New Packaging Design to Spice Up Sales of Kayem Hot Dogs

One key way that you can gain customers and brand/product recognition is by changing up the design of your packaging.  Yes, if you have a “classic” design, you do not want to change it up too much and risk confusing or losing customers, but you also do not want your product to look outdated.  An old design can blend in with the competition, and you want your product to “pop” and stick out on the shelf.

Kayem needed a new design for the packaging of their hot dogs. “Classic is one thing, but ‘stale’ isn’t a term a marketer wants people to associate with his edibles.”

To change the packaging effectively, Kayem had to do a lot of market research to figure out what was wrong with the old packaging and what could make it better.  First, Kayem removed the banner, “DELI”, because customers did not know what that meant.  They decided to stick with “Old Tyme” to convey emotion and describe their hot dogs as being tasty and classic.  They also decided to add “gluten-free”, “made in the USA”, and “no fillers, no artificial flavors, no byproducts” to the packaging.  These statements have always been true of Kayem hot dogs, but they decided to focus on the health and quality of the food, otherwise consumers would not know.  Kayem also decided to stick with the blue packaging to differentiate themselves from the competition and added a pictured of a cooked hot dog to grab the consumer’s attention.

Kayem’s new packaging design proved to be effective.  After 12 weeks (ending July 11, 2009), Kayem’s volume rose 7.3 percent and sales were up 15.7 percent, according to ACNielsen’s Grilling Index.  The new packaging is proven effective, because it catches attention and people are recognizing the brand.

Green Marketing in a Struggling Economy

So you want to help the environment by being more eco-friendly and increasing your green efforts, but think that it is too expensive? Many people wonder if they should cut back on green marketing and their green efforts in a struggling economy, but in fact you should do quite the opposite. I read in the September issue of Deliver, a marketing magazine, that it is actually a “hook to getting through them”. They say that green marketing improves your efficiencies, increases customer loyalty, and differentiates your brand.

Wal-Mart-Eco-Friendly-EffortsTake for instance, Wal-Mart’s green efforts. Wal-Mart’s “Earth Month” green marketing efforts included print ads for 10 different green products under $10 and “rollbacks” on environmentally-friendly products. Customers are looking for ways to save money in a tough economy, and Wal-Mart is helping them do that, while still having a positive environmental effect.

Eco-Friendly-Efforts-SunChips-Solar-EnergyGreen marketing also increases customer loyalty. Frito-Lay’s SunChips brand gained customers by showing them that green is both good for them and the environment. They started this marketing plan after seeing market research from 2006 that showed that people who care about their personal health also care about the planet. SunChips have 18 grams of whole grain and zero trans fat. Since these chips are healthier than regular potato chips, their campaigns played off this, their nature-related name, and their sustainability investments, which includesEco-Friendly-Efforts-SunChips-Compostable-Bag producing a compostable bag. They promoted their compostable bags with an online video showing them decompose, as well as print ads that included a tear-off sample for consumers to test it out themselves in their compost piles. Green marketing helped SunChips become one of the fastest-growing snack brands at Frito-Lay.

Eco-friendly-Efforts-Innovation-Thinking-Ideas-EnvironmentGreen marketing, done correctly, also differentiates your brand from the competition. IBM took a different route by connecting with the community in their green efforts. Their Smarter Planet initiative used direct mail to encourage individuals, businesses, and institutions to change the way they work. They also started a series of jams, or brainstorming sessions, that bring people from around the world together to solve an issue. Their “Congestion Challenge” collects innovative ideas to fight transportation congestion, and the winner receives $50,000, as well as the development and implementation support for the idea.

Descriptive Packaging: Customers Know What They Are Getting

When customers are running through a store, they don’t have time to search through the shelves to find what they want. They want packaging to be distinctive and descriptive. Successful packaging will not only be eye-appealing and attract the customer’s attention, but it will also convey the message you are trying to send and show them what they are getting.

Here are some great descriptive packaging examples that we found:

Custom-Distinctive-Packaging-Cleaning-Products

Custom-Distinctive-Packaging-Juice-Bottles

Custom-Distinctive-Packaging-Juice

Custom-Distinctive-Packaging-Bananas

You only have a few seconds to catch the customer’s attention. What are you going to do with your packaging to stand out on the shelf above your competition?

Distinctive Health and Medicine Packaging

One of the main reasons for custom packaging is for the product to stand out on the shelf in comparison to the competitor.  This helps the brand identity and increases the perceived value of the product.

