Jenny McMillan – Design has to sell or otherwise. Packaging Design

Over the years, at Brother Design, we’ve received more than our fair share of awards. But winning them doesn’t mean anything unless the design achieves what it was supposed to do: success in the marketplace.

It is a binding philosophy and approach that we all share at Brother and that we have consistently implemented for a wide range of customers. That is almost certainly why some of these customers have been with us year after year and some for more than a decade.

It is very easy to admire and emulate a design style. Or let yourself be guided by noble goals of originality and design purity. Discipline is required to ensure that the commercial requirements of a design project are met.

Revenue from design
At Brother we achieve this through a structured process in which the interaction between customer and design is at the heart of everything we do. This includes creating a detailed picture of the environment in which the design does its job, as well as assessing critical customer insights.

Does this lead to a formulaic, “safe” design? But on the contrary. As it turns out, bold and inventive design almost always surpasses the predictable. The key is to understand which creative direction will work.

A systematic approach does not hinder the creativity of the designer, but encourages it. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so let’s throw the web wide. Ultimately, however, a deep understanding of the interaction between design and customer at the point of purchase is crucial.

Beyond the usual
A rigorous design process doesn’t just lead to a more effective and creative design. It also helps to accept great work. Explaining how and why a design is right calms stakeholders and ultimately allows more freedom.

Sometimes the results are quite unexpected, even challenging. However, the support of in-depth knowledge means that what can be considered “risky” is the only sensible choice. It can also ensure that difficult-to-execute designs kick off the return that is well worth the investment.

One example is the work we did for Farrah’s Wraps. Combining exquisite food styling and photography with a see-through window required real teamwork, including the packaging printers. Driven by insights into the drivers of trust and the consumer’s search for inspiration, the packaging not only impressed the judges. Farrah’s sales rose instantly, with the highest loyalty and repeat purchases in the category.

Success becomes a habit
Our design approach was developed through experience in an iterative process. Every project is an opportunity to learn and improve the way we do things. Success, as they say, brings success. Because of this, we continue to introduce successful designs to long-term customers such as Foodstuffs’ Pams, Dairyworks and Trade Aid.

By Jenny McMillan, Bruder Design
Article originally published in the July 2020 issue of Supermarket News.

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