Two key objectives are driving new packaging design strategy for own-label products at retail. Eye-catching, stand-out-from-the crowd identities are partnering with environmental-friendliness. Designers are tasked with establishing a distinctive look and feel, while materials are minimized and those used selected for their recyclability.
The consumer angle is essential, according to Food Processing. Richard Barkaway, creative director at Studio One Eleven, a division of Berlin Packaging, Chicago, believes, “Designing a successful package is all about shoppability and making the user experience enjoyable for the consumer. … Retailers are no longer interested in the [me-too] strategy and are now developing believable, authentic brands that consumers resonate with.”
Packaging Digest’s editors, who judged some 200 American retailers’ submissions for the 2013 private label packaging awards, noted several trends: unique fonts, warm earth tones, stylized photography, high-quality printing for maximum shelf impact, whimsical designs targeted across age groups and limited editions which they said were “previously the domain of national brands.”
As Kate Bertrand Connolly wrote last year in Food Processing, “Private label products are no longer the dowdy stepsisters of national brands.” Using graphics to create identities easily spotted across the store gives an impression of both quality and consistency while emphasizing what she describes as the “‘brand’ component of the store brand.”
Todd Maute, of New York branding firm CBX, emphasized that if customers are satisfied with one private label product and then see similar packaging on a different shelf, “They’ll get the same perception. … The primary driver behind line looks is … to build a common story for the brand.”
Target’s Simply Balanced brand, launched in June, was cited as an example of “strategically creating brands and unique package designs based off of what the consumer’s expectation is in that marketplace.” Graphics were described as innovative by My Private Brand’s president, Christopher Durham, adding that the package design is “fun, straightforward and direct.”