Customers don't care about your productss



John Chan

John Chan owns and leads global brand and packaging design agency Berge Farrell APAC. With a background of over two decades of strategy and marketing, John has collaborated with some of the worlds leading FMCG / CPG brands, including time spent client side working at SABMiller on a global Top 25 beer brand. John and his team work with brands big and small and help them to build more brand recognition and love, leading to tangible and sustainable business results.

Your customers don’t care about your products.

After all, why should they? 

In a world full of countless product options, yours is just another one they scroll past.

Your job, as a retail or eCommerce store owner, isn’t to find the best products.

It’s to give your customers a reason to STOP the scroll, pay attention, and press ‘buy now’.

On this episode of Bringing Business to Retail, I’m joined by powerhouse John Chan from Berge Farrell to talk about the secret weapon you have in capturing your customer’s attention: packaging.

As the most overlooked and least utilised owned channel, packaging is the sales activator you’ve already got lying in your hands. It’s your walking billboard, the first touchpoint your customers have that sells your overall product experience. 

We’re talking about how packaging is your silent salesman, what you can communicate through design, the shopper vs the consumer (and how you can meet their different needs and desires),  strategic packaging for retailers, and how you can stand out in the crowd through thoughtful packaging tweaks. 

Dive into this episode and hear John and I spill on how you can revamp your packaging to influence your customers’ buying decisions – more yay, less nay!

** Get the BF Bundle now and use it for your big weekend to offer the best product/s that convert!



John Chen from Birch Ferrell joins the Brainy Business Leader podcast to discuss the importance of packaging in retail and e-commerce. He emphasizes that packaging is often overlooked as a marketing tool and explains how it can be used to tell a brand’s story, appeal to different types of customers, and increase sales. Chen highlights the difference between shoppers and consumers and how packaging can cater to their specific needs. He also discusses the role of packaging in value-added bundles and the importance of brand strategy in packaging design. Overall, packaging plays a crucial role in attracting customers, conveying value, and differentiating products in a crowded market.



| **Timestamp** | **Summary** |

| 0:02 | Introduction to the podcast and the importance of packaging. |

| 2:08 | Packaging is an overlooked marketing channel and tells a brand’s story. |

| 4:16 | Differentiating between shoppers and consumers and their needs. |

| 7:30 | The value of packaging for gifts and the perception it creates. |

| 8:50 | Using packaging to add value and elevate the price. |

| 10:13 | The technique of grouping products to create value-added packaging. |

| 12:00 | The concept of creating customized packaging as a retailer. |

| 14:20 | The importance of convenience and stress reduction in packaging. |

| 16:10 | Packaging as a tool to communicate a brand’s values and story. |

| 18:00 | Conclusion and the impact of packaging on customer perception. |

| 11:46 | Retailers increase basket size by grouping complementary products together. |

| 12:34 | Customers are willing to pay a premium for convenience. |

| 13:22 | Shoppers are lazy and prefer brand recognition and autopilot shopping. |

| 14:25 | Retailers can use data to bundle popular items together. |

| 15:09 | Packaging should align with brand strategy and target audience. |

| 17:02 | Packaging can meet different consumer needs within a category. |

| 18:36 | Food packaging can add value and increase basket size. |

| 20:15 | Packaging should communicate important information to customers. |

| 21:45 | Packaging should highlight the most important product attribute, like protein content. |

| 23:07 | Discussion about standing out in packaging and making it easier for customers to choose |

| 24:43 | Highlighting the importance of packaging in differentiating products |

| 26:44 | Importance of catching consumers’ attention in a sea of sameness |

| 27:30 | Example of packaging influencing a purchase decision |

| 29:04 | Balancing between category expectations and disrupting with packaging |

| 29:48 | Legacy brands and the reluctance to change packaging |

| 30:30 | People’s reaction to changes in packaging |

| 31:15 | Importance of retaining recognition and equity for legacy brands |

| 32:00 | Discussion on changing logos and its impact |

| 32:45 | Wrap-up of the conversation on packaging and branding |

Speaker 1 0:02
Hey there. Welcome to the brainy business leader podcast. If you’re looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or ecommerce business, then you’re in the right place. isoline night, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning saw owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires. To move to the next level, I’ll provide you with the strategies, the tools and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action.

