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Creating brands through packaging

Your packaging is more than a just a container with a label stuck on it, it is a vital opportunity to build new brands or reinforce and add value to a positive experience of an existing product or brand, comments Terry Levin, Creative Director of %FF THE SHELF Marketing.

It is via the packaging of a product that a customer has the only opportunity, in the entire marketing food chain, to interact directly with your brand. In the supermarket aisle, the consumer can have the instant gratification which a vague unfulfilled branding promise seen after last night's news cannot. The fact is, globally shopping is a major leisure time pursuit for people and a product that engages, delights and captivates the consumer at point of purchase, is as good as sold.

Consumers are prepared to pay a little bit more for the desirability or WOW factor in a parity retail environment. But while we are seeing all other retail categories - such as cellular communications, automotive, cosmetic, fashion, home furnishing and accessories continually adapting their merchandise to appeal to current trends, the FMCG category has been noticeably absent from the party.

Why should we not capitalise on the consumer's continual pursuit of this WOW! factor, in the FMCG category. It is surely here, especially after a hard morning's trolley pushing, that the consumer deserves a memorable and feelgood experience, in return for parting with their hard earned cash. This comments Levin, is the essence of added value marketing - giving the customer more enjoyment of your brand via unexpectedly beautiful, memorable, and well- thought out packaging design. In addition good packaging should be able to communicate all of the benefits of a product or brand to the consumer in the "face-to-face" supermarket environment!

Can there be a better shortcut to the purchase decision than packaging? Vital to the success of your brand is the customer's decision to purchase your product over another, so it makes sense to have your product the most desirable in the category. This is what good packaging should do in order to ensure a parity product does not get left on the top shelf forever.

Good design gives you leverage. A well-thought out and witty packaging solution, get more free press and word of mouth promotion, better shelf space and ultimately more sales, so you actually spend far less money on marketing. The Elements of Spice grinder range developed from scratch by %FF THE SHELF marketing on behalf of clients the Cape herb and Spice Company, was so radically different to anything on the market even globally, it was featured in Vogue, Wallpaper and many of the world's top foodie magazines, was recommended by British Vogue's -Nigella Lawson herself, and dubbed "An extraordinary collection" in an article in The New York Times - it is not that hard to acquire this sort of brand equity. A truly great package and some PR may be all the marketing you'll need.

A packaging led approach to branding works across the board. If your product can be put in a bottle, bag, box or tin, why then not a charming and memorable one, that enhances the customer's experience of your brand.

Whether as a hedge against downturns in the economy, local or global competition, producing lusted after packaging can be the best business decision you'll ever make.

About Terry Levin

Adding more zeros and heroes to brand value. Brand Turn Around and Brand Positioning specialists. Specialising in corporate identity development, brand identity refreshes and the creation of heritage brands to achieve market leadership position. Currently acting as Bizcommunity.com creative director at large. Email az.oc.flehsehtffo@yrret, follow @terrylevin on Twitter, view her photos on Instagram, connect on www.facebook.com/offtheshelfmarketing or LinkedIn.

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