How to Let Your Packaging Speak for Your Brand

How to Let Your Packaging Speak for Your Brand

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” says a popular adage.

We like to think we can see past a first impression, but that’s not always the case. And in CPG sales, it’s rarely true. Plenty of shopper research shows how fickle consumers can be right at the last moment of putting your producs into their cart – whether it’s in real life or online.

Your packaging has to do some heavy lifting: Your entire brand story needs to be available for split-second decisions. Packaging is the silent salesman for your brand; it’s there to speak for you when you aren’t around.

In almost two years of podcasting, I’ve found my guests open and generous with their insights into the good food industry. Packaging is a topic that has come up time and again. In this episode, I’ve pulled several clips that speak directly to the challenges small food brands face: design, budget, and getting shoppers’ attention.

I’m sharing tips about conducting market research before you begin a design project, new technology that is accessible to small brands, ways to extend your mission of sustainability into your packaging choices, leading your packaging design process with your brand strategy, and how a package redesign project directly impacted the sales success of a small regional brand.

Virginia Foodie Essentials:

  • I went into Whole Foods and spent a good amount of time just looking at various pasta products that they carried—what they looked like and what they were packaged in to start designing my package in retail stores. – Stephanie Fees
  • When you're thinking that you are on the shelf, you have your visual and you also have your tactile. In digital printing, there are laminates or spot gloss textures that can be applied. - Sharon Eucce
  • Making sure that they're using a label that the adhesive can come off [from the bottle] is really the main part of integrating into our [reusable packaging] program. - Zach Lawless
  • I didn't realize that we shouldn’t be using plastic packing tape when I can be using paper tape [for a sustainable package]. - Julie Strange
  • They had this great liquid inside that they put so much love into, and the package just wasn't selling that. It's Watermark's job to get someone to pick it up off the shelf the first time [through adding elements of the company’s origins and product information]. - Darcy Lacy
  • The logo and packaging update is the single best investment we've ever made. I'd say both personally and professionally, it changed our business entirely. - Megan Miller
  • We put together some pretty significant dossiers for clients I call a brand bible. They can go by a lot of different things, not just the logo, colors, and fonts. It was really more about your brand and your positioning. - Steve Redmond
  • Packaging is your silent salesman. Your package design needs to tell your brand story when you aren't there to explain it to the shopper. - Georgiana Dearing
  • Confusing your audience and making it hard for them to use your product is never a good idea no matter the cost savings. - Georgiana Dearing

    Key Points From This Episode:

    • Stephanie Fees of Scratch Pasta shares her experience with market research before beginning a design project and why you need to do it, too.
    • Sharon Eucce of The Packaging Chic shares when to use digital printing and when to choose offset printing for your packaging.
    • Julie Strange of Noshy remains true to her roots of being sustainable in every tiny detail of her packaging.
    • Darcy Lacy of Watermark Design shares the thought process for designing labels and packaging.
    • Steve Redmond of Rival Brands shares his views about strategy-driven design.
    • Investing in good packaging will pay off in multiples over the life of your brand.
    • Some tips on improving your packaging design to improve your sales.

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        Full Transcript:

        Note: We use AI transcription so there may be some inaccuracies

        [00:00:00] Georgiana Dearing: That spirit of generosity is one of the things I love about working with good food brands. There is so much goodwill in the industry. And there's a general spirit of trying to lift all of us up.

        [00:00:16] Georgiana Dearing: Welcome to the Virginia Foodie Podcast, where we lift a lid on the craft food industry and tell the stories behind the good food, good people, and good brands that you know and love. If you've ever come across a yummy food brand and wondered how did they do that? How did they turn that recipe into a successful business?

        [00:00:35] Georgiana Dearing: Then we've got some stories for you.

        [00:00:42] Georgiana Dearing: Hello there, crafty foodies. Welcome back to the podcast, and if this is your first time here, then thanks for tuning in. I'm George Steering and I provide marketing strategy and coaching to the good food industry. And today I'm recording episode 80, which absolutely surprises me. It means I've been podcasting for about two years now.