Speaker 1 0:51
Hey there, welcome to today’s episode of The bringing business to retail podcast. Just before I hopped on to this session with John Chen, I was in a call with our supercharged clients. And we were having a conversation around putting prices up because everything has gone up, the cost of shipping has gone up the cost of products have gone up. And they’ve kind of been absorbing it to their detriment. And so when we’re talking about how do we choose what to put the price up to, regardless of factoring in things like shipping and all of that, at the end of the day, some products just look prettier. And one of the questions that we talked about was, can we charge more because something looks pretty? And my answer to that is 100%. Yes. I titled today’s episode, customers don’t care about your products before we even recorded it. Because at the end of the day, customers don’t care about your products. All they care about is what it’s going to do for them. And so today on the show, John Chen from Birch Ferrell is going to talk to us all about packaging, which kinda sounds boring, but we’re going to take a little bit of a different spin on it. So welcome to the show, Jen. John. John, I just put together there.

Speaker 2 2:08
Thank you, Selena. I’m really very happy to be here. And don’t worry, I’ve been called Chen most of my life. So that’s Jen. That’s okay. Thank you very much for having me.

Speaker 1 2:18
Cool. So packaging, how did you end up in the world of packaging? Because it’s, I mean, it can be very glamorous, but I’m sure it’s one of those things. It’s kind of like an airline hostess where it sounds glamorous on the outside. But in actual fact, it’s just, you know, it’s just a job like anything else.

Speaker 2 2:33
Yeah. Look, Selena, thank you. That’s a great question. I think from my perspective, you know, I’ve, I’ve had a long career in marketing, from a client side. And in FMCG, in particular, and I think, from a client side, I almost treated like packaging as a vessel, it was just the thing that was housing, either the liquid or the cream, or the food that you have inside. And it was just functional. And quite honestly, to the title of your podcast, there is so much more that you can do with packaging. It is undeniably, and I know I’m biased. But it is the most overlooked and least utilized, owned channel that you have from a marketing perspective on a brand. It is your walking billboard, it is the billboard that your consumers will see every day, even if it is on a shelf. Even if it’s on a digital online store. It is something that your customers, it’s the first touch point. And packaging is not just the vessel, it is a way in which you tell people your story, it helps them dream of what the future could be like, if it’s from a health perspective, if it’s from an image perspective, and also critically, which is more important for these times of high inflation and, and where consumers are being really stressed. And the shopping baskets are becoming more important. It is a chance to appeal to the shopper who is on a different mission has different needs than a consumer does. And there isn’t all about value, which I’m sure we can talk about a little bit more and packaging helps to appeal to both of those two types of customers, if you will. Okay, let’s dig

Speaker 1 4:16
into that. But before we do, can I just say if you are listening to this episode, and you’re thinking, but I don’t manufacture my own products, wait for it, because John is going to talk to you about why packaging is really important to you. Whether you have a retail store or an e commerce Store. We are going to get to that part of the conversation. But first, I’m just going to jump in and say John shopper versus consumer. Can you tell me more about your thoughts on that I I kind of have my assumption. But tell us what’s behind that?

Speaker 2 4:48
Sure. I think one of the mistakes that we have as brands is we think they’re often the same people. Because you know if you think of in your own situation, you need to go get something from the store, whatever it might be or shop online. If you’re looking for yourself so often, then you’re looking from an intrinsic point of view. So I’m looking for a cream, you know, is this good for me? You know, is it sustainable? Will it make me look better or feel better? You know, whether it’s an alcoholic beverage, you know, is mid strength isn’t as strong. How quickly? Does it get me on a bus? Or does not get me on? Yeah, if it’s non alcoholic, right. So everything about what it will do for me, as the consumers, the person who’s actually going to be using the product, a shopper. Most times, it’s not always the same person. It could be somebody in the household who does the weekly shop for the whole household. It could be your if you’re in a, a house sharing arrangement, maybe you’ve split up duties, who does the groceries on a weekly basis, and so you’re buying for someone else?

Speaker 1 5:52
A fancy house bottle of wine to take to a dinner party there, I’m not gonna drink, absolutely not that I drink the wine, maybe I drink wine.

