Making Products Bounce Off the Shelf
Interview with: Mirja Kloss, Director of Marketing Germany, Member of the German Executive Board, Brown-Forman
Cotai Strip, Macao, April 11, 2017 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"For a product to bounce off the shelf, it needs to be easily recognisable to consumers. The packaging of Jack Daniels whiskey, the shape of the bottle and the label design are an inherent part of the brand equity and true signs of recognition to consumers around the world," says Mirja Kloss, Director of Marketing Germany, Member of the German Executive Board, Brown-Forman.
What helps products bounce off the shelf? What do consumers find appealing?
First of all, the product must be easily recognisable. Most marketers know that brands with high recognition are those that have been in the market for a long time. They are easily picked up and they jump off the shelf because it is a relief for consumers when they identify a brand they know about. Beyond a strong brand asset, there are secondary elements that can play a role such as an embossed design on quality paper. It can go beyond the packaging to the way the product is displayed on the shelf, which can draw the attention of shoppers passing by.
Why are consumers looking for authenticity, and how can the product or packaging provide that?
Consumers are facing many changes, there is so much insecurity and questions around where the world is heading. It is in such times that consumers desire authenticity and honesty. This is a global mega trend right now that brands with a long history can benefit from. Authenticity means being honest to consumers and who you are as a brand. It takes time to build trust in a relationship with a person, and that is also what brands must do with consumers who purchase their products.
What are the synergies in design and in-store presentation that can help reinforce the authentic brand story?
Whether it is the packaging itself, the label design or the display or shelf presentation tools - each is an important communication touchpoint. As a consequence, they must always be looked at in a 360o way to ensure consistent elements for easy recognition whilst complementing each other in communication elements within the overall communication strategy. Sensorial elements are a true asset that lies within the touchpoint at the Point of Purchase and should be fully taken advantage of. Here is where visual elements of other communication touchpoints can be brought to life in an even more sensorial experience.
How can companies ensure they centre their strategic message around the authentic core competency of their brand?
As a brand and company, you must be very clear about what your core competencies are, and always come back to them. There are many possibilities and technologies out there that can distract marketeers, hence senior managers must pay close attention to keep the right balance between trying out new things and constantly evolving, and at the same time not stretching too far away from the core competencies. Specifically brands with a long heritage, such as Jack Daniels, must carefully balance these two aspects.
How can QR codes and virtual reality bring authentic elements of the brand to life?
There are many ways such tools can be utilised. We have used them to bring Lynchburg, Tennessee, the home town of Jack Daniels, to consumers around the world through virtual reality glasses. Even with smartphones people can enter a 3-dimensional world that is very authentic and real. The packaging and label are a medium that can bring this world to consumers via a QR code instead of just printed text on a label. In the future, more brands will use such tools.
What trends should marketers and packaging executives prepare for? How?
It is this balance between the desire for authenticity, honesty and integrity, and on the other hand the exponential development of technology that they must balance. They have to make very clear strategic choices for how they communicate with consumers, without necessarily going after every single trend. That will be the challenge. Whatever they do, it must always fit in with who they are as a brand.
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