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Shelf Impact! Jim George
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Recycled without sacrificing freshness

Klöckner Pentaplast SmartCycle® mono and barrier films extend the shelf life of your product with clear, compelling, and convenient packaging made from 50% recycled beverage bottles. Our commitment resulted in recovering 10.1 billion bottles from landfills. How’s that for fresh?

Klöckner Pentaplast

Plastic Ingenuity

We work with retail and food companies who want to maximize their brands with innovative packaging

Plastic Ingenuity

White paper discusses advances in roll-fed extended content labeling

White paper from Quality Assured Label explains the recent development of roll-fed extended content labels (ECLs), also called booklet labels. Covers benefits such as the ability to increase content area by up to 200%, utilize existing materials and labeling equipment, and maintain current production line speeds.

Quality Assured

How to deliver packaging that offers store-centric micromarketing

Bill Akins of Genofish (developer of Walmart’s SupplierHub portal), will explore how digital imaging and cutting-edge data warehousing can create packaging that tailors an end product for every store’s unique “genetic code." Get the full story at Packaging Automation Forum, April 26 at the Westin O'Hare.

Packaging World

Making your brand stand out in a highly competitive marketplace

Russ Napolitano, from brand identity firm Wallace Church, will demonstrate how to create a visual positioning strategy that articulates a clear and compelling brand image. Packaging decision-makers won't want to miss this case-history presentation on May 26 at the Healthcare Packaging Conference in Princeton, NJ.

Healthcare Packaging

Shelf Impact! Advisory Board

Our packaging experts help shape the content and provide independent analysis.

April 4, 2011
In This Issue

thumbFive best practices for shoring up your package's backside

Spend time in a grocery store or a drug store, and you will see the label readers in action

thumbPackage Gallery

Custom bottle, closure shape Henkel's entry into lotions

By Jim George, Marketing & Design Editor

Shelf Impact!, over the past year, has explored the growing trend of consumer products investing in custom-shaped packages. The idea behind this tactic is to gain shelf presence and create memorable experiences with consumers bombarded with product choices.

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Henkel Consumer Goods embodies the custom-shape trend perfectly. Consider this, from Shannon Bowers, Senior Package Design Manager for Dial NutriSkin lotions: "It's becoming more of a consumer expectation to deliver a custom shape and provide a higher benefit. A custom shape is a commitment to your product, and it reflects how we feel about our brand. We couldn't have achieved the S-curve in our design with a stock closure."

Bowers was referring to the custom-shaped, geometrically pleasing package for Dial NutriSkin, which marks Henkel's entry into the already cluttered $1.6 billion hand and body lotion category. Lotion shelves include heritage brands, strong private-label offerings, and a fair amount of copycat packaging, so differentiation was a key metric in Henkel's search for the right package to introduce the brand, as well as the Dial name, in a new category.

Henkel, working with Tirso Olivares Design, opted for a visually distinctive bottle that works seamlessly with a custom flip-top closure.

The package satisfies two marketing objectives for Henkel. First, Bowers says, it's functional, and it also makes the brand believable. Equally important, it makes the brand approachable—crucial for a new product. Adds Nina Daily, Brand Manager for Dial NutriSkin, "We wanted a unique look but also a functional package that would give the consumer the best experience using this product."

Dial NutriSkin's 12-oz squeeze bottle, from Matrix Packaging features a vertically curved shape and an oval footprint that integrate both the bottle and closure into one gently flowing line from base to cap. The bottle can stand upside-down on the cap as well.

"This package elevates the premium image of the Dial brand above competitors on the shelf," observes Tirso Olivares, who heads the design agency. It does so, he notes, by visually communicating innovation, modernity, beauty, youth, and body care in support of the brand positioning "Healthier Skin, Healthier You."

The package's geometry effectively communicates the value of the nutrients in the product ingredients. At the same time, it enhances the bottle's functionality. For example, an indented area at the top of the bottle and a ridge built into the mold of the closure, from Seaquist Closures, enable easy opening of the bottle. They also combine to visually resemble the outline of a leaf in support of the brand positioning.

In addition, testing determined that consumers found the S-shape of the slender bottle pleasing to pick up, hold, and squeeze.

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INTELLIGENCE ON DESIGN

Five best practices for shoring up your package's backside

By Julia Beardwood, Founder & Partner, Beardwood & Co.

Spend time in a grocery store or a drug store, and you will see the label readers in action, turning the package over and furrowing their brows. According to Food & Drug Administration research, more than half of consumers often read the back label when purchasing a food product for the first time.