Speaker 2 6:01
And so that person then has different needs, that person is looking for more of an extrinsic point of view. Most often they’re looking at it from a value perspective, you know, what is the price, and it’s certainly applicable in today’s environment of high inflation, high prices. But also they’re looking at, you know, when you’re in that mindset, you’re looking at, well, what other value can I get? So if I buy 36 versus 24? What is the unit cost goes down? Great. That’s perfect. What other complementary items can I get with it? So very often, for the shower cream that we use, shower bath gel, it comes often with a complimentary cream that you would obviously use afterwards and more nine times out of 10. We buy that because it represents great value. And the things that a shopper considers is well, if I’m the one that’s bringing the groceries in from the garage. Consumer shopper just ran the shop. Okay, we’re going Okay. Yep. shopper. The one buying the thing, but not necessarily for themselves. Absolutely. Yeah. And so they’re now they are the things that consider as well, if I’m taking whole basket loads of things from the garage, on the boot of my car, into the into the kitchen, or wherever it needs to go, how difficult is it to carry this home. And so again, packaging plays a role from there. So from a consumer perspective, it tells the story, it makes them dream, imagines a better future for them. When a shopper packaging goes, well, you know, What benefit do I get out of this? What extra value do I get out of this?

Speaker 1 7:30
We just dug into dig into benefit there. Because let’s just go You said a couple of examples. And I’m thinking of my taking a fancy bottle of wine to somebody else’s house. Yes, it’s the value. But the thing we kind of overlooked there is the value to me, because the value to me of a red bottle of red wine is zilch. I have so many bottles of red wine. I don’t drink the stuff like and people would be appalled to know probably bought, like I probably put a $35 bottle of wine into my spaghetti bolognese, because it has no value to me. Sure. Yeah. Apart from RE gifting. Yeah, there. I’m not going to use it. So whether I use it in lessons spaghetti, Barney as it gets made. Yeah. But But what you were saying there is, for me, the value is, how am I going to be perceived, when I hand this over? Whether it is a gift, like if I buy a gift for somebody, I have a bit of a I spend a lot of time and a lot of effort, thinking about the gifts I give to people. So my thought is, how are you going to perceive me when I hand this gift to you or this bottle of red wine? So there’s a whole bunch of other emotions there. packaging makes such a big difference. Because I’ll be honest, if we go with a bottle of wine example, I’ll take the one that looks the fanciest Yep, absolutely. The price that I think is relative to the event that I’m going to.

Speaker 2 8:50
Absolutely. And I think that’s a great example to use. Because I suppose if you were someone that really drank a lot of wines really knew your brands, well, then it’d be easier to then pick a brand as a gift. Because you know, the brands that are really premium, yes, you’ll assume the price point matches the premium nature of the brand. But then, you know, you know, this brand is really good. I don’t ever have to worry, it will really when I hand it over to someone that can be proud of it, they’ll know what it is. And they’ll know that I’ve actually put a bit of effort into it from a perspective of someone who doesn’t necessarily know the brands and because you don’t drink wine, but you know, you need to it’s a great gift to take, then absolutely. Well, how does it look? You know, besides the price point, what does it stand out? Does it look premium and then we talk into more technical things like the substrates that people use on wine bottles, you know, is it embossed, does it have gold foil, etc. But I won’t get into those technical details right now. But also from a value perspective. Often a good technique to use in terms of what we call value added packaging, is to group those bottles of wine with a fancy wine glass, and often your theory time. Absolutely time. Yeah. And then it actually elevates the price. like that you’re giving away because now actually, I bought something of real value, because it’s not just the liquid. But it’s also the wine glasses that come with it. And it’s very popular technique to use over very high periods of buying activities such as Christmas,

