Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Everything Counts

I took this photo to document a brand that doesn't get it. I was annoyed that the label kept falling off of this bottle of water, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Aquafina still treats its packaging as a disposable throw-away. Aside from the crappy glue that turned their brand into an irritant, the bottle could be for Diet Coke, A&W root beer or practically anything else. Compare to Perrier.

Then Eric Ryan, founder of method, hopped on stage and showed us how he turned the household cleaning product category on its side. He talked a lot about the effort they put into packaging and it really struck me. Part of method's birth came from the insight that people are crammed on space and are trying to get a little cleaning done in between everything else in their lives. So they're not going to be patient with digging through the closet for some detergent. He realized that, if you design it right, people will leave their cleaning supplies out by the sink, on the counter, or in the bathroom. For method, the package is part of the product, not just the container around it.

Beyond Eric and method, the idea that "everything counts" rose to the top as a key theme of this year's conference. What's inside, how it's presented outside, and where it fits into our individual and collective lives. We heard it in the stringent efficiency of XS Energy Drink, and in Bruce Mau's compelling narration of the purpose behind Massive Change. This is inspiring as a subtext to the conference's theme of Creating Possibilities; we as planners are peering toward a future of opportunities that is only limited by our own ingenuity and inventiveness.


El Gaffney said...

vitamin water def uses their packaging as media. prob the most effective. made it a badge accessory. more and more i've seen pom teas glassware in people's homes - certainly a utility and they suggest it on the pkg. wonder what the percentage of keepers is?

Manish Miglani aka Go.D said...

I love your blog. It is so insightful... With regards to this post, it seems that the longer a person likes the products packaging, the longer it will stay in their homes and on their shopping lists. This has also been the case with music. For instance, take the Pet Shop Boys, who are one of the most collected (6th from the top) artists in the game, and their packaging is quite "over the top" at times and has their consumers regarding each release as a work of art. Roc-A-Fella/ Def Jam is my favorite music, by far, but when I heard the lackluster sales of Rihanna's album, especially with having such a huge hit as "Umbrella", it struck me that a lot of what you talk about with regards to packaging needs to be targeted to music. If it is not, then people will continue to download, and you better believe that some will favor the illegal download. For instance, how come no artists sell their catalogs of music, or say 4 of their CDs together with additional content on nicely labeled thumb drives... I am sure the Digital Rights Management people can figure out how to make it feasible. To me, in music, the way to save the industry is in the packaging...

Another suggestion... If I worked at Rocawear, I would put an artist's music in the pockets of the jeans. With different styles of jeans giving you a special CD that is unavailable elsewhere and in packaging that is unique, you would see fans collecting Rocawear jeans to get that unique item... Don't know why I felt like typing my ideas here... You just got me thinking.

I love your blog... Amazing content

DJ Mani
aka Tha Creator of Tha Werd

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