The industry continues to change at an increasing pace. Here’s what the start of the next 20 years brings.
In two decades, brands have found many new ways to express their identity and connect with customers through packaging. We look at what is coming next.
Twenty years ago, when BRANDPACKAGING put out its first issue, the packaging world looked very different. The way companies operated then wasn’t wrong; the CPG industry simply has an entirely changed set of marketing, branding and packaging ideals and undertakings today. Understanding the past is important, as is living in the present, but especially critical for brands now is watching the horizon for what will happen next in four key areas.
For decades, brands have used packaging to differentiate themselves from the competition, and to great success. Now, companies are requesting agencies take branding a step further: to their physical space.
“When you are buying and selling products to consumers, branding is important everywhere,” says Anthony Deen, creative director, Environments at CBX. “When you walk into someone’s house, you form an impression. Everything from the artwork on the walls to the rug on the floor to the light fixtures on the ceiling all help you understand what the owners are trying to say about themselves. It’s no different with retail environments. That’s why it’s critical for retailers to establish a distinct voice and personality for their brand that connects to consumers on a higher, more experiential level. Retailers must now, more than ever, work very hard to engage consumers by defining the consumer experience and making it meaningful.
“Branding spaces is about extending the brand into the physical environment — expressing a brand in a palpable way,” Deen continues. “For us at CBX, it includes designing everything from the packaging to the shelf talker on the gondola or a specialty endcap fixture. It includes the tradeshow booth where the discussion takes place between a manufacturer and retailers, the pop-up shop that introduces the product to consumers and the store itself.”
Before NJOY, the electronic cigarette/vaping category was still primarily entrenched in the visual world of tobacco, marketed as a cessation or tobacco alternative rather than a unique experience unto itself. CBX was challenged to reinvigorate and relaunch the brand as a unique, full-flavor experience in a rapidly growing category.
The agency conducted in-depth ethnographies and category audits that uncovered the target audience — the male millennial and the older transitional smoker. While the team didn’t want to alienate the female consumer, the brand needed to speak to the millennial who revels in hedonistic pleasure and lives life in the moment.
CBX came up with a brand identity that was vibrant, engaging and disruptive in store. The agency relaunched NJOY’s original six SKU line, as well as two new lines, ultimately delivering 150 SKUs in total. The agency supported the launch and developed consumer-facing POS displays in 7-Eleven, Walgreens and other convenience store locations.
From there, CBX created full-scale environments at trade shows, mobile vaping bars and the first free-standing NJOY retail location. The NJOY Vaping Bar it created can be found at The LINQ, a Caesars Entertainment property in Las Vegas.
The reaction was quick and intense: Less than three months after the relaunch of its vaping products, NJOY reached No.1 in retail sales, capturing 23.7 percent of this growing category, and accounted for 85 percent of the segment growth. By September 2014, NJOY grew to a 4.4 share and its market share continued to rise, with the aim of a 10 point share to be earned by the end of 2015. The new recharge line knocked LOGIC off the No.1 spot, and NJOY became the leading mass brand in the emerging flavor/vaping segment.
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