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Gatorade package innovation focuses on need states

Tapped out on its ‘wall of flavors,’ the company finds growth opportunities in a branding platform that addresses what athletes need to prepare for competition.

One way to achieve an innovative product supported by the right packaging is to start with the desired end result and work backward from there. This approach can create meaningful brand extensions that position your brand in an entirely new light for consumers.

Gatorade is doing this, and the results are eye-opening as the PepsiCo unit works to grow the brand during tough economic times. Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Chief Marketing Officer at Gatorade, and Stanley Hainsworth, a spokesman for Tether, a Seattle-based design firm, explained the thinking in a Marketing Daily posting based on their presentation at the recent ANA Creativity Conference in New York.

The company, no doubt using core consumer research, isolated on types of athletes who would require a functional beverage, and developed three brand extensions to cover their hydration needs before, during, and after competitions.

The result is package design that creates brand-blocking for Gatorade, but does so based on functional needs—providing a useful product message—rather than the all-too-familiar approach of displaying a wall of color for a range of products whose individual differences are difficult for consumers to understand.

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