Think of the most successful companies in the world, what do so many of them have in common? Great branding.
Branded packaging can say a lot about your company; from the words on the product, to the colour scheme and font, all the way down to the materials used to make it. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the message you’re sending out is the right one.
Over the last few decades, companies have had to show more environmental and cultural responsibility when it comes to their branding and packaging, and with the internet providing a swift and brutal response when companies get it wrong, it is now more important than ever for companies to stay up to date and aware.
Let’s look at some of the biggest brands in the world – including the ones that didn’t always get it right.
The holy grail in branding is to be instantly recognizable, and one key way to achieve this is through a statement colour. A prime example of this is Tiffany – where the Pantone shade itself instantly becomes associated with the label. This is particularly true with Tiffany’s, to the point at which the robin egg blue shade is now more commonly known as Tiffany Blue. The trademark for this shade is also exclusively owned by Tiffany’s and is not publicly available, therefore protecting the brand’s identity and image.
To achieve this level of recognition is no easy feat and many brands such as the mobile network Orange and EasyJet have tried and failed to trademark a colour.
Some companies use their packaging as a vehicle into the mainstream world through fashion, and turning the package into an accessory instead of just another bag in the drawer, or box at the bottom of the wardrobe. The most striking example of this is Bloomingdale’s shopping bags, which first appeared in 1973. The bags have since become such a popular commodity that the store now stocks long lasting PVC replicas in an ever-expanding range that now includes the ‘little pink bag’, ‘little brown cosmetic’, and ‘little brown case’.
Sometimes, however, companies miss the mark with the branding, leading to the alienation of consumers and, especially in recent years, becoming the target of online ridicule or resentment. In 2017, Dove promoted it’s ‘Real Beauty’ message by creating a series of contoured bottles said to represent the fact ‘just like women…our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too’.
However, this was met with backlash for missing the point of the very message it was trying to send. Many found the bottles to be patronizing, whilst others found them insulting or just plain ridiculous, and the vast majority of the online community responded with a resounding ‘why?’. Whilst these bottles were never made available to purchase, the damage was already done. From a brand with an image built on body positivity and awareness, many took the figures to be more mocking than moving, and Dove was accused of betraying their own previous messages of ‘it doesn’t matter what you look like’.
Other brands that have become subject to online scrutiny litter the internet’s ‘biggest fails’ lists, many of which are focused around a brandslack of cultural sensitivity, awareness, or just sending the wrong message. Examples of this include Sony’s white PSP ad, Budweiser’s ‘removing no from your vocabulary’ slogan, and Dr Pepper’s 2011 ‘Not For Women’ campaign. From Bic and Pritt’s stationary ‘for her’ to Kleenex’s ‘Mansize’ tissues, the importance of cultural awareness in branding is becoming increasingly important. A great example of brands taking note of this can be seen with Yorkie.
The Yorkie bar was introduced in 1976 as a chocolate bar for men, this was shown with a series of lorries on its design, and advertising featuring lorry drivers. In 2001, Yorkie went a
step further and introduced the now-famous slogan ‘It’s not for girls’, followed by a special edition bar wrapped in pink, ‘for girls’, in 2006. 5 years later, the slogan was eventually dropped. This could be said to have been due to the mounting focus on women’s rights, however whilst Yorkie have dropped the slogan, it is still a brand which is aimed at men, with more recent adverts including the line ‘man fuel for man stuff’.
Whilst many brands may be accused of ‘ugly’ packaging, much of this is subjective. However, there is one industry that is forced to make its packaging off-putting to deter consumers from buying. This industry is tobacco.
In the past, cigarettes have received their fair share of promotion; from cigarette cards, to celebrity and physician endorsements, and the Marlborough Man, tobacco spent 400 years in the hands and mouths of the public. However, in 1962, the Royal College of Physicians had enough evidence to prove a link between smoking and lung cancer, and pushed for a ban. The first came in 1965 with the ban of television advertising, and smoking adverts were finally banned completely in 2005.
In 1991 the EU introduced health warnings on packets, and in 2003 added that cigarettes could no longer be branded with the terms ‘mild’ or ‘light’, also adding an increase in the size of warnings. However, it wasn’t until 2008 when the packaging became truly ‘ugly’. To add to the written warnings, graphic images of the effects of smoking were printed onto packets. These included pictures of black lungs, rotting teeth, and suffering children as visual representations of the effects of smoking.
In 2012, cigarette packaging was hidden behind closed doors with a requirement that they be concealed from the public to discourage purchases, and in 2016 the UK followed Australia’s lead and prohibited company branding on packaging and introducing standardized packaging.
This therefore leaves cigarette packaging with no branding characteristics, visceral images, and large warning text, a true example of ugly packaging.
Inspiration for this post by UK Packaging. If you’re not already a member of SMEI join us here today and get the tools and information you need to advance your marketing career today.