        [00:01:04] Georgiana Dearing: And I have to tell you, I've had some amazing interviews with brand owners and industry professionals, and all of my guests have been so generous to share their knowledge and insights with you. Dear listeners, that spirit of generosity is one of the things I love about working with good food brands.

        [00:01:24] Georgiana Dearing: There is so much goodwill in the industry and there's a general spirit of trying to lift all of us up. As I was looking back at my catalog of interviews, I noticed some topical threads that I thought I'd pull together for you. So today's episode is all about packaging. Packaging is a marketing touchpoint that is literally about touching.

        [00:01:47] Georgiana Dearing: It's the place where a shopper physically connects with your brand. And to make that physical connection, they have to pick up that product and put it in their cart, either in real life and even online. They have to choose you out of all the other options. Your packaging carries a hefty load. It has to tell the story of your brand in a split second, and if you're concerned about whether your packaging is doing all the work that it should be doing, I've got some help for you.

        [00:02:20] Georgiana Dearing: Listen on for some quick bites of advice about packaging up all that good food in ways that make it survive the trip from the factory to the grocery shelf, and all the way home to the kitchen.

        [00:02:43] Georgiana Dearing: If you want to succeed in retail, hiring a package designer is an investment that can pay off exponentially over the life of a brand. Colors, font, choices and imagery all help reinforce a brand message and a good designer can make a great first impression. The important thing to note about your product package is that of all your communication tools, it has the smallest real estate, but it needs to do the hardest work for your brand.

        [00:03:11] Georgiana Dearing: Packaging is your silent salesman. Your package design needs to tell your brand story when you aren't there to explain it to the shopper. Purchase decisions are made in microseconds at the shelf, and research shows that shoppers will change their minds at the very moment they reach to put products into their cart.

        [00:03:31] Georgiana Dearing: The experience is slightly different online, but this plays out for e-commerce sales too. Think about all the words you say when you're showing your product to an interested shopper. If you came up through the farm market circuit or through pop-up shops, then you were probably standing there charming folks into taking that first taste and then buying your product.

        [00:03:53] Georgiana Dearing: Your product's, packaging needs to do that work for you, and the package design can make or break sales for your brand in the retail environment. Sometimes the things that make a package successful in retail aren't always that obvious when you're thinking about creative ways to express your brand. This first clip is from Stephanie Fees, the owner of Scratch Pasta.

        [00:04:17] Georgiana Dearing: She took her market research straight to the market and gained some valuable insights for her packaging redesign. So you're still primarily selling a lot through farmer's markets and then mm-hmm. You like mini's mall brands. This year everybody's really picked up the online sales, so direct to consumer.

        [00:04:36] Georgiana Dearing: But I have to tell you, I was in a shop, I'm up here in Winchester and I was over in the lock store just a couple weeks ago. I think we had already booked this interview. I was there with a friend and I looked over and I went, oh, there's scratch pasta in this woman. Came from the other side of the aisle, which she walked around and to say to me, oh my goodness, I love that past.

        [00:04:56] Georgiana Dearing: Really? Yeah. So I thought I would pass it along. It was really interesting. So that's a retail shop. Arms My Heart. Yeah. So that was, and I said, oh good. So the packaging stood out and that was nice and it looked good on the retail shelf shelf, but are you in that many retail locations at this time? Or you're gonna expand that portion of the business?

        [00:05:18] Georgiana Dearing: I've been expanding it slowly

        [00:05:21] Stephanie Fees: and putting things in the box was the big change. It sounds silly, but before it was in these kind of, when I was doing farmer's markets mostly it was just in these craft paper bags that looked great and people loved them. It was very kind of artisan look, but you know, it was, it didn't work for retail, just physically.

        [00:05:38] Stephanie Fees: They get crinkled and look sloppy over a certain amount of time, and I actually went into Whole Foods and just spent. A good amount of time just looking at various pasta products that they carry. Mm-hmm. What they look like and what they were packaged in. Because I didn't wanna do a box because it just felt like box pasta, you know?

