Why Design Matters

The last time you walked through a supermarket were you wearing your CPG marketer hat or your consumer hat