Another great reason for custom packaging is to make your products distinctive, so the customer can easily tell the difference between products.  Help remedies offers six different products of medicines/bandages that they can package in very similar, yet distinctive cases.  Instead of using complicated names of medicine that customers may not understand, Help Remedies keeps it simple by naming each product by how you feel.  Their product line includes: “Help.  I have a headache.”, “Help. I have an aching body.”,”Help. I can’t sleep.”  Each product also has their own assigned color that is used in the packaging, so that customers can get used to grabbing a certain color off of the shelf.

Viktoriya Gadomska designed these custom boxes of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and F.  With the boxes in the shape of the letter of their respective vitamin supplement, it makes it easy for customers to grab what they want off of the shelf in a hurry.

Steps to Improve Your Packaging

Looking for a step-by-step guide to help you improve your packaging?  The following will help you to find the weaknesses in your packaging and improve them for more effective packaging and higher product sales.

1. Look at your current packaging.  Don’t try to convince yourself of how it works.  Ask yourself honestly how it can by improved.  Does it accurately reflect the product? Is it best working to your product’s advantage? Does it make sense?  Make sure the changes you make are beneficial to the product and keep your brand consistent.

2. Ask for an outsider’s opinion. Hand your product packaging over to someone who knows nothing about your product or packaging.

3. Look at the competition.  If your product is sold in retail stores, go to the actual store and look at similar products.

Improving your packaging can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.  It can also boost sales.  Using these tips to brainstorm about your packaging can lead to positive results for your product, brand and company.

Know Thy Customer: On a Budget

Know Thy Customer on a Budget Comic

In the previous post, “Know Thy Customer,” I blogged about ways to do market research to get to know your customers better. Doing this helps marketers to give customers what they want, increase sales, and reach customer-driven goals. Many of the tips I provided are not within reach of businesses that work with smaller marketing budgets, so here is a post aimed at providing ways to “know thy customer” on a budget.Know Thy Customer on a Budget Comic

Talk to your best customers. This does not mean putting hours of planning into designing survey questions and sitting down with customers for half hour in-depth interviews (although if you want to put the time and money into that, it can’t hurt and would provide great insights into your customers). This is simply an informal chat about your customers needs and wants, with regard to your company. Ask them what you can do better to leave them more satisfied. Keep it simple. Keep it short.
Ask customers what they do and where they go in their spare time. This may seem like small talk to you, and to them – which can be good for building rapport with your customers – but you are actually finding out a lot about these customers based on their interests. What do your customers’ hobbies tell you about them? If your customer is interested in snowboarding, it could mean that they are interested in adventure and taking risks. If they visit social networking sites a lot, they could be interested in technology and meeting new people. Look at these interests and their implications and see if they can be applied to your business, marketing, and/or products and services.

Know Thy Customer on a Budget SurveyConduct surveys. This can be done in a number of ways. Leave surveys on the bottom of sales receipts for customers to send back to you. E-mail all of your customers asking them for their feedback. Place polls or short surveys in your e-newsletters. Create a feedback form to link to the pages on your Website. Think about key modes of communication between you and your customer and utilize these modes as possible survey locations.

Check out competitor Websites. Their customers are likely very similar to your customers. What do your competitors do that tailors to these customers? Do they have a blog or open forum? What do the comments indicate about customer interests? What kind of speech do your competitors use to connect with customers? What are they doing that you are not?
Analyze the data you already have. What is your best selling product? What is your worst selling product? Are some products starting to sell better? Are some products being ordered less frequently? Which ones? This is all data that you have in-house from your order records. You can probably discover much more than this simply by looking at the data you already have! If you have certain products or services that sell better than others, you can look into creating related, complimentary products or services or you could examine the way you market that product and why those tactics are effective.

If you don’t have the money or the time to spend on consumer research, any of these options can provide significant insight into customers that can be applied to your business principles. Don’t let your budget deter you from this important business angle. Getting to know your customers will pay off big in the end. It will build loyalty to your business and can grow your profits. With these simple, cost-effective marketing tips, you have the tools to effectively Know Thy Customer.
Know Thy Customer on a Budget Survey

    Know Thy Customer

    Customers want a relationship with marketers where they are “nurtured, cared about and recognized,” stated an April 2008 article in Advertising Age Magazine.

    “Customers want you to know them.”

    Know Thy Customer Networking and Handshake
    Moral of the story? Know thy customer and give them what they want! This is easier said than done, but once accomplished, customer satisfaction will increase and profits will rise.
    So, how do you go about getting to know your customer?

    Observation and Data Mining. Use what you have already. What trends do you see among consumers? What products are attracting the most attention? Talk to your sales staff and find out what they have been experiencing with their customers.