        [00:06:00] Stephanie Fees: Like what's the, what's interesting about that? Or how can you make it different and stand out if it's on a shelf? Mm-hmm. At Whole Foods or something. And I heard an entre, as a side note, I heard an entrepreneur say one time that to be an entrepreneur you have to be able to make a fool of yourself. And so I.

        [00:06:16] Stephanie Fees: Flag down the stock shelving guy, and I said, what about shelving pasta? He was literally putting pasta on the shelf, like, what is a good product to you as the shelving person? Like, what do you like? What don't you like and what works for you

        [00:06:32] Georgiana Dearing: and what doesn't? Oh, excellent. Market research there. Go ahead.

        [00:06:36] Georgiana Dearing: And he said,

        [00:06:38] Stephanie Fees: He was kind of like a rough guy and he was like, let me tell you, these pastas in these like plastic bags, they're crap because they fall off the shelf. They don't sit flat. All I do all day is come back and I'm just picking stuff off the floor, putting it back on the shelf.

        [00:06:53] Georgiana Dearing: I was like, okay. Uh, note to self, don't


        [00:06:55] Darcey Lacy: it in like a, you know,

        [00:06:57] Stephanie Fees: a plastic cellophane bag or anything.

        [00:07:00] Stephanie Fees: And he was like, and we can't use it on any kind of like end caps because it just falls over. You can't stack it like for a display. So all you can do if you wanna put a display of it is put it in a basket and just pile it up and crap. I was

        [00:07:14] Julie Strange: like, ok, I got

        [00:07:15] Stephanie Fees: it. I gotta like, I gotta put it in a box, I guess, you know?

        [00:07:18] Stephanie Fees: So once I had decided on the box, I just found a box that, uh, I liked it that a coffee company did. Mm-hmm. And kinda did a similar

        [00:07:25] Julie Strange: look as

        [00:07:26] Georgiana Dearing: theirs. That is a great story. I love that. Because you went, like, you went to the source like, okay, I wanna be successful in this environment. How do I do that? And you did the research, right?

        [00:07:36] Georgiana Dearing: And then you asked somebody. What really works. And that is like, no, that's a really great story. I, I love that actually, because one of my things is getting the right message to the right audience, you know? Right. And if you wanna expand in retail, you wanna do things that are gonna make their business improved.

        [00:07:56] Georgiana Dearing: So that is such a cool story. I love that. Right. That was some pretty good advice from the soc clerk. As business owners, it's sometimes easy to forget that leading a company doesn't mean we have the answers to everything. And how great was it that Stephanie thought to ask someone on the front lines about what she should do?

        [00:08:16] Georgiana Dearing: Listening is an important skill, and so is the ability to change your mind. She was so focused on being creative that sheep bypassed. The typical box is a boring option, but just because you're using an expected shape for your food packaging, you don't have to have a boring design. There are so many ways to make that surface express a creative idea.

        [00:08:39] Georgiana Dearing: Packaging experts, Sharon Uchi, the packaging chick, shared with me some great ideas that digital technology has brought to even very small print quantities. So one of the things that interests me is sort of the colors and shapes and technologies that are like, I've seen a lot of things get maybe not less expensive, but more accessible for shorter runs in the last couple years.

        [00:09:06] Georgiana Dearing: And I wondered, is there anything that's like a favorite of yours that would be appealing to the startup brands for what you can do to your packaging at the shelf?

        [00:09:15] Liz Thomson: That's exciting. I mean, the biggest revolution in packaging is digital print, and what that translates to is for the number of cruncher people, you don't have to order as many pieces.

        [00:09:30] Liz Thomson: This helps for inventory. You don't have all this. Obsolete inventory. If say you have ingredients that change, oh, what you just bought 500,000 boxes that say the chocolate came from X country and now you've had it change to another country, what are you gonna do with all those boxes? That is just money down the drain.

