Package design mistake #1: Overwrapping

package design mistake #1   Package Design Mistake: Overwrapping Overwrapping is when you extend your label’s visibility beyond the eye sight of the consumer. This happens a lot on round bottles and other curved package designs. Unfortunately, Overwrapping is something I see too much of. Some of the biggest package design mistakes I see has to do with the visibility and readability of a product. This is just one of the many disastrous mistakes I see almost every day. A lot of companies wind up doing things like this because they failed to build a prototype of their product’s packaging and labeling or fail to at least take the time to see how their product will look on a store shelf. Their marketing team or package design company just assumes it will be okay and will be visible and readable to the consumer.

The above illustration is an example of what I see companies doing everyday with their products. You can barely figure out what the product is. You figure what the company and product is only after picking the bottle up and rotating it.

Some package or label designers are so focused on how creative they can be with the branding or visuals of a package design, they don’t asked themselves, “can the person read it”, “can the consumer make it out from 2 to 3 feet away”. These are just some of the starter questions I consider. What kind of environment is the product be displayed in. Will it be in a Walmart, a Mini Mart, a Health Club or a Wholesale club. Will the lighting be very bright or very dark? These are just a few of the many questions that should be asked in trying to see through the consumers eyes and that is what we should be continually striving for when we design a brand a package design.

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Branding Wine. An insight into consumer emotions.

wine labelThis story is for any new or existing company that is about to brand or re-brand a product. I’m using wine products as an example here.

Wine branding is about the bottle and not about the wine. Sound harsh…?

Here’s why a wine’s branding and shelf appeal is actually worth more than the wine itself.

Blind taste testing of different competing wines and champagnes are conducted through out the year in many countries. With some of the tastings, they have had marketing, advertising and branding experts conduct little experiments and basically trick consumers taste buds. At a wine tasting they’ll purposely switched out some of the expensive French wines for some cheaper California wines, but they will stick the French labels on the bottles. What do you think happens next? You guessed it, the cheaper California wines, with the French labels start winning awards. In some cases, a 3.00 bottle of wine beats out a 200.00 bottle of French wine.

This is the result of the consumers human emotions at work and not their rational thinking, which is very rarely used in any purchase, believe it or not. After looking at the French Wine label, their, less rational emotions, told their taste buds to expect a wonderful, “two hundred dollars at bottle” wine experience, rather than expect the “three dollars a bottle” wine experience, they actually drank.

If this never happened and human emotions never had a role in choosing and buying products, then product branding, wine label branding, advertising, marketing and every other type of influential media would never be needed.

So next time you think about how wonderful your product is compared to the competition, make sure your product branding, package design and labeling shows how wonderful your product is.







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Demoing yourself to Death

product demonstration womenI see too many companies flying all around the world, spending tons of money on traveling to demonstrate their products on people. They are either trying to spray something smelly on you or trying to stuff the millionth “All Natural Salsa” down your throat. This is nice for a product launch, but I literally see tons companies do this for years, relying on it as their sole way to market and distribute their product.

If they invested more than a few hundred dollars into their product branding they wouldn’t need to work so hard.

HERE IS A WAKE UP CALL for those companies.

Consider the following:

1. Your product branding is the story of your company.
It’s the thing that shows people, “Hey, I’m different and Special!

2. Your product brand can stay up and work longer than you can.
That’s right. Your product branding on your product or website is showing off and selling your product 24/7 and doesn’t even take off for Holidays.

3. Your product branding can sell better than you can and never has a bad hair day. If branded correctly with good messaging, and some significant investment into the graphic design and package design, your product branding could be your number one, top performing sales person for your entire company.

4. Your product is as wonderful as people perceive it to be. If you think your product is the best on the market and let’s just say for argument sake, it is, your product’s branding better tell that story, otherwise you will continue to chase people to get them to try your product for the rest of your life.


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Flat Web Design Trend

One of the trends I see more and more in website graphics is the infographic or flat web design style.
So when working on this Toy company website, I wanted to keep it fun, playful and make it look like a child built it with construction paper.


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FEELing package design

This is a concept package design for a Citrus body lotion for Aveeno. The goal was to keep it clean, make the consumer FEEL the products refreshing elements and have it jump of the shelf. Emotion is what sells a product. I could of probably just put the word Orange or put no text at all on the bottle and just have the the orange dripping down the bottle and I’d still get an emotional response from the costumer and have them take notice of the product.

Just so you can see I put both versions, one with text and without text.

This is what companies need to do more of, rather than just putting stuff in a bottle and figuring its going to sell on its own.

Lotion Package Design

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Tough Love your Brand.

tough love brandingHere is some tough love advice I give to all of my clients when it comes to selling a branded product. I’ll use Beer as the product example, but this covers pretty much all products and services businesses.

Let’s say you’re a new Beer company, and you think your Beer is going to be the next hot Amber Ale that hits the market. You’ve had this in development for the past 3 years and have worked extremely hard to finally supply the product. You and your fellow brewers and friends have tried your product and think it’s just wonderful. Unfortunately, regardless of how wonderful you or your friends think your custom brewed product is, to a new consumer that has never tried it, the beer is only as good as its brand and self appeal.  In other words, if you have a great beer but put minimal investment into the brand development, brand positioning, aesthetics and package design, you are not going to show the consumer your true colors.

I compare product branding to a book cover design. If you have a great story, but your book cover doesn’t intrigue anyone to pick it up and open the cover, then you just wasted years of blood, sweat and tears that you invested into your product.

Here are 3 tips, maybe 4, I will leave with you.

