PHILADELPHIA -- Creating sales-boosting brand identity is no accident.
It's the product of respect and communication between designer and marketer, said speakers at a packaging conference held in conjunction with the EastPack show here last month. Tim Peterson, manager of package design at Borden Co., Columbus, Ohio, and Richard Shear, principal of the Shear Partnership, Stamford, Conn., described their partnership last year in creating a design for Borden's new Bravos tortilla chips.
Complicating the effort were the existence of multiple regional brands that would sell the chip, the last-minute addition of several flavors and a launch date that moved up from July to May.
A successful design "should look good as well as be strategically focused to the goals of the product," said Peterson.
So, the first step in the process must be to define goals, outline project scope, develop preliminary objectives and identify the target audience. On the Bravos project, Peterson provided the design firm with a written reference describing who the consumer is, what the product is and how it compares to competitors', and the type of package, as well as branding information and consumer research data.
A retail audit also was done. "A retail audit is imperative," said Shear. "It provides a first-hand sense of what's happening in the category and helps build the relationship with the client," he explained.
The next step was Shear's. Based on the input provided, 20 to 30 ideas were illustrated. From this group, a handful was selected for presentation. At this point, Borden decided that the look should be new Mexico rather than old, and that the design needed to work across three regional brands: Wise, Jay's and Seyfert's.
An adobe image was selected and the design was refined to determine placement and prominence of the window area and secondary elements as well as color coding.
In the final design phase, three-dimensional mock-ups were silk-screened, filled with product and put in a gondola so management could see how the real packages would look in action.
Then, color standards were set and the design was turned over to the printer to make finished art. Borden insists its printers take responsibility for final mechanicals to ensure proper specs and eliminate finger pointing among vendors should a problem arise, said Peterson.
This new way of doing business has an advantage, according to Shear. It frees each party to concentrate on what he does best.