        [00:09:48] Liz Thomson: And now with digital you can run, you know, shorter runs. Smaller quantities. I just love digital for everything. And you know, it's taken a while for it to get to the corrugated side, but it's there too. So that may, and you see it now with all these unboxings and beautiful e-commerce shippers where they open it and there's beautiful graphics on the inside, like full color graphics, not just black or red or green.

        [00:10:15] Liz Thomson: Yes, I get very geeked out about digital in general and say on the folding carton or you know, the unit cartons, the type of stuff you see on the shelf. I see a lot of similar designs out there. There's a lot of, right now there's just bold, flat color. Which is fine, and then I keep worrying, does it worrying?

        [00:10:35] Liz Thomson: Does this mean that foil stamping is going away? Because foil stamping had always been that thing. You're walking down the aisle and something shiny is over there and that's on the shelf. Foil is shiny, so that gets you to look over at it. But now there's even foil with digital presses, and so I still love the sparkle stuff.

        [00:10:55] Georgiana Dearing: That's what I was gonna say is I think you can do foils now with some digital technology. And I think that's kind of, you're right. FOIL was one of those, I mean, years and years ago, that was like a very out there attainable thing because first you had to get a dime made and those were expensive to make, you know?

        [00:11:12] Georgiana Dearing: And then of course, pay for the foil. And now with digital technology, it's like bringing it much, much closer to the smaller, more craft, more regional, more local or exclusive. Kinds of brands. Yeah, and it's not

        [00:11:25] Liz Thomson: just foil. I mean, when you're thinking if you are on shelf, you still, you have your visual and then you also have your tactile.

        [00:11:33] Liz Thomson: So also in digital there are laminates or spot gloss or spot texture that can be applied as well. Now you can do this in regular offset printing too, so it's not like this is whole crazy new. This is just trying to mimic what's already available at the larger quantities. And you know, when I say larger quantities, really digital.

        [00:11:55] Liz Thomson: Is great from one to say 5,000 at about 5,000 or 7,500 is that quantity that kind of shifts you over to offset. That's

        [00:12:06] Georgiana Dearing: a higher number, I think, than it used to be. Well, you're talking packaging and converting, but on sheets of paper, that number tips around 500 to a thousand quantity. Ah, okay. Yeah.

        [00:12:19] Liz Thomson: Every time.

        [00:12:20] Liz Thomson: I'll tell you, when I request estimates, I always request both ways digital and offset. Cuz I'm so curious, like, is it still true? Is it still true that it's about 5,000 and a brand might order 20,000 pieces across five SKUs? And that's only, you know, 4,000 per, I think it's still reasonable to do that. The other thing about digital, of course, is the variable data, so that's exciting too.

        [00:12:47] Liz Thomson: I haven't done anything with it yet because you know, there's a whole computer programming side to it and inputting the data and all that. I just personally haven't. Gotten the opportunity to do that. But that would be like if you, and who was it? One of the beer companies probably, you know, where they have Chicago Beer's beer?

        [00:13:04] Liz Thomson: Mm-hmm. And then it's the same design, but you could also get in Green Bay Packers beer. Oh. Or you know, graphics. Or like with the Coca-Cola, was it Coca-Cola

        [00:13:13] Georgiana Dearing: Cam? It was Coke, yeah. Where you could get the names on them or you know, a Coke with my mom. That's the one my kids would always send me. Well,

        [00:13:21] Liz Thomson: that's all digital and variable data, which I'm more the visual, creative person, but I do kind of geek out on the technical side of things.

        [00:13:29] Liz Thomson: I love knowing all the new stuff that's coming out.

        [00:13:32] Georgiana Dearing: Boils, laminates, textures, all of these things are design tools that can help even a small brand stand out. And because sustainability is a key value of the good food industry, you can feel good about keeping your production runs low so you don't encourage waste later.

