I am passionate about creating new-to-the-world brands. The chance to create a new brand is like winning the lottery in the branding and packaging worlds. Teams love to imagine what-ifs and explore creative scenarios to address consumer and customer challenges.
I have two recent favorites you can read more about, MiO and iD Gum. With MiO, packaging structure and graphics are linked together hand-in-hand and with some brands, the combination of structure and design may sometimes offer the only points of differentiation a brand can attain. If we think of a brand’s packaging as the living, breathing way in which a product is brought to life, then continually evolving your package makes ROI sense. With iD Gum, we are leveraging the passion and personality of the target audience and will continue to source new artwork over time from teens.
Another brand Landor brought to life is Diageo’s GRIND. Occasionally I hear from designers that they feel constrained when faced with a tiny space for design. They desire the package to have a larger facing, or to have a unique shape, or some other structural differentiator. I challenge all designers to create something stunning and impactful in a small space. Materials have come a long way, and pressure sensitive labels offer designers a wide variety of options today. While I didn’t work on the GRIND project personally, it demonstrates that great branding can be brought to life through packaging, even when all you have to play with is a small square space.
Here’s the story: The market for coffee- and espresso-flavored spirits and liqueurs had exhibited growth following the introduction of brands such as Patrón XO Cafe (tequila), Van Gogh Espresso Vodka and Pinnacle Le Double Espresso vodka. Diageo and Landor wanted to introduce a contemporary, rum-and-espresso-based shot that would appeal to a target audience of 21–29-year-old consumers. Landor was asked to create a focused positioning, brand narrative, brand identity and packaging for the new product named “GRIND.”
Creating or evolving a package requires brands to be very clear about their ownable equities (and those they wish to own) so they can remain consistent at the core and evolve to drive consumer relevance at the same time. Diageo did not think that GRIND should be blended with other ingredients to make frozen cocktails, and felt that it should never be sipped, especially not in a quiet manner, and especially not through two dainty straws. GRIND was intended to be a shot (pun intended) of personality in an otherwise staid category. Landor created an edgy brand icon for GRIND: a lemur. Meaning “spirits of the night” in Latin, lemurs are nocturnal animals with large, wide eyes. GRIND is a rum-and-espresso-based shot so the lemur is the perfect brand icon for this product.
The lemur brand icon is featured prominently on the dramatically designed packaging that utilizes the impactful and energetic colors of black and yellow to express a distinctive attitude that stands out from the rest of the spirits brands on the back shelves of bars. Simple design elements, like the rough edge on the pressure-sensitive label, reinforced the edgy positioning. Research confirmed that our target group of 21–29-year-old consumers were ready for an edgier brand. The target has quickly adopted the lemur as the brand icon of GRIND.
Don’t let small spaces cause big problems. Unleash your creativity.
To hear more from Dale Doyle visit the Designer Showcase
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Dale joined Landor in 1984 and is the Creative Director responsible for establishing the overall creative vision and strategic excellence on global brands. He has developed brand architecture systems for P&G brands and is currently working on multiple Kraft businesses and other client work at Landor.