Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, April 2018

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Packaging ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 52 APRIL 2018 STAYING TRUE TO YOU Design experts explain why a unique brand identity is so crucial and why thinking small is thinking big. BY JENNIFER PRINCE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR PHOTO COURTESY OF HVMN Transluscent packaging like HVMN's Nootrobox jars allows consumers to see exactly what the product looks like. S avvy CPG marketers know that pack- aging is one of the most powerful me- diums for conveying a brand's mes- sage. In the natural products industry, it's sometimes niche brands who are the biggest packaging disruptors on the shelf. Packaging is an invaluable way for a small brand just starting out to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace—and to attract the core consumers who identify most with the brand. In short, packaging is an ef ective way for smaller brands that may not be able to rely on name recognition to make that criti- cal initial connection with a consumer. Without question, unique, disruptive branding is one of the biggest assets a com- pany, big or small, can have. Representa- tives from branding f rms interviewed for this story tell Nutritional Outlook that no matter the size of the company, the type of packaging likely to f nd success with both a niche audience as well as a mainstream audience is packaging that clearly conveys a brand's values and voice and that ref ects the kind of marketing trending in natural product packaging these days, driven by a generation of Millennials who appreciate boldness, cheekiness, and sustainability. Of course, f rst f guring out what that unique brand message should be can be a challenge. Today's consumers, including those in the mass market, want to feel a per- sonal connection with a brand. Determin- ing how best to appeal to the individual on a personal level, while also appealing to the masses, is a tricky line to walk. Sophie Maxwell, futures director, London and New York, Pearlf sher (London), says it's important to remember that consumers today want "personalization and personal engage- ment, and all brands need to think about how they target the 'mass individual' from the start." But, she says, "while startup and challeng- er brands undoubtedly have a clear purpose to bring about change," established brands, too, can benef t from an evolved mentality when it comes to packaging that appeals on an individual level. "And building desire between a brand and its consumer—whether niche or mainstream—is vital to creating a thriving and long-term relationship," she says. Richard LeBlanc, owner/principal, B12 Group (Dallas), tells Nutritional Outlook that an essential part of forging that f rst con- nection between a consumer and a brand involves designing packaging "from the in- side out, starting from the brand's values, personality, and voice, then building outward to the identity and messaging." If those boxes are checked, he says, "the packaging will ref ect what's most important—the brand attributes with which the right consumers will f nd af nity." The natural products industry, in which innovation is the name of the game, is especially primed to reap the benefits of bold design choices. Innovation is one of the biggest drivers of this industry, with

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