        [00:13:50] Georgiana Dearing: Now, sustainability wasn't just a value of Nashi Cookie, it was front and center of their company. Mission owner, Julie Strange, spent countless hours researching every element of her cookie business, and she shared some of her discoveries with me. Well, can we also talk about sustainable packaging? I'm gonna say before I let you speak, is that this has been a very hot topic this year, particularly with mail order products because we've had such a rise in direct shipping.

        [00:14:21] Georgiana Dearing: And such a squeeze on the supply chain.

        [00:14:25] Julie Strange: So packaging, again, this is a no-brainer. This is how we live our life at home. We try to buy things that aren't in plastic. We try to find things locally instead of shipping, of course, pandemic. Notwithstanding, we like everyone else, have done a lot of requesting for shipping of all of the things, especially when we can't find stuff in the local stores.

        [00:14:44] Julie Strange: Like baby formula. Who knew? That would be hard to find apparently, Barry. So our packaging has always been either recycled or recyclable or compostable or biodegradable or reusable. Actually, the big thing that it was one of those. Things that didn't realize wasn't what I should be doing. We were using plastic packing tape one day.

        [00:15:07] Julie Strange: I was like, wait a minute, I can be using paper tape. It's not necessarily recyclable cuz of the glue, but it's at least not plastic. So that was a no-brainer once we figured out that. But everything from our cardboard shipping boxes to the tissue paper that we put everything in to keep it from jostling around in the box.

        [00:15:27] Julie Strange: Our actual packaging of the cookies are tins that can be reused or recycled. The cellophane that we put some of our cookies in is compostable, which I verified with Lauren. So anyone who has our little cookie bags and wants to put it in their food loop,

        [00:15:45] Darcey Lacy: Compost buckets.

        [00:15:46] Julie Strange: Mm-hmm. They can totally do that.

        [00:15:47] Julie Strange: And our baker's dozen bags and boxes are all recycled cardboard or eco-friendly packaging. One of our sources for packaging has a green line, so we try to get everything that we can from there. I was actually thinking the other day, cuz we have a subscription service. So you can get cookies just showing up at your door as if by magic every month,

        [00:16:09] Georgiana Dearing: and you can

        [00:16:11] Julie Strange: choose the tin or a baker's dozen.

        [00:16:14] Julie Strange: And the tin suddenly occurred to me. I'm like, if you, I have a couple of folks who have the Forever subscription. I'm using air quotes. And that means it just goes on until they decide to stop. And I have a couple folks that's been going on for like two years for them, and I kept thinking, man, they must have a lot of tins laying around their house.

        [00:16:32] Julie Strange: And I wanted to ask, what are you doing with these tins? Are you re-gifting them? Are you hoarding them? Are you recycling them? So, but everything is I do, I really do. I do.

        [00:16:43] Georgiana Dearing: Trying to pull them out of your email list and ask, if you're listening, tell us, what are you doing with all these Tims? But you could change that subscription too, couldn't you?

        [00:16:52] Georgiana Dearing: Like if you sent a tin, couldn't you then send a compostable bag that they could just put the cookies in the tin?

        [00:16:59] Julie Strange: That's one of the many things on my list of when I have time look into these things. I think the main thing is sometimes these are gift subscriptions, right? And they might be just for three months or for six months, and they're going to somebody else.

        [00:17:15] Julie Strange: And I feel like someone having to keep the tin around waiting for their, like it's just another level of inconvenience for someone. Yeah. Also the tin really helps keep the cookies safe in, uh, transit. So that's, yeah, I have thought about that. Or if folks are local, they could bring the tins back and we would just refill the same tin.

        [00:17:32] Julie Strange: We're

        [00:17:32] Georgiana Dearing: thinking of that loop, you know Loop. Mm-hmm. Is trying to do them, put things in aluminum. You can send them back and then you get the clean 'em and refill 'em. Well, if you're wondering if tins would be a good option for packaging for your brand, I can attest to the quality of those tins as cookie shippers.

        [00:17:49] Georgiana Dearing: I sent a gift subscription from Nashi to my daughter's family, and every batch showed up fresh, tasty, and not a cookie crumbled, but because package design has that word in there, design. It can mislead people into thinking that it's all about arty fun and being creative, but design is truly a function of business.

