The value that product packaging can add in building brand loyalty and equity is all too often underrated, says Herman Behrens of Enterprise IG, the global brand design agency.
"While packaging has many functional attributes the overall solution must ultimately deliver a brand to the market place and into consumers lives. It's not just about design, but also about building a brand, it's visual language and applying these qualities to the packaging."
Packaging should be an emotional communicator, reflecting brand values and positioning. Behrens adds, "Its primary advantage over other forms of communication is that it works 52 weeks a year. Good packaging will help move a product off a supermarket shelf, is relevant to consumers at a given moment and builds brand value for an extended period of time."
The greatest challenge for all leading brands is ensuring that they actively evaluate how their packaging delivers against the brands positioning, consumer expectation, balancing the need for change with the comfort of the customer, and very importantly against the competitors.
Supporting this is branded foods giant Tiger Brands, whose commitment to top-class packaging has underpinned a complete revitalization of many of its brands over the past twelve months. Partnering with Enterprise IG, some of South Africa's most popular consumer brands, including KOO, Ace, Fatti's & Moni's, Tastic Rice and Black Cat peanut butter have undergone a packaging overhaul.
Tiger Brands Foods Marketing Director Kevin Joseph wants product packaging to work hard for the brand, delivering full value from both the functional and branding attributes. Says Joseph, "Tiger Brand's drive to lead the categories in which it operates has led to the challenge of moving certain of its key brands forward through a comprehensive brand revitalisation process, to deliver perpetual change and product innovation without risking current equity."
"Each of the revitalised brands is more than meeting expectations", says Joseph. "The re-packaging of the various products over the past twelve months has provided instant returns to Tiger Brands – and proved that packaging has an integral role to play in branding."
Enterprise IG's local and international experience, and its understanding of and engagement with the full LSM consumer range, meant it was well positioned to interpret Tiger Brands' eclectic product line.
Tiger Brands case study:
Black Cat, although being the quality peanut butter mom and dad grew up with, was considered old fashioned and losing relevance in the youth market. Tiger brands approved the revitalisation of some of the brand's traditional elements by evolving the well known "fat cat" icon to a streetwise Burmese cat, as well as developing a new, edgy logotype with chunky white letters enclosed by black borders. The results have been hugely satisfying. Within weeks of the relaunch, Black Cat sales climbed 26%. Additionally the new-look brand was extended into snack and brittle bars, a category that now almost equals revenues earned from the peanut butter.
KOO's range of tinned jams, vegetables and fruits have been household favourites for as long as one can remember. Yet despite this well entrenched popularity, KOO's image and positioning had become confused – there was no coherent visual language and the products were beginning to looked dated. What's more, KOO was increasingly competing with new and innovative products for space on the plate. The solution was a more uniform packaging system that held the different products together. "We made the pack more contemporary by introducing consistency in the way the brand mark and type was used, yet retained individuality of the various product offerings through different colours and product visuals.
With Fatti's & Moni's, the challenge was to make it an inspiration in the kitchen. The new packaging is rich in visual language, colour and texture. The finished product has "taste appeal", and has been strengthened by closely cropped, high-quality photography. Texture has been captured in the cloth background, and a warm colour range enhances the feeling of natural goodness. Finally, the name has been punched out of the holding device so that it is more easily visible to shoppers browsing supermarket aisles. The recipe on the back tells the consumer how to make the meal displayed on the pack – another value-add that has found favour in hard working kitchens.
Tastic Rice, another long standing South African favourite, has also been made more contemporary. "Font image has been enhanced, a contemporary serving bowl used and increased texture by adding a mat under the bowl. The payoff line has changed from "Cooks perfectly every time", to "Perfect every time". Tastic Rice has moved from a literal interpretation (a rice product) to a lateral one, where rice is part of a meal occasion".
Ace maize meal, one the leading products in its category, has also been refreshed. The graphics have been punched out, but again the changes have been limited to what the market will accept.