Monday, September 25, 2006

How Can Brands Remain Really Good?

An article on STEP’s website discusses the issue of a brand’s “goodness”. It is a fitting addition to our recent discussions on sustainability. There are brands on the market, both start-up and established, which are fully embracing the emerging trend for green design and eco-consciousness. Having a corporate conscience is definitely “now”. This comes as no suprise, what with the growing consumer desire to choose organic foods, recycle and utilize green energy solutions. We all know the consumer drives the brand. A brand must do more than appear to be good through PR. To be successful with today’s consumer it must show genuine integrity and meaning in everything the brand says, does and delivers.

So how does a brand convey its goodness? Packaging.

Design is the key interface between the brand and the consumer. It’s the medium by which the brand communicates its message of goodness. This may be easier for a start-up company but it is not unattainable for the “big boys” as well. Two examples given in the article are: “Wild Hop” a new Anheuser Busch brew made from organic ingredients grown on a co-opt farm in California and packaged in 100% recycled materials, and “Biota”, bottled water packaged in a 100% sustainable plastic made from corn starch. With both products, visuals and materials combine to portray the true meaning of the product. This is the key to a good brand being successful. The packaging must reflect the brand’s good values in a genuine, gimmick-free way.

Goodness is without doubt here to stay. It will continue to increase, and brands must evolve and offer a goodness that is more than skin deep. Design should be the key focus, as an honest and meaningful way of promoting their good message. I can see it now...a store isle lined with packages adorned in simple type treatments, little to no imagery and natural earth tones. Each one just beaming with their eco-friendly message. Will it be a bore or a sigh of relief?


Blogger Professor Melis said...

I just about fell over when I saw organic Kellogs cereal and organic Heinz ketchup the other day at Dillons! Seems the revolution toward "goodness" is well underway. Those two kept their usual looks, though, which made the addition of the word "organic" more striking to me, but also rather odd and hard to believe.

9:39 PM  

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