        [00:18:11] Georgiana Dearing: And first and foremost, any creative work you contract should be an extension of your brand strategy. Steve Redmond of Rival Brands explains that leading design with strategy is an attainable goal for the craft food industry. Who is like the right size for what you are doing? Well, I


        [00:18:33] Steve Redmond: say it's a client that I have been doing work for for the past six months, and it's actually in-state and it's a company called Jasper Hill Farms.

        [00:18:42] Steve Redmond: Okay. And they are a dairy, they make some amazing, amazing cheese. Ironically. They are fairly small. I used the term they're small but very mighty, and they created, I think it's about, I don't know how many hundreds or thousands of square feet, but they essentially have six underground caves where they aged their cheese, which is a pretty monumental feat for such a small dairy.

        [00:19:08] Steve Redmond: And what makes 'em really special and what makes 'em really a great client is not only just the nature of the work that we do mm-hmm. Um, to be honest, the budget that they have to try to accomplish the work that they want to accomplish. I mean, there's a strictly business side to that assessment, but the personal side of the assessment in terms of what makes 'em great is that they're really trying to accomplish some pretty great things.

        [00:19:28] Steve Redmond: They are trying to demonstrate that really small local farms, Can produce such incredibly value added products that they can maintain the structure of a very close and small community of farmers and give them each the ability to thrive and make an incredible living. And that's kind of where they're at.

        [00:19:48] Steve Redmond: They're trying to be a model for anywhere and everywhere to sort of demonstrate that not every small manufacturer needs to be swallowed up by some giant monolithic corporation that then economizes and starts producing mass-produced

        [00:20:02] Georgiana Dearing: things. Oh, I love that. A sensibility about that. One of the things I talk about all the time with my clients is being right sized.

        [00:20:09] Georgiana Dearing: Mm-hmm. Like what is the right size for what you want to achieve with your brand? And it sounds like they have some pretty clear gay posts around what they wanna do.

        [00:20:20] Steve Redmond: Yeah, and the beauty of it is they're fairly world renowned. I, I mean, they're out there competing internationally and so they're really kind of defying odds.

        [00:20:29] Steve Redmond: They're defying the trends. So many other cheesemakers that you probably don't even know. Are actually owned by giant Swiss conglomerates, but no one really knows that. Most consumers don't know that, so they're trying to get the word out that it doesn't have to be that way. That small farms can still contribute and do really amazing things.

        [00:20:46] Steve Redmond: Started

        [00:20:46] Georgiana Dearing: out by senior graphic designer, but I know that your solutions are more than just

        [00:20:51] Steve Redmond: visual. Yeah, so probably one of the things that I started when I began rival is I knew that I didn't want to just solely focus on design, and I love that part of the process. But I also have always known that both kind of halves of my brain operate pretty strongly in that I am fairly analytical.

        [00:21:10] Steve Redmond: I'm not an engineer by any stretch, but I, I call myself an engineer slash artist in that I love connecting dots. I like gathering data. I love kind of connecting it. And then I like the conversion of all that data and ones and zeros and things like that. Consumer data and market data. And then I love the process of assimilating all of that into.

        [00:21:28] Steve Redmond: The visual and verbal expressions. So anybody that I work with right now, I don't generally take on strictly design projects unless it's just an amazing opportunity. So it's always going to be very strategy driven. And again, I have people that I work with, like marketing researchers and consumer researchers that help me fill out the gaps that I don't necessarily have the strengths in.

        [00:21:51] Steve Redmond: But we put together some pretty significant dossiers for clients that I put together one, I call it a brand bible. Mm-hmm. They can go by a lot of different things, not just, here's your logo and here's the colors and fonts and things like that. It was really more the Bible about this is what your brand is about, and this is its positioning and so on.

        [00:22:11] Georgiana Dearing: I wanna close today with a story that reinforces the power that strong branding can have in a package design. Darcy Lacey, owner of Watermark Design is the creative force behind the brand revival of Crescent Simples. Crescent Simples made the leap to invest in a complete overhaul for their line of simple syrups.