Speaker 1 10:13
like, Monday coming up. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, you don’t even have to be thinking about packaging for that, I’ve actually got a fun story that I’ll jump into in a second. But if you have a retail or e commerce Store this concept of doing it for the customer, I know for us, we used to bring our own boxes in and you said the bottle of wine, which couldn’t sell bottles of wine, because we were selling baby products. But we actually did use to use those wine gift boxes with the two windows, because we would roll things like baby wipes up and they would look really nice stacked in the in the window. But you putting the things together that just because the supplier doesn’t put them together doesn’t mean you can’t put them together. So we will put that with like you’re saying, a bottle of baby shampoo or a bottle of baby bath and putting it together. It kind of was a bit of a play on the wine bottle as well was like, oh, you can’t drink but yeah, yeah, yeah. The value to that is worth more than the products themselves, like individually. I think a lot of people get confused here. Because we often think of things like gift hampers, and people go do I need to discount it because someone’s buying so much. And I’m like, no, no, you charge more for that. Because Absolutely, you’ve taken away the decision making that you’ve added in the convenience. The value add is convenience. It’s not a product. It’s the convenience. Yep. And you’ve taken away the stress. me having to make a decision the time to do that, like you’ve just made it easy for me to buy. So packaging does so much more. But it doesn’t have to be the suppliers packaging. It can be you the retailer’s packaging as well.

Speaker 2 11:46
Yeah. And also, you know, from a retailer’s perspective, by grouping, probably this stuff, you obviously really know well, but by grouping complementary products, so even more products, you know, you increase the basket size. Yeah. And so if you talk about pricing letters, and capturing every Yeah, absolutely, then then you’re on the right track. Yeah. And it doesn’t have to be something super elaborate. I recently bought a gift hamper for a client of mine who is going on maternity leave. And I knew absolutely nothing about whatever I needed to get. But I absolutely chose a hamper that had two or three items that I know, a newborn would need. And that was it there was it was quick and simple. It was on the front page, it’s almost as if they knew I was coming. And then you aren’t going to be confused. So that shopper journey was really good for me.

Speaker 1 12:34
And I suspect you paid a premium for it. But you didn’t sit there and add up the individual if I went and bought these, and I went and bought these and it would have been less,

Speaker 2 12:43
because my time that I saved from agonizing over do I need to buy that for that. And, and that that and it was just taken away because I assumed that there would be a level of expertise that went behind and thinking that I didn’t have to do because I’m you know, shoppers are lazy, you know, we we often move into our subconscious thoughts when we go on a shopping mission, because and then that’s how brand recognition happens, right? You, you recognize something that is on the shelf, because you’ve seen it before. And you go into autopilot and you pull it off and you put it in your basket. and off you go. Yeah, similar psychology. It’s like, it’s easier for me to do this. And I can go away and do something else and take another thing off my list. And I’ve achieved the objectives.

Speaker 1 13:22
I love it. I love it. We did all the right things there. We made it easy for our customers to buy, we increased our basket size, we increased our average average order value, and we probably increase the price. Because we put it as a premium. Like Absolutely. You

Speaker 2 13:35
hit all the things. Yeah, yeah. And you you pay for the privilege of not having to think and freeing up your time.

Speaker 1 13:42
Well, almost the expertise. You’re paying for the retailer’s expertise of saying, we know that these things go together? Yeah. And, you know, we didn’t just go and lump a whole bunch of stuff. We just we went and curated you’re paying for the curation?

Speaker 2 13:56
Yeah. And you can absolutely, again, from a retailer’s perspective, you know, you we’ve got so much data these days, you know, and so much so that, you know, we maybe don’t know what we what we can do with them. But in that small little example, you know, you can see what the most popular items are, you can bundle them together if they make sense from a complementary point of view. And there’s quick and easy items that are impulse purchases when people are, you know, surfing a website or shopping your aisles and things like that.

Speaker 1 14:25
Yeah. Oh, and then you just wrote the copy. It’s like we’ve bundled up our best selling items. As a consumer, thank you very much. Yes, one is going to be happy with this.

Unknown Speaker 14:36
Next, the cash registers will be ringing off the hook.

Speaker 1 14:40
All right. Now, when it comes to packaging itself, what do we need to be looking for? Because I know you’re not necessarily just from a texture that you mentioned before, you know, textures bottles. But overall thinking about this consumer versus shopper whether we’re buying the book Buying or creating the packaging? Because we are a product creator or maker? Or we’re a retailer, what do we actually need to look for?