Knowing all this attention is focused on your brand's behind means that marketers and designers are now called upon to pay more attention to the state of their metaphorical booties. Just as with Sports Illustrated models, an outstanding packaging backside is worth the effort lavished upon it on through the rewards of attention gained and appreciation received.

Here are five best practices of back-panel design, along with a handful of shining examples of these practices in action.

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1. Less is truly more. This is where white space matters. Just because there's room for 200 words doesn't mean that you should use more than 20. White space makes it easy for people to find what they're looking for, which is why they turned the package over in the first place.

Lay's Potato Chips shows admirable restraint on its back panel. Lots of white space surrounds the nutrition panel, and the few visual elements reinforce the message of "good for you" with fresh potato imagery, a "Guaranteed Fresh" stamp, and an "All Natural Oil" leaf icon.

2. Focus on consumers' needs. When it comes to back panels, there's often a mass of information, and it's all treated in the same eight-point type. As a result, it's equally hard to find everything. Savvy marketers don't just offer a list of ingredients. They highlight the most important factors.

3. Have some fun. Cereal brands have long understood the value of entertaining their consumers, but most brands elsewhere in the store haven't bothered to follow this lead. However, practically any brand can now grab that potential, but none more so than those that spend a while in consumers' hands, like snacks and beverages.

4. Strike up a conversation. If someone cares enough to look at the back of your package, what a great opportunity to invite them in for a chat. This isn't a hard sell of your brand benefits; after all, no one likes a bragger. It's a chance to build a real-life relationship.

5. Use the element of surprise. Consumers often don't turn over some packages because they don't expect to see anything of interest on the back panel. Take liquor bottles for example, which tend to confine themselves to place of origin and some legal stuff.

Read the full article
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FUSE, April 11-13, promises solid speakers and new topic areas

There's still time to register for the 15th annual FUSE: Design & Culture, Brand Identity & Packaging conference will be April 11-13 at the Westin River North Hotel in Chicago. PROOF: Market Research for Packaging & Innovation will join FUSE as a symposium April 11. The FUSE conference will be April 12-13.

Shelf Impact! again is a media partner of this year's event, which is produced by the Institute for International Research.

Speakers and topics on this year's agenda will include:

  • Ian Schrager, Ian Schrager Co., “On Design and Inspiration.”
  • Jennifer Westemeyer, Kimberly-Clark, “Packaging Innovation Fueled by Trends Insights.”
  • Peter Routsis, Benjamin Moore, “Rethinking Brand Management for the Digital World.”
  • Karim Rashid, “The Importance of Design in a New Era.”
  • Robert Schwartz, GE Healthcare, “The Magic of Science and Empathy.”
  • Donna Romeo, Frito-Lay/PepsiCo, “How to Drive Empathy into Design: The Case for Anthropology.”
  • David Lyon, Bath & Body Works, “Leveraging Trends to Build Brands: Treating Fragrance and Skincare Like Fashion.”

This year's event also will include additions such as a track of sessions on cultural anthropology and more global perspectives.

Package Gallery

A closer look at the newest trends in today's packaging.

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Hip FLASQ: wine in a bottle can

Quick-chilling and shatterproof, FLASQ Wines in aluminum bottle cans provide new venue opportunities for wine sales. JT Wines, St. Helena, CA, believes it is the first company in the U.S. to launch a wine brand in such an aluminum bottle.

The 375-mL aluminum bottles are resealable, and they are designed to meet the convenience needs of wine enthusiasts who lead active lifestyles. The bottle cans extend wine's consumption possibilities to ballgames, concerts, and other events at which wine consumption is not permitted in glass bottles.

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Twang Beer Salt rises above clutter with new display

Twang Partners, San Antonio, was using a multipiece, printed chute-type merchandiser to display and dispense its line of Twang Beer Salt products. The unit resulted in a number of disadvantages for consumers and retailers, including high costs and reduced product recognition.

The company, with the help of WS Packaging, has introduced a one-piece merchandising unit that eliminates the use of 12 printed cartons and sleeves, as well as the carton/sleeve organizer for each display. The reusable unit includes a display strip that attaches to the door of the beer cooler, putting the display directly in consumers' line of sight.

Sales have increased with the new unit.

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OFF THE SHELF: Gum aisle update

Jim George takes a look at recent developments in design and shelf impact in the packaging of chewing gum.

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