        [00:22:34] Georgiana Dearing: And within months of the launch, they were able to close more stores with wider reach just because of their improved shelf appeal. This is the kind of success story I love to hear, and I'm so grateful that Darcy shared it with me. But today I very specifically invited you here to follow up on a success story that another guest shared with me, and that was Crescent Simples.

        [00:23:00] Georgiana Dearing: I love them as a startup brand, and they gave you probably one of the best endorsements that I had heard for design, which just warmed my heart. And that was that they attribute their recent growth in sales directly to the package redesign work that your company did. So I wanted to learn more about you and talk to you about what you're doing.

        [00:23:22] Georgiana Dearing: Well,

        [00:23:22] Darcey Lacy: Megan and Bill, they're wonderful people and they're a small business, and it was great to have a client that trusted us to invest in design, and they understood that design can definitely impact sales. So their old package just wasn't telling the story. It wasn't telling the story of the brand. It wasn't telling the story of the product inside the bottle.

        [00:23:41] Darcey Lacy: They had this great liquid inside that they put so much love into, and the package just wasn't selling that. And I always say that it's watermark's job to get someone to pick it up off the shelf the first time. They haven't tried it, they don't know what's in the bottle, and then it's on the client to sell it the second time.

        [00:23:58] Darcey Lacy: So it was our pleasure to help them through that process, and we began with the logo design and really told the story of Crescent Simples. They're from New Orleans, so the Crescent City really leaning into that with the architectures. You can see the filigree on either side of the crescent moon. Just really telling the story of their roots and where this company started.

        [00:24:19] Darcey Lacy: And then we moved into the package design and we brought a little bit of that brand equity over with the design of the fruit and the background pattern, but we just improved upon it and then added color so that you could tell which flavor was which, because in the old packaging it was all the same.

        [00:24:34] Darcey Lacy: You couldn't really tell. So now each label really tells you immediately what flavor it is, and then there's a little tax tape on top to further define what flavor, because the pattern in the background watching their budget as well is the same on every one. Thus the adding of the color on the label and then on the tax tape, it does call out what flavor it is individually.

        [00:24:54] Darcey Lacy: So there are multiple moments throughout the package where you can tell what flavor it is. So yeah, we just improved upon what they were already

        [00:25:00] Georgiana Dearing: doing. Yeah, I was gonna say their packaging wasn't horrible. It was appropriate for probably the age of their company and how they started out. I see a lot of that, and I think it's really fun.

        [00:25:12] Georgiana Dearing: I feel like what they did was at almost a giant leap compared to what many brands do, which they start with something that they did on their own, and then they go, okay, well who can I get to help me? Then they have to move on to, okay, how can I make this? Actually work at the shelf. And some of the considerations you just mentioned, like color coating for flavor variations and thinking about the cost effectiveness of what you do are things that are often broken in that middle step, like someone who isn't experienced in just packaged design will design without thinking about the entire life cycle of a product and product development for a food brand.

        [00:25:55] Georgiana Dearing: And that's a wrap on the packaging story for today, my friends, if you take nothing else away from today, I hope it's the understanding that your packaging is the hardest working tool in your marketing toolkit. Every square inch of it should be shouting your brand story. So don't begrudge the cost of good design.

        [00:26:15] Georgiana Dearing: It's an investment and it can pay off for the life of your brand. Now if you want some direction about how or where to start a packaging project, please reach out to me. I am happy to help. And if you found this episode helpful and interesting. Please like, subscribe and share it on whatever listening channel you use.

        [00:26:36] Georgiana Dearing: It's the easiest thing you can do to support a small business. Thanks for listening, and if you wanna learn more about how to grow your own food brand, then click on Grow My If you're a lover of local food, then be sure to follow us. We are at VA Foodie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

        [00:26:59] Georgiana Dearing: Join the conversation and tell us about your adventures with good food, good people, and good brands.