1. Be objective as hell!

2. It’s hard but try to look at your product through your consumers’ eyes.

3. You want new consumers to buy your product. The people that already buy your product know your product and could care less what it comes in. You’ve already sold them. Worry about the people you haven’t sold.

4. Keep in mind that the only time I could say your beer sells based on the quality of the product itself, without its branding being present, is possibly when you’re giving away free beer and ladling it down people’s throats.  Unfortunately, you can’t give everyone, that looks at your product, a free sample. This is when your branding comes into play. Your beer’s product branding is your most important salesman for your company. It invokes emotion in the consumer to buy or not to buy. Check my video on Buying on Emotion if you’d like to learn more about that topic.

I’d love to hear your comments or questions.

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Naming your Brand

brand-namingA good or bad brand name can be the difference between being noticed and not noticed, which usually converts into a sale or no sale scenario.

When coming up with a brand name, there are many factors to consider.  We go into much more depth than most brand naming professionals.  What I’m revealing below is the start of what we discuss with a client, but this is just a start and will get you thinking about things to consider.

Here are my top reasons for thinking carefully before choosing a brand-name.

Uniqueness: Your brand-name needs to be unique. There are some great names of some great companies that came up with a very unique and almost unusual brand-name. These companies, like Google, Zillow and Fubu, have had great successes, and one of their primary reasons is because of their name.

When a friend tells you about a real estate website that is called Real Estate Finder and then another friend tells you about a real estate website called Zillow, which one do you think is going to stick in a person’s mind and be memorable, Zillow definitely has stronger stickiness.

Be bold and don’t play it safe: I’ve seen many good companies that could’ve been a great company if they weren’t so worried about being too bold. Some companies always worry that they may offend someone with their brand name or their brand name is just too edgy for the average public. I tell clients all the time, I would rather be bold than boring. Playing it safe can be extremely boring and in such a competitive market these days, you can’t afford to be boring.

Don’t use your own name: I’ve have seen so many companies, usually small companies, but I’ve seen some big ones to it too, that will use their own name on a product and sometimes even put a picture of their own face on a product or service. Anything from some old lady putting her face on her salad dressing to a CEO putting his face on his Casino’s Billboard. Now there are some exceptions, especially if you have a unique name, but I usually don’t see any benefit in using your own name on the product or service.

Be Objective and look outside in: When deciding on a brand-name, marketing people, small business owners, and directors get so hung up on their products that they become blind to what the consumer sees. Taking a hard objective look at your product and its potential brand-name can give you much needed insight into the consumers perspective. No matter how great your product is, or how great your story is, the consumer will not buy your product until he or she has an emotional response and is engaged with the product’s name, look, feel. So if you’re launching a new consumer product and trying to look outside in through the consumers eyes, objectivity is a must.

Invest: Lastly, I know that most small business owners are on a tight budget and don’t want to hear this, but if you are going to go through the blood sweat and tears it takes to develop a product or start a business, it would be foolish if you just put a minimal investment into your brand name, visuals and marketing media.

So if you don’t have the money to invest into your brand, I would get a loan or wait until you have the funds to start things off right. In the long term, it will save you money, sales and even your company.

I hope this information has helped and gave you a few things to think about when naming your brand name.


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Product Brand Strategy

brand-strategyGet Your Brand Design Out in an Innovative Way to Become a Sensation in the Industry.

Every business, big or small, should realize the importance of getting a winning brand strategy. This will solely rely on a reliable and knowledgeable brand strategist. Unfortunately, so many small businesses that have logos, business cards ad taglines, downplay the relevance of having a well-defined brand that targets the right market for your business. Let’s look at some elements that you should consider to give you a successful brand that outshines your competitors.

Your brand position is an integral part in brand development. It describes what your business does and is the first thing that the customer thinks about when they see your brand. How does your customer benefit from what your services or products offer? How are you different from your competitors? Once you define your brand position, you engage your customers in a special and emotional level. A good example is L’Oreal with the tagline, “Because you’re worth it.”

An expert brand consultant will tell you that a promise is the single most important thing that a brand delivers to the customers. For this, you need to consider what partners, customers and employees expect when they interact with you every time. Every decision you make should not contradict this promise.

Product branding also relies a lot on the brand personality. This is what you want your brand to be known for. What traits do you want to reflect for your business? Getting a well renowned branding agency to do this can assist you and help you identify the personal traits you want your organization to portray.

A brand story illustrates the history of the business. It not only shows how you started but briefly summarizes your business products and services.

Every brand design has a name, logo, fonts, taglines, colors and imagery. This should be unique and specific to your business. With so many branding companies in the industry, you need to do adequate research on how professional the service is. A good company offers a wide range of services from internet branding, web design and graphic design at very affordable rates. Moreover, there should be excellent communication to ensure you get your money’s worth.  Also, request  to see a portfolio; you’ll be able to answer a lot of questions about the company.

When it comes to product branding, just building a brand is not enough. You must begin enforcing the strategy with customers, partners, prospects and employees through repetition. By being consistent on a regular basis, you can  build a successful brand.

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Branding a record company

Here is a new record company website design we worked on.
With a lot of brainstorming, some collaboration and great work from my designer, we camp up with this internet brand design.

Your internet brand and website visuals are vital for people to have a good perception of your company. It shows what the value of your company is, just by the way it looks. We think this design shows great value and a high level of integrity.


Record Website Design

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Our Director is Featured on AIGA’s website

Timothy Kim, our Creative Director, is featured on AIGA’s website.

“It’s nice to be recognized and I’m glad our passion for great product branding and package design is being showed off a little. Myself and my design team put a lot love into this project and I’m very grateful I have such an awesome team of guys.” Timothy Kim.



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