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Billboard Space is Important to Brand Packaging Design

18/01/2011

If you want to build your brand then you need to be serious about your packaging’s billboard space. What do I mean about ‘billboard space’? This is the area you have on your package available for messaging, and more importantly, your brand messaging. Obviously. the most important area is the space available on the front of the package.

There are other considerations about how much space you could have. Issues like available shelf space, standardized packaging or the sizing dictated by shipping requirements.

I see a lot of die lines where area has been sacrificed for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s for a better look at a product or perhaps it’s a mis-guided attempt at saving a little materials cost. There is savings to be had cutting back on materials, and there can be a lot said about showing your product, to be sure, but what about your brand?

There are a lot of great reasons to spend a bit more or put more focus on branding in packaging. The most important in my mind is that when the brand features prominently on a package it tells me that the company is proud enough of its product to broadcast authorship. Perhaps it’s the brand’s promise.

Some companies do a really good job of going out there and making more billboard space than what more cost conscious folks do. Take this Swiss Miss package. Seems like a fairly compact package, just about the size for 10 servings?

Having a look inside suggests otherwise. This is exactly how it looked when I opened it.  Yes, there was 10 packets in there ( and I guess we all know that I am a bit waistband-conscious)! Now, I have to say that there could be a number of reasons for Nestle’s selection of this size, but the real benefit is that they gain much more space to tell their story on the front. They get to own twice as much shelf space as well.

If you look back at the first image you can see that artwork and elements are really un-hurried on the package. There is room to allow everything to breathe, giving the product a feeling of confidence that you couldn’t have in a smaller form factor. Nestle uses nearly all the space on the front for its logo, making a large distinction from every competitor on the shelf and certainly from private label brands.

Certainly, the back panel also sees the rewards of the larger size, making room for a lifestyle photo that supports the product’s healthy lifestyle posturing. On a package with only the necessary size in mind for 10 packets this certainly would not be available.

What are the effects of these increased capabilities? Overall, the Swiss Miss packaging comes off far more confident than competitors and there is also the feeling that Swiss Miss stands behind their product far more than competitors due to the larger-than-life logo. The confidence comes directly from marketing managers being able to step back from extolling every virtue a product has and cluttering the faces with blips of marketing points. The uncluttered look also supports the notion that you are, in fact, purchasing a far higher quality product than others who rely on myriad marking blasters for convincing.

In a nutshell Swiss Miss is saying, “we are the best product on the market and we want to make sure you to know it” – and that is successful packaging.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 18/01/2011 16:01

    Interesting piece Eric.

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