Your Biggest Missed Opportunity is Staring Your Shoppers Right in the Face

May 1, 2017

I recently visited our offices in California and while I was there, I spent some time inside Vons and Albertsons. As I walked through the center aisles, it occurred to me that with the emphasis in the industry on fresh departments such as produce, meat and dairy—it seems as though the center aisles can be pushed to the bottom of a retailer’s priority list. I’d argue if that’s the case for you, then you could be missing some of the biggest opportunities for capturing shoppers’ attention—and wallets.

I think retailers like Safeway have created successful and visually compelling exclusive brands. Think about ‘O’ brand, ‘Eating Right’, ‘MomtoMom’ or ‘Snack Artist’. While there is no singular rule on a package design strategy, the important factor Safeway gets right is that they are getting noticed and are creating shelf presence for themselves.

It got me to thinking of the common key elements of brands that get it right. For me, the top four are:

  1. Marketing: You cannot just create a brand and hope it will sell. You must consistently promote your brand with shoppers to have a chance at competing.
  2. Authenticity: People need to trust and believe in your brands to know that they stand for quality and value.
  3. Visual Uniqueness and In-Store Presence: These two go hand-in-hand and are immediately clear to customers. When customers walk into a retailer, they’ll know if they believe in and have support behind their brands.
  4. Consistency: If your messaging isn’t consistent at all touch points, you run the risk of sending mixed messages.

These are the hallmark traits of brands who get it right. But what about those who are missing the mark? There are still some antiquated programs that scream generic/low cost. Our research shows that nearly half of store brands tested don’t have packaging graphics that stand out on the shelf. But with 80 percent of shoppers looking at design to influence their purchase decisions, I wonder why retailers wouldn’t create and carve out their own brand?

If you are focused on value only, and that’s what your packaging conveys—you are missing an opportunity with your shoppers. With little other promotion, package design is the most direct way to influence shoppers to purchase your branded items—so make it count and you’ll draw customers back into the center aisle.

Thoughts on this topic? Shoot me a note at – I would love to hear from you.