Speaker 2 15:09
So I think from, from a product creator perspective, it starts at brand strategy. So brand strategy is different to business strategy, business strategy, it’s more about how do we make money? And how do we do it? What are the tactical things? brand strategy department? Right, perfect. And then brand strategy is more? Why do we exist beyond making money? So who are we? What do we represent? What is in our DNA? Who are we targeting? And what are we trying to say about ourselves, and so if I were to use the analogy, brand strategy is if you’re a person, it’s about who you are, as a personality, you know, what am I like inside, from their packaging is one element of how you look as a person. So if you were an accountant at heart, you love numbers, you’re very analytical, and your career path is you’re going to do accounting, or, you know, anything in that field, which is traditionally more conservative the clothes, you’re going to wear, probably some blues, you’re going to wear a tie, or be a bit more formal, those kinds of things. And so you’re packaging, from a product perspective, coming from your brand strategy, understanding needs to represent that it needs to tell your story, and also in that story, then appeal to the people that you’re targeting. So a silly example is, you know, if you’re appealing to matto, Harley Davidson, bikers, for instance, perhaps he won’t have used floral patterns and colors, because that’s not necessarily in their repertoire when you’re trying to appeal to them. From a, I guess, from a retailer perspective, you’re trying to make sure that within your category that you have, that every need is met for every consumer occasion, whether it is within even within the alcohol category, you know, there’s, you know, different strengths of alcohol that you have within that one, let’s call it beer, but also now more recently, non alcoholic, you know, and

Unknown Speaker 17:02
how, like, do we not wish we had shades in that before it took off?

Speaker 2 17:05
Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s, and it’s just, you know, representing the changing face of the consumers and needs,

Speaker 1 17:15
it kind of brings this concept, just you’re talking about that the non alcohol, and we talk about food quite a bit, which is, I don’t know if this podcast has gone live yet, as we record as this one goes to air, but I often talk about how food, kind of regardless of whatever it is, you’re selling makes such a big difference. And one of the examples I have is at my gym, they only just I’ve been going there for many years, they just started selling protein bars. Of course, I had actually mentioned it to my husband a few times, but when they put them there, I’m like, like, there’s a there’s a grocery store across the road, but I’m not going to walk across the road to the grocery store. Like you could charge me more than the grocery store. Because the time I’m going to save, yeah, they’re charging less. I don’t understand why. But yeah, not my problem. But food is such a great thing to be putting in big and quite often, you know, pet food comes in nice packaging. And so adding that in as a value add is a great way to increase that basket size, increase that average order value, and just give that touch of luxury, but doesn’t necessarily need to be an expensive touch of luxury. And you kind of went on to packaging earlier, where with people tightening their belts, like what is that little thing we can do to push them over the line? So you know, what does that extra thing you can add? And sometimes it is packaging?

Speaker 2 18:36
Absolutely. And I think yeah, it seems like we’re going to the same gym, because I’ve just recently, the same thing in my gym, there were so many promotions about giving away free scoops of protein, which I’ve never seen before. And I’ve been going to gym for a few years. And it’s any recently seen, there’s more of these types of activation, new vending machines, etc. And, you know, in that instance, again, it’s from a business owner, where the the retailer or the product owner, etc, is understanding that journey of your customer or shopper or whatever it is. And so from a gym owner perspective, it’s, you know, my people come in here they come to train. But very often, they’re either consuming protein, while they hear that they’re brought in themselves or when they need to go away because there’s that magic 30 minute window, supposedly, after you train where you really need to replace all your electrolytes plus, you know, all of your get your protein needs in. And so that’s the perfect time to add value to them by you know, adding products that can help them with the journey and whether it is your own brand from the gyms perspective or you partner with someone that does it, you know, and then you can start looking at it. Well, what’s the most convenient way? Well, to have an open tab of two kilogram protein here that everyone scoops in is probably not the best way to do it. So maybe we can look at a couple of single serve sessions that they can have, they can take away same thing with a vending machine. You know, we can package energy bars, you know, even small little meat meals if you want, but again, really paying attention to the journey that the consumer and the shopper goes on, and meeting the needs from the minute they get into the minute that they leave. And packaging is a huge part of that because it houses that value.

