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Is Your Brand Ready For Shelf Ready Packaging? Bart de Jong Shares Netherlands Perspective

Posted By: SGK February 19, 2014

The battle for consumers’ attention rages on across the globe and the Dutch retail sector is no exception. The Dutch supermarket division, in particular, is filled with cutthroat competition, says Bart de Jong, Managing Director at Anthem’s office in the Netherlands. While the economy is slowly heading in the right direction, consumers tend to observe very little of the impact when it comes to their own wallets. Thus, purchase decisions are still largely driven price.

The Dilemma

Brand managers are faced with a dilemma: How, under these challenging circumstances, can they increase brand awareness and motivate consumers to buy? Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP), which seeks to get products in and out of the shelf as quickly and efficiently as possible, is the latest innovation that creates a ‘stand-out’ presence in the supermarket.

The Solution

SRP is a relatively new initiative that gives both the brand manager and the retailer infinite possibilities to present products in way that increases sales. In the literal sense, the SRP is the outer case – the packaging that contains a certain amount of individual products, such as a dozen margarine tubs – that can be placed on the shelf in its entirety. One of the advantages for the store manager is that the staff can place the package directly on shelf, with only one action needed: Open it up.

The Brand Advantage

For both A- and own-brands, SRP is an extension of the brand. And when properly executed, it improves brand experience and increases recognition among shoppers. Though currently only a progressive minority takes advantage of SRP, the days of boring brown boxes and messy shelves are numbered. In the Netherlands, Unilever is one of the leaders, together with Ahold, which drives SRP innovation from the supermarket sector, says de Jong.

The Design

Obviously a well-designed SRP provides stand out presence and retrievability for the brand, the sub range or variant. But it’s much more interesting when SRP is used for activation on the shelf. Because SRP is like the packaging itself, it can be seen as an “owned medium,” used to enhance desirability, break a purchase barrier and activate triggers to purchase.

SRP is slower to gain momentum in the Netherlands, but is much more common abroad. The brand or store promotion is contained within the SRP-design, which seamlessly connects to signage, navigation and other POS materials in front of, above, on and around the shelf.

The Case Study

Brands such as Unox are smartly taking advantage of SRP, since it generally allows retailers to stock more products on the shelf. With SRP Unilever has 40% more sausage on the shelf compared to their presence without SRP. In addition, the demand for smoked sausages in The Netherlands is directly linked to colder temperatures. So in the winter, placing the smoked sausages into a SRP considerably reduces out-of-stock situations. In combination with a promotional positioning in a gondola end or in the refrigerated section, an even higher turnover can be achieved.

The Opportunities

After the price war that began in 2004, the supermarket industry remains in a complex situation and choosing the price instrument is a short- term solution with little impact in the long term. To create better sales opportunities brands and retailers will have to continue to innovate. Shelf Ready Packaging is the ideal vehicle for both promotional and non-promotional products and can provide positive shopping and brand experiences. A win-win for all parties involved - who wants to miss out on that?

For more insight on Shelf Ready Packaging, read the full article, ‘Is your brand ready for Shelf Ready Packaging?’ in Marketing Tribune.

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Brandimage Honored For Package Design in 2013 American Graphic Design Awards

January 17, 2014

Chicago, IL

Brandimage, a leading global consultancy of brand equity architects and designers of brand meaning who create brands that drive brand performance, announced that its Chicago office has been distinguished by GDUSA (Graphic Design USA) with two 2013 American Graphic Design Awards recognizing outstanding new work and design excellence.

For five decades, Graphic Design USA has sponsored national design competitions that spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. The American Graphic Design Awards is considered one of the most inclusive graphic design competitions in the country. It honors outstanding new work and design excellence in 24 categories from print and packaging to internet and interactive design.

Rob Swan, vice president, executive creative director of Brandimage’s Chicago office, said, "Design is one of the most critical and effective ways for brands to be perceived as truly, meaningfully unique and better…to convert consumer desire into trust at the all important point of decision – the shelf."

