can be for your company. 

In a new BrandSquare Live Session, September 25, 2014 at 1 p.m. EDT, Stephen Kaufman, Chief Technology Officer at SGK, strips away the “IT speak” and shows you how structured data is opening up brand new possibilities for collaborative workflows, more efficient approvals, time and money savings, and much more.

Several forward-thinking global CPG companies have begun leveraging the power of databases to store and organize data such as nutrition information, ingredients, marketing statements, and more. This allows them to open the data up to collaborative workflows, approvals, and mass deployments of text that weren’t possible until now. There’s no limit to the time and money that can be saved. Best of all, taking advantage of these powerful new tools is easier than you think.

Once you learn about the advantages structured data can bring to your company, you’ll wonder how you ever went without. Bringing structure to the information you rely on to do your job can allow you to streamline or automate complex tasks that used to be tedious and time consuming.

Register today for the free webinar, The Inherent Power of Inheritance and you’ll learn how structured data applies to your company, as well as specific case studies illustrating how you can put it in action. See you there!

About Stephen Kaufman:

Stephen Kaufman is a visionary leader who has been featured at technology and graphic arts industry conferences around the world. As Chief Technology Officer for SGK, he directs the development and implementation of strategic technology solutions around such pressing client business issues as globalization, supply chain integration, process automation and environmental sustainability. Kaufman joined SGK in 1993, where he has held a number of technology leadership positions, pioneering the development of what was then the industry's first digital asset management system designed specifically to meet the stringent requirements of the consumer products packaging sector. He has spearheaded many leading technology initiatives for SGK, including streaming soft proofing and implementation of XML-oriented web services for the publication and consumption of workflow data.

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Know Your Shoppers: How Piquing Curiosity Deepens Relationships Between Shoppers & Brands

Posted By: SGK August 29, 2014

Curiosity is one of our most basic biological drives as humans. It’s an almost irresistible drives that leads us on a quest for more knowledge, turning us into explorers and discoverers. For marketers, tapping into shoppers’ curiosity represents both enormous opportunity and responsibility to keep consumers engaged with their brands, according to Jim Lucas, Director of Strategy & Insights at SGK.

In his BrandSquare Live Session, “Feeding Shoppers’ Curiosity,” Jim notes that curiosity can be both piqued and rewarded. In fact, shoppers spend more time and effort when they’re curious. Curiosity also activates reward circuitry in the brain and human memory is actually enhanced if curiosity is piqued and surprising new information is presented to consumers. 

The opportunity lies in recognizing that curiosity serves as a stimulus for learning. It can be designed to address the needs of your shoppers. But once it’s piqued, it’s the brand’s responsibility to reward that curiosity. As Jim explained, piqued curiosity without reward is like unrequited love, like a joke without a punch line! 

See how completing the curiosity equation helps build deeper relationships between shoppers and brands. Watch now!