Research and Trends / From the editor

Nothing But The Truth

Be honest when packaging and branding a product.

I apologize in advance if I get this jingle stuck in your head, and I probably will — it’s been firmly planted in my own mind since the ‘80s. It’s not all that catchy; it more likely has to do with the disappointment it brought me.

The scene: Smiling, full of energy (and full-haired) young adults partaking in wholesome activities like downhill and water skiing, completely thrilled to have packed Juicy Fruit gum for their outing.

The song: “Get your skis shined up/ Grab a stick of Juicy Fruit/ The taste is gonna move ya/ Take a sniff/ Pull it out/ The taste is gonna move ya when you pop it in your mouth.”

My brain processed that jingle as literal: The gum would actually set your body in motion. Embarrassing? Yes, but I was five. Extremely disappointing to be told I was mistaken? Yes. Thanks to the power of messaging, I believed in that brand of gum; it was going to enable me to do amazing things.

Since I was not aged appropriately for Juicy Fruit’s target audience, I don’t (completely) fault the brand for deceiving me. Silly example, but an admonition is still there: If your brand presents a message, it better be true. Otherwise, you risk disappointing your fans (and woe to you if they are actually at an age of understanding).

Consumers have expectations to be met when trying a product. One of the best ways to meet them is by being honest with your audience through the product’s packaging and branding. Companies who care more about the bottom line than the consumer may choose to copy whatever worked for other brands, even if it means presenting a guise not their own. Be aware: Fronts can't be kept up forever, the truth will come out and fans will be disgruntled — a blow from which your brand may never recover.

So instead of mimicking the shape and styles that work for leading brands, understand why a brand is successful: Learning by Example (p.8) and Big League Packaging (p.18) teach you how to analyze why a format and design worked for other brands and how you can apply those principles for your own. But before you even think about designing a product's package, read Ace The Naming Game (p.21a) in the digital edition. Don't get the digital edition? You can; it's free. Go sign up: And, by the way, listening to a different song supposedly clears an annoying one from your brain. You’re welcome.  

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to BRAND PACKAGING Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Laura Zielinski

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

10th Annual Packaging That Sells Conference, Chicago, October 2012

Posted Date: October 29, 2013

BRANDPACKAGING’s packaging conference returned for a tenth year with a focus on a single message: Make It Matter.

2/24/15 2:00 pm EST

Packaging Matters™ — Packaging Satisfaction: Why it’s on the Rise, and How to Continue the Momentum

Packaging Matters™ is MWV’s annual study of the role of packaging in product satisfaction. We study packaging because it matters to brand owners, retailers and consumers around the world. This year’s research focuses on Brazil, China, France, Germany and the U.S. In the third year of the study, we will share global trends associated with packaging satisfaction, product safety, and the effect packaging has on consumers when shopping in-store and online.

Brand Packaging Magazine

april brandpackaging

2015 April

The April 2015 issue focuses on Sustainability plus much more. You can also read the issue at the Digital Editions.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


BRANDPACKAGING Design Gallery Volume 12

Design Gallery is a design annual with a global perspective on the best consumer packaging turned out in 2014.

More Products


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.pnggoogle plus  

Consumer Insight

Interesting tidbits on specific demographics and consumer packaged goods in expanded infographic form as well as articles on new industry research and trends.

consumer insight