Re-tooling the design firm and client relationship

(Originally written for the Biondo Group)

Unlike advertising agencies, design firms’ work on a per-project basis with clients. Projects are the bread and butter of design companies. Early on in the heyday of packaging design, it was common that a single design firm worked on a single brand over-time, and so that specific firm was responsible for that brand’s appearance. If a design firm worked on a brand, it could count on working on it for more than a single project if everything went well, and the brand flourished.

With fewer turns of management and leadership, there was

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Does package design need to adapt to e-tailing environments?

marketing, design, sales, new business, clients, content, business strategy, communications, product packaging, branding, brand identity, social media, networking, NYC

image: stephen berner

(originally written for the Biondo Group)

With an increasing number of packaged goods being sold through and adapted for online channels we ask ourselves on a pretty regular basis – has the nature of a package’s design and communication requirements changed?

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3 Keys to Design Success: Orientation & Analysis

Electronics-in-meeting-iStock_000050413412_Medium1-686x350(originally written for the Biondo Group)

It’s a good idea to start a design program like you want to finish: informed and strong

Starting a packaging design program with a proper orientation and analysis phase of activity is a smart, but often glossed over and a wee bit dismissed step in the development of a successful design project.

Kicking-off a project is a critical moment and it’s important that all of the excitement and good vibes from an “approval” are leveraged to get events, actions and people all headed in the best direction possible – at the outset.

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Opportunity lost?

Death_to_stock_kinckerbocker_photography_4-copy-1080x675(originally written for the Biondo Group)

Many Biondo Group clients have in-house design departments, or, at the very least a hands-on designer. These creative professionals often have a wide range of responsibilities: from web design and maintenance, developing collateral and trade materials, packaging design to branding. It’s tough to be a master of more than one or two of these areas of specialty, and its not too long until even a seasoned designer bumps against the limits of their experience and ability.

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In Response…..

DeathtoStock_Desk7-1080x675(originally written for the Biondo Group)

At the Biondo Group we submit quite a few RFP responses to active and prospective clients.

Proposals can be mind numbing to write, we’ve all been there. After a few hours hammering away, writing and rereading the same document, it gets tough to stay sharp and focused. Thinking through the many steps and phases of a project can get fatiguing.

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Tiger Traps & Packaging Redesign

Packaging Redesign programs are sensitive endeavors on a good day, but on a bad day they can be fraught with tension, as well as “tiger traps” for both the Client as well as Designer. Getting it wrong can be a costly, embarrassing and wholly avoidable mistake.

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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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