    Ethnography. Take observation further and step into the lives of your customers by observing, interviewing and videotaping customers who agree to participate in your research while they are living their everyday lives. This takes place in their homes, where they work, where they play, or anywhere they would interact on a daily basis. Ethnography can lead to interesting insights into the needs and emotions of your customers.

    Individual Interviews. In-depth interviews, when performed correctly, can lead to valuable insights into the underlying attitudes, beliefs and cultural influences that motivate consumer behavior. Focus Groups. By working with a balanced, yet random, group of your customers or target customers, you can build on ideas and expand your knowledge of your customers. Reactions of people in groups versus the reactions of the individual people in that group can vary widely. Focus groups provide the opportunity to view group interaction similar to what would happen in an office or meeting setting.

    Projective Techniques. Word association, sentence completion, story completion, cartoon tests, thematic apperception tests, role playing, and third person technique attempt to hide the purpose of the research. In doing so, it encourages the respondent to project their underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes, or feelings onto an ambiguous situation.

    These and other methods of customer research (such as simple surveys and polls or customer visits) are relatively obvious and traditional, but they are also tested and true methods leading to important insight into customer needs, desires, and motivations. Implementing this knowledge can help you to successfully position your company, products, and services to more effectively serve your customers, gain new customers, and increase production, sales, demand, and profits.


    Packaging Matters

    You can package your product in a simple white paper sleeve or paperboard mailer and we can help you with that. There are lots of projects that this type of packaging is perfect for.

    However when you are talking about products for the retail market, either on-line or at a bricks and mortar store, movie and music enthusiasts choose the physical product over a download for one reason… The Packaging.

    The following is a short list of movie and music reviewers and their thoughts on the packaging and the value it adds:

    Rev/Views DVD & Television blog

    Review of the first season of the TV series “Chuck“:
    “Now I am a bit of a packaging enthusiast, mostly because I feel I’ve invested money in purchasing DVDs and as such I want them to look nice on the shelf and work well.”

    Creative Packaging Glastonbury DVDCreative Review blog

    Review of “Glastonbury The Movie”:
    “At a time when you can get online and simply download music and films, really it’s down to the packaging of albums and DVDs to make the tangible music or film product a viable option to the consumer.”

    Pulse Wrestling blog

    Review of the WWE “Randy Savage Ultimate Collection”:
    “As someone who collects a lot of disc based stuff (hardcore video game collector here), I like it when the stuff occupying my shelf looks good.”

    Creative Packaging Wilco CD AlbumMamaPop blog

    Review of “Wilco (the album)”:
    “certain bands, you need to buy the physical recording, because there’s packaging that speaks to what the album is and isn’t.”

    NSRMTB blog

    Review of “Tipping Point”:
    “To all those out there that would rather download a DH DVD than buy one you are going to miss out on some cool packaging and shame on you.”

    Creative Packaging the Demon Hunter CD CaseBring on Mixed Reviews blog

    Review of “The Dear Hunter”:
    “The album’s packaging is also something to behold. The time and effort put into the old timey photos that double as track lyrics/notes, is simply amazing. If you have The Prize Fighter Inferno‘s album “My Brother’s Blood Machine” then you know what I am referring to, it returns my faith in the CD medium, where so many have abandoned it for hollow digital downloads.”

    These are just some of many comments that prove that the packaging adds value to an album or movie.  You could decrease piracy and downloads by investing in custom packaging that is creative and eye-catching.  By doing this, you are making the physical product of your album or movie a must-have for every fan.

    Redesigning Packaging for a Charitable Cause

    Last month, we talked about companies using social media networks for cause marketing.  Now we are focusing on a company that actually redesigned their packaging for a cause.

    Recently, Tide changed their packaging to go along with their Loads of Hope campaign.  That is a pretty big deal for a brand that has not Tide Loads of Hope Custom Packaging for Cause Marketingsignificantly changed their packaging in their sixty years of history.  The Loads of Hope campaign raises funds for disaster relief support.  The new design features photos of disaster victims that Tide has provided aid for, such as Hurricane Katrina victims.  The newly designed bottle also says, “You can help” on the yellow cap to help draw attention to the charity and the company’s social responsibility efforts.

    This change in Tide’s packaging design shows that they take social responsibility seriously.  It is a program that they are continuing to support, and it enhances their brand image.  Consumers are more likely to buy products from a socially responsible company, rather than the competition if the products are similar.  So not only are they giving back to the community by helping disaster victims, but they are also boosting their brand image, which could increase sales and the traffic flow to their web site.  The design and custom packaging that they are using helps inform and remind consumers what they are doing to help others.  And most importantly, they are doing their part to give back to the community and those in need.