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Learn how to organize your marketing team around
a simple, effective and repeatable process that is
sure to produce more leads, higher sales and a stronger brand.
In the upcoming SMEI webinar on April 24, 2018 “Marketing Made Simple: The SAM 6® Process,” Lonny Kocina will take you through a step-by-step process which is the subject of his best-selling and award-winning book, The CEO’s Guide to Marketing; The book every marketer should read before their boss does.
After 30 years of running his company, Media Relations Agency, Kocina says, “Most companies have a marketing problem and it’s a big one. A real money-sucking doozy. The problem starts with most marketing teams knowing a lot less about marketing than they let on. So much so, that most CEOs would be shocked. And because marketers lack a clear understanding of the basics, they aren’t able to create a simple, effective, repeatable process.”
That means your organization could be losing money and missing out on growth.
“SAM 6, short for Strategically Aimed Marketing, is about developing a common language around a shared process that will help solve marketing problems quicker and produce superior results,” says Kocina. “The SAM 6 process gives marketers peace of mind because everything runs smoother. That’s what having a good understanding of marketing and a good process will do for you. Everything becomes much less ambiguous. You will feel confident and in control. With the SAM 6 process, every single marketing promotion you do will be on point.”
Learn more by joining the SMEI Webinar on April 24, 2018.
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SMEI announced today that a new business book club has been launched for SMEI Executive level members. Members are invited to read the monthly business book club selection and join in an online live webcam event to discuss the book.
One of the key attributes of successful leaders is their habit of reading business books. This forum is designed to bring the reading to life within the network of Executive members. Each member will have the opportunity to rate the monthly book selection on the following qualities on a scale of 1 – 5 stars and justify their ratings:
The first monthly book club will take place live online on March 26, 2018. The monthly featured book will be Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive by Dorie Clark.
“We’re really excited about this new member benefit for our Executive level members,” said Willis Turner, CEO of SMEI. “Our first live event will be moderated by Ben Mastboom, CSE. Ben has a great skill in leading forums and we are pleased that he is able to join us for this program.”
For more information on registering for this event as an Executive Member, please visit the SMEI website.
If you are not yet a member and would like to join for this benefit and more, please visit SMEI’s membership options here.
I’d like to take this opportunity to reach out to our board of directors, volunteers and members around the world to wish each of you a very happy season as we approach the end of 2017.
I truly value your participation in the world’s leading professional association for sales and marketing. We have a very bold mission to set high standards for sales and marketing around the globe and we couldn’t begin to fulfill this without many hands engaged and hard at work.
However you choose to engage with SMEI, your effort is greatly appreciated.
Please join me and let’s close out 2017 with a cheer, reaffirm and relentlessly pursue our mission together in 2018. We’d love your participation. Please answer a short survey and find out what opportunities await you!
Willis Turner, CAE, CME, CSE
President & CEO
Sales & Marketing Executives International, Inc. (SMEI)
We inspire sales and marketing professionals to attain their highest level of competence by setting a global standard of professional credibility enhanced by relevant knowledge sharing and mutually rewarding peer connections.
To be a globally recognized association of sales and marketing professionals whose mandate it is to certify professionals and support them continuously throughout their professional development with educational resources and network access.
The Sales & Marketing Executives International Club in Hong Kong has successfully created the 49th annual Distinguished Sales Award program which will culminate in a gala awards banquet at the Hong Kong Convention Center on Friday, June 16, 2017.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Sales & Marketing Executives International and all of our members around the world, we extend sincere congratulations to the Sales and Marketing Executives International Club of Hong Kong on a successful 49th Distinguished Salesperson Award Presentation Ceremony.
A special congratulation goes to each of the recipients of the Distinguished Salesperson Award and Outstanding Young Salesperson Award. Through their professionalism, determination and commitment to excellence, each of the awardees has demonstrated the qualities of a winner. Winning in today’s competitive marketplace requires global sophistication. This ceremony honours the achievement of outstanding sales professionals who recognize that their value to the marketplace is enhanced by striving to consistently perform at the high standards that are recognized and applauded around the world.
Each of the awardees of this programme has learned “To be Different – To be Outstanding” by being guided by their professional training and inner conscience in sales and marketing in order to thrive as a professional. Each awardee has proven their mettle in sales and marketing basic fundamentals include relationship building, customer centric service, high ethical standards and by having a passion for professionalism.
Sales and Marketing Executives International is a professional association of thousands of members worldwide who make a positive impact on our global economy by adhering to ethical marketing standards, sharing knowledge and through their commitment to continuing education.
We encourage each of the award recipients to continue their focus on fundamentals, balancing their business decision making with sound economic and ethical business practices and with a pledge to make lifelong learning a key to sustained personal growth and professionalism.
Thank you to the Hong Kong Management Association and the Sales & Marketing Executives International Club of Hong Kong for contributing to SMEI’s goal for a better standard of living for all through better selling.