Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Products, packaging and PR – critical marketing steps for package design

Posted by thecastlegroup on March 25, 2009

Today’s Boston Globe looks at recent product packaging redesigns as a way to maintain competitive advantage on the grocery store shelf. In these times, manufacturers are fighting for each sale and need to do what they can to get consumers to notice and purchase their products.


In the packaging design process, manufacturers also need to consider gearing the right products toward the right consumers.


Look at the spaghetti sauce aisle at your local supermarket. Between the jarred spaghetti sauce, individual ingredients to make spaghetti sauce and the pasta itself, there is an entire aisle devoted to this one dish.


With so many products crowding the shelf, it all becomes a blur to the consumer, who is then forced to shop on price or specials. The wide variety of flavors and styles, along with low-fat, sugar-free, lower sodium and other options, necessitates consumers becoming students of labels in order to make the right purchase. Grab and go is a thing of the past.


By creating more well-defined “looks” for each product extension, then backing up the packaging with targeted marketing efforts that support specific lines, manufacturers can drive sales in each channel and create greater consumer satisfaction by directing them to products that best suit their needs.


For example, a “no sugar added” pasta sauce line could be marketed to diabetics through targeted advertising in diabetic publications, sampling at diabetes health expos, blogger outreach, media relations and co-marketing with other diabetes-related products — and sit in the pasta aisle with increased awareness alongside mainstream competitive products.


Exposing the target audience to products at a variety of touch points will help quickly guide them to the right product on the shelf.


This is where PR, branding and strategy all align, and why marketing conversations need to happen in lockstep with product design.


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