Swan added, "A meaningful brand is more than a’s a story. Brands that have clearly defined and easily intuited purpose beyond rational benefits tell consistent stories that connect with us on a more human level. They invite us to become part of their story, they mean something. GDUSA recognizes the power of packaging design to break through the clutter and meaningfully connect with people – not just as consumers, but as human beings.”

Swan concluded, "I’m very proud that we have worked so well with our clients to create not only brand-owned packaging stories, but also brand-owned assets and equity building strategies that empower brands to tell stories well beyond packaging. It's all about getting noticed, getting chosen, and making her shopping list."

In the Packaging category, Brandimage was awarded Certificates of Excellence for:

Nature Valley Protein, Brand Owner: General Mills
Yoplait, Brand Owner: General Mills

To view all 2013 American Graphic Design Awards winners, click the following Web site address:

Brandimage is a global consultancy of brand equity architects and designers. Brandimage creates brands that drive brand performance. Brandimage is part of the brand development group of SGK. For more information visit:

Rob Swan
VP, Executive Creative Director (Chicago)

Jennifer Adams
Corporate Communications

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Top 3 Packaging Design Trends From Lor Gold

Posted By: SGK November 11, 2013

Lor Gold, our Global Chief Creative Officer, recently sat down with Dow Chemical Company to discuss the role of packaging in driving brand performance.

In the interview, featured in Dow’s inaugural magazine, IN: A Perspective on Global Packaging, Gold says that if no other forms of marketing communications can be afforded, packaging is the non-negotiable defining factor. It’s the essential element in the thinking behind brand strategy and brand performance.

“Packaging is probably the biggest performance initiative any brand can have, and it must be thought about at the highest levels. Not just rationally, not just as a functional part of what the brand stands for, but as everything that the brand stands for,” Gold shared with Dow.

He points to these three packaging design trends and encourages brands to think about how each one impacts customers. 

1. Built-in Technology. We are just at the beginning of smart technology embedded into packaging. As time goes on, this will become increasingly sophisticated and will be of greater use to consumers through continued research by smart technology companies.

2. Industrial Design. Shape is enduring and says so much about a brand, Gold says. This is where industrial design is taking over and opportunities for talented designers are available. Given today’s technology, it is less expensive and easier to execute than it once was, allowing more small design firms to participate at a higher level, than ever before.

3. A New Way Of Thinking. The industry is rethinking itself. Other areas of marketing and communications are growing in importance, packaging being one of them. There is a shift away from mass marketing. Gold notes that the emerging talent in the packaging industry is unique, innovative and is allowing us to think of packaging in ways we haven’t even conceived of yet! 

Packaging is more important today than ever before and its impact needs to be stronger than ever before. It’s the key to achieve the utmost in brand performance

Read Lor Gold’s full interview in Dow Chemical Company’s, IN: A Perspective on Global Packaging.

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How Category Code Convergence Threatens Your Packaging: On Slideshare Now

Posted By: SGK February 12, 2013

Does your packaging mimic the design cues of your competitors? Does it use common signifiers that make you feel comfortable as a marketer but fail to distinguish your products? Are you visually risk-averse? Have you lost sight of the fact that shoppers want to be intrigued and inspired, not just reassured?

If so, spend a few minutes with Brandimage package design experts Rob Swan and Michael Colton. The presentation from their lively and clear Live Session webinar, How Category Code Convergence Threatens Your Packaging, is now on SlideShare. Through concrete packaging examples and intuitive diagrams, they show the powerful negative pull of “category code convergence.” How did Coca-Cola break out of this vicious cycle? Why does the women’s aerosol deodorant category still suffer from it?

Grab your lunch and spend some productive time with How Category Code Convergence Threatens Your Packaging, then share it with your brand team. It’s an eye-opener. Then sign up at BrandSquare for alerts for every BrandSquare Live Session, in which experts from Schawk, Inc. and others – like Guy Kawasaki and David Aaker – discuss key issues and trends in brand development and brand deployment today.