Think cardboard boxes are boring? Think again…
Consumers racing through the supermarket these days are bombarded with more brands than they can shake a stick at. Distracted and in a dash, they’re forced to rely on mental shortcuts to guide their decision-making. In this crazy cacophony of messaging, first-rate shelf ready packaging (SRP) can help deliver the visual cues and on-shelf standout brands need to cut through. So, in praise of this often-underappreciated aspect of packaging design, we explore six ways in which SRP can help optimise shelf-presence and drive sales.
Create a ‘brand block’ – Stroll down the world foods aisle in the supermarket and you’re sure to be struck by a sensational sea of yellow. Such is the impact of Old El Paso’s SRP, which adopts the brand’s ownable yellow colour across all of its variants. This is a lesson in brand blocking, which provides an unmissable signpost for consumers seeking out their favourite brands.
Aid range navigation – Brand blocking is great for grabbing attention, but if done well it can also help consumers find their favourites. When we created the SRP for POLO, we combined a design system that drove masterbrand equities with a spectrum of bold colours to aid navigation. The result? A family of clearly differentiated variants that still work together as a brand.
Enhance brand equities – SRP can act as an extension of your pack canvas, so why not harness every inch to hone in on your most recognisable equities? Peperami is a brand that does this brilliantly - giving pride of place to its brandmark and creating a larger area of brand colour to catch the eye.
Frame pack design – Perforations are often used to cut into the lip of SRP. This produces a front panel that frames pack design and showcases the products contained within. Watch out though – as packs are removed this effect quickly diminishes, so it can be a good idea to include something interesting on the inside of your SRP too.
Deliver impact from afar – A few years back, Fairy made the bold move of maximising the front panel of its SRP. Whilst this covered up a large part of the product, it enabled Fairy’s brandmark and best-in-class claims to be amplified, delivering brand presence at an unmissable scale. For category leaders like Fairy, this is a stellar strategy for triggering consumer recognition and establishing yourself as the signpost to your category.
- Create a visually disruptive shape - Colour and size aren’t the only way to grab attention when it comes to SRP. Perforations can also be used to create a distinctive shape that disrupts on-shelf. Tetley’s SRP is a prime example in this respect. Not only does its wavy outline stand out from the crowd, but it flows across and unifies each SRP with its neighbours, creating an overall sense of cohesion across variants.
So there it is, 6 reasons to stop treating SRP as a footnote to your brand design and start boxing clever to deliver the standout your brand deserves. From factory to supermarket, shelf to shopping basket - SRP is a decisive aspect of packaging design we need to start taking seriously if we want to ‘win’ in the last 3 seconds of consumer decision-making.