DANIEL JONES, Creative Designer of Moirae Creative Agency, looks at how good design can build brands, raise product profiles and promote provenance…
It is very obvious that packaging has important fundamentals to fulfil; on a structural front the product needs to be protected in transit and the way it functions must be practical for the end-user. From a graphic design perspective, in the food and drink sector, the packaging
has legal requirements to fulfil, not least to convey ingredients and nutritional values. In addition to this and, equally as important for the brand owner, the design will have to attract and appeal to the target audience to shift it from shelf into the shopping basket or trolley.
Many agencies will state that a product’s packaging constitutes a vast percentage of the products advertising, and it’s evident to see in any aisle of the supermarket and local shop that attaining the important standout is difficult in a busy environment with so many established brands, own-label and tertiary brands including niche brands.
Building brands – and maintaining sales – in the food and drink sector is usually a constant state of review. Refining or refreshing the packaging design and, indeed, the design of the branding is usually an on-going process and does not necessarily result in a rebranding or redesign. Where refinements are made perhaps to accommodate a new packaging format, some alterations are almost too subtle to identify.
Successful brands will capitalise on the heritage they have established and communicate in a subtle or direct way the brand values, uniqueness of their product, benefits or provenance. This is increasingly important not only because of competition from old rivals or newly launched brands, but also because many categories within the food and drink sector seem to expand almost each month as trends
and preferences come and go.
One such category, which has recently heralded a makeover of an existing brand and a diversification into other sectors, is the rapeseed oil category. The driving force behind the continued growth of rapeseed oil is its health-giving profile. With the lowest saturated fat content of any cooking oil, it is rich in Vitamin E and omega-3. Indeed, rapeseed oil is considered by many as a better option for frying and roasting.
Family farming business White’s of Old Cantley has adopted a new look and refined the business’ brand and logo with a fresh feel to reflect the position of rapeseed oil in the marketplace. Part of our rebranding process involved refining White’s existing identity, which already carried their strong reputation, but required some attention to be more effective. For the brand mark, there was a simplification of the rapeseed flowers to make the logo considerably less cluttered and much more visually balanced. In terms of the packaging design, the rapeseed oil labels were made much clearer and more impactful by adopting a different Pantone reference for each flavour, working closely alongside White’s to select the perfect combination of hues.
For White’s it is important that their brand conveys its provenance, as all products are produced from rapeseed produced on the family farm in South Yorkshire and are natural. Where certain common design cues within sectors are often adopted by certain brands, it is not always necessary to pursue this where the brand and products’ points of difference need just to be honestly and simply captured and communicated. Confidence in any brand facilitates successful brand extensions, particularly if supported by good packaging design; to that end, White’s of Old Cantley have extended by created a range of lip balms in three flavours and three types of massage oil.
At times, it is interesting to see the investment that brands make in expensive advertising campaigns and marketing to just hold market share, if not to bolster stagnant sales. Good design for packaging, to communicate the products’ benefits and the reputation of a brand, is often less of an investment and proves to be very successful.