Can product packaging create relationships?

Unknown-1080x675A debate has been brewing at the Biondo Group (a co. I freelance with). The idea that’s been churning is the notion that a package’s design can create a relationship with the consumer.

We read of designers stating that their work “creates relationships with consumers” and we stand back and wonder – does it really? Does packaging design create relationships? In that brief moment when the consumer is at the shelf in a supermarket environment – does a packages design connect in a manner that allows a relationship to be created?

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America, the beer?

bud.america-1080x675<originally written for the Biondo Group>

Budweiser has filed for and has gotten permission to use the phrase “America” as the primary naming element on the front panel of their beer cans for the summer months.

As brand marketers we can’t help but both wince and applaud InBev

But honestly, there seems to be something a little “off” about this marketing move. It is one thing to be proud of where you are from, and we Americans certainly have a right to be proud. It is another thing to wrap your brand and products so tightly in the flag that they become inextricably tied together.

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Distinguishing Brand from Product

<originally  written and published for the Biondo Group>

It might seem silly, but since so much of The Biondo Group’s work is comprised of working on both Brands and Products, we thought we’d take a look at the latest definitions:

A brand is:
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers.

Adcracker defines a brand as “the sum of all feelings, thoughts and recognitions — positive and negative — that people in the target audience have about a company, product or service.”

Virtual Business defines a brand as the personification of the organization, its products and services.

The European Brands Association proposes that a “brand is a constant point of reference: a contract, a signpost, a relationship.

A product is:
– An article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale
– A substance produced during a manufacturing process; “waste products”
– Both tangible (car) and intangible (insurance)
– Artifact, commodity, manufactured article; goods, wares, merchandise, produce
– A commercially manufactured article, viewed in aggregate. “too much product is flooding the market”
– A product is any good, service, or idea that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need.*
** Source: Boundless. “Defining Product.” Boundless Marketing. Boundless, 21 Jul. 2015.

As Design Marketers, we see these two components (brand & product) of CPG marketing as the ying and yang of a “goods” persona, neither of them worth much without the other, but when offered together in a strong coherent, relevant package, can have exponential value, greater than the sum of their parts.

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