Discover how to look for design opportunities before you design. Learn to uncover information about the brand, product, and packaging for the market. In this video, review what questions to ask when researching a company wanting to launch a product that requires packaging for its food products. Explore how to analyze packaging through the competition's packaging and gain consumer insights about packaging for a food category.
- [Tutor] Conducting a visual audit, a systematic and independent examination, can reveal key insights about the competition. The process can help you to discover who to design for and how to make your package stand out on shelf. Look at the shelves in a variety of stores and/or specialty retail areas. Can you tell what each brand is selling and what it is saying through its packaging? Why does one stand out and others do not? Here are some specific items to observe during your audit.
Look for shapes and size of the packaging, as well as color, words, and photos, branding and identity. Are the logos familiar? Are they using the same metaphor or image to convey what they are selling? Does all the packaging in the category share the same color palette? After completing your visual audits, put together an audit board of the shelves in primary and specialty retail environments.
In the primary retail environments, you might notice that the name brands compete with the space placement and share common cues. While in the more specialty retail selling environments, the areas might have a different way of messaging the more specialized product which produces another challenge altogether. The audit boards that you create should have the following information. The board should show where the products are located such as front of store, aisle, in cap, or self-standing display, and if you they are situated in two places such as an aisle, and a featured display.
Also, what are they located next to? It will be good to know what is next to each side of the category so that from far away and up close, you know the category you're in, and how to break the viewers eye when the products next to it have same, or similar attributes if they're not drinking chocolates, but bars, nibs, or other. The next part of the audit is then looking at where the drinking chocolates are placed on the shelves. Bottom, mid, or top-shelf so that you can develop the right strategy for the product or line of products that will help in blocking out its areas for differentiation.
Look to see if there are any copycats. Usually these may be generics or private label brands that disguise themselves in the same shapes, and colors, but are offered at a much cheaper price. Once you have all of this information, do a breakdown of the competitor packaging. Analyze every part of the package to define all the elements that are being used on the front, back, side, bottom, and tops of package, and even the inside of the package when needed as this could reveal other opportunities that the client and you may not have seen, or thought of initially.
The next step is to interview your target audience and to understand their habits, and rituals, with the kind of product that you are working with. For this drinking chocolate, it will be a good idea to find out when the targeted consumer might be in the mood for the drink, and what creates the desire for them to have drinking chocolate. It will also be good to know what kind of cup do they use, where do they drink it, and when will they drink it if they were preparing it at home. I would also want to find out what causes them to buy one versus the other.
Is it the image, the package, the words? During this process, you may want to find out where they might consider purchasing it. You can conduct as an extensive an audit as your budget and time allows, however at minimum, you should cover these basics so that you can be informed and make smart design decisions. Applying the insights gained during your research into package design can help your clients' products have a successful introduction to market.
- Analyzing the brand, product, and customer
- Defining the package needs
- Design development
- Finalizing the design