Speaker 1 20:15
So one of the things you just said on the on the subject of protein bars is the packaging. And I think we hinted on, you hinted on this earlier, the packaging being that the sales, the sales activator, because you’re not going to be there, whether you’re the retailer or whether you’re the product creator, you’re not going to be there, hovering over somebody’s shoulder as they’re looking at a product and the product is the packaging of the product has to tell the customer exactly what they need to know whether they’re the shopper or whether they’re the consumer. And I’m just thinking of protein bars, we have two that we like, if anyone likes protein bars, we absolutely love the Aldi, protein bars, I have not found anything anywhere near as good. But donate the coconut ones. They’re disgusting. I’ll give them a try. So the coconut, they do a coconut i Sorry, they do a coconut one that you don’t want to eat, they do a caramel and chocolate nut fudge. And so my daughter has just got onto the protein bar wagon as well. And she was looking at them. And she’s like, I don’t understand how this one has 15 grams of protein. And this one has 17 grams of protein. But of course, like protein bars is such a great thing. Usually it’s the thing, forget everything else, the number of grams of protein is the biggest thing that you see on the packaging, because that is the reason someone is buying. It’s not necessarily the flavor. It’s not necessarily how quick it’s digested. It’s just what I need is protein, which one is going to give me the biggest bang for my calorie buck.

Speaker 2 21:45
Yep. So I mean, two things that immediately come to mind. And there’s a really good example to use. I think, you know, going back to the earlier point that I made about packaging and how it server looks, I think a lot of times we are guilty as brands, and product makers, that it’s something you know, we need to create the packaging, we need to put pretty pictures and make it look appealing. So it stands out on shelf. And then we forget about it. But actually, you know, there’s an art and a science to the packaging, there’s hierarchy of information, there’s some mandatory information that you should use by the use of copy and color, you can then highlight the most important thing. So in the case of a protein bar, how many grams of protein Am I getting out of this doesn’t matter how it’s delivered? What is that thing? And so then that, that informs how this thing looks? That’s from a product owner perspective. You know, there’s there’s a RT insights from a retailer perspective, you’re looking at okay, cool. So, so if it’s just an I suppose this might also be from a product owner perspective, it’s great. Everybody’s now, you know, putting these protein bars and showing exactly how many grams of protein but what other value can you as a product owner help me so you go back and say, Well, if I don’t have a mentality of set and forget, what I can do is use the rest of my real estate that I own of my packaging, to highlight other things like special occasion special value. It’s your billboard you can do with what you want.

Speaker 1 23:07
I what I like about that is we sound like we’re gym junkies don’t we? Like we’re so I interviewed a guy the other day who looked like the rock and I made like I kind of made fun of him because I was like you he was he looked like he could have been in ballers ballers as the American side. Yeah. And and he looked like him. And he was in finance. And I was like, am I being set up here? So we had a great big fun time about saying that I interviewed a guy who could be the rock, but he’s not the rock. So we sound like we are such barf gym junkies, but we’re just looking after our health. Yeah. But what I’m thinking there is with the packaging and the real estate and that communication is this is your chance to stand out. And just like that conversation I had with one of our supercharges which is can I put the price up? I’ve got two identical products that do the exact same thing. How does a customer choose which one to buy. And if they are not familiar with that brand, then they actually might not choose anything because there is no differentiator. Whereas if you make one a little bit more expensive, regardless of what the recommended retail price is, if it looks nicer, if it has looked like looks like it delivers more value, make it more expensive, because at least now you’ve taken an easy way for me to make a decision. Do I want the cheaper one that won’t be a bit less in terms of quality or doesn’t deliver as much or do I want the more expensive one? It doesn’t matter which one they choose? Yeah. But what he’s done is made it easier for them to make a choice versus nothing at all.

Speaker 2 24:43
And again, such a great talking point I think so I think I’ve seen common retailer tactics recently or brand tactics where they in order to meet a certain price point. So in other words, not have the price go up too much. Even though input cut costs are going in there reducing the packaging size, right? The smaller product,

Speaker 1 25:06
yes, versus, like a block of chocolate, which used to be 250 grams is now like 180 grams.

Speaker 2 25:13
Absolutely, because they recognize that, you know, price the consumers are stressed. And so in order to not to take too much of a price increase at the absolute level as an absolute price point that then reduced, but I think consumers are becoming a little bit more savvy. And so they can they can see that that’s happening. So therefore, at the same price point, how do we make sure that you know, as a as a to our customers at this value, and that’s going to be again, we talk again, about how their packaging influences them, you know, talking about hierarchy of information, what are the key things that we need to highlight that are our differentiator, the things that we’ve talked about in our brand strategy, whether we’re good for the environment, whether we’re we do no harm, you know, all the things that are a real trends at the moment, and real strong insights that consumers want, you know, things that won’t make give me a hangover to use a alcohol example, those things are benefits, those things are real benefits that need to be highlighted that need to catch your eye in the first 10 seconds when someone sees you on the shelf. Because, you know, this is an overused statement, but the sea of sameness of, you know, packaging that sitting on a shelf, you know, everything looks like wallpaper, how do we catch people’s eyes, you know, and it’s when they’re actually and then when you get that opportunity when someone picks up your product and inspects it, what are the things that they quickly need to understand that is going to appeal to them, that’s going to make them choose and ultimately not even care what the price is, because they see the real benefit of what they’re purchasing.

Speaker 1 26:44
You’re talking about sea of sameness. I’m not sure if I shared this example with you or somebody else. But I was talking the other day, how just going down the hair shampoo aisle in the grocery store. And once upon a time, it was just clear or white bottles. But now I’m noticing lots of pastel bottles and different shapes. And I bought one because of the CHE it looked like it was really cute. I thought I’ll give it a go. Yeah, purely like, but it looks like like a milk bottle. And the poor people have had to write, do not drink, do not drink and do not drink. I’m like, they clearly didn’t think but it worked. I tried a new brand. Because it looked cute. It was on sale. I thought yeah, what’s the worst I can do? I’ll shave my legs with it or something.

Speaker 2 27:30
Yeah. And so there’s, there’s a fine, I guess there’s a fine balance in a category, you know, they are, there are certain things that you expect from a category as in from a subconscious point of view. So like from a milk perspective is another example. You know, the milk bottles are generally all the same. milk bottles are transparent, you can see the color of the milk behind because then it gives you, you know, the feeling that this is real milk that it’s you know, straight from the source, impure, and everything. As soon as you go against those kinds of things. Because the shopper that’s coming in, then you want to disrupt and want to give them a try. And that’s a common tactic, right, you change the ergonomic form of your packaging, just so you stand out and shelf. But it’ll take some people a little while to go well, you know, is this really the product that I’m looking for, because it’s not what I’m used to seeing. And that’s why that manufacturer had to also go this is not milk, even though it looks like but but it did the job in that instance. And there’s a fine balancing act that we have to as as a design agency and a specialist FMCG packaging agency that we have to we have to pay respect to what the category expect to see. There are some table stakes to use a poker poker analogy, there’s in order to play there are certain things that you need to do and that’s either colors, or messaging or shapes or bottles. But then the other 50% or whatever it might be is where you get to play with your DNA and how you are either willing to be very bold and disrupt and create some kind of noise might be good might be bad. But there’s a there’s a balancing act that needs to happen. It does

Speaker 1 29:04
tie into your brand strategy because I imagine a legacy brand is so much less likely to change their package. I mean, even the gluten free bread they changed the packaging this week and I was like oh is this my gluten free bread like yeah, it’s in the same spot but it looks very very different. And of course they had to put you know same product new packaging. Yeah, but yet if we go back to the wine if something is in a quirky bought, I just bought one the other day a bottle of Pinot Grigio but bottle looks like it could be a supersize perfume bottle. It’s got like, yeah, like Gildan and it’s got little I don’t know what the word is but little diamonds cut into the glass and I was like, Okay, this is right, you know?

Speaker 2 29:48
And it’s I I’ve been privileged to be a part on the client side when I worked at sav Miller to work on a lot of rebrand packaging products and without fail and so all that was was you know, we took a had a beer. And we changed the look of it. And we retained a lot of the things that people recognize. So the logos and colors, but we’ve changed it. And without fail, people would go up, but the liquids changed. There’s something different, you know, there’s, you know, there must be something, I’m not gonna bite him exactly, isn’t that and it’s legacy brands, more often than not, will not do a big revolution of their packaging unless something fundamentally has changed. For those kinds of reasons, because they’ve got equity. People recognize them. And as soon as something happens, just think about any company that’s changed their logo, you know, that divides opinion, so much.

Transcribed by



Get my proven strategies Straight To Your Inbox

Add your email to receive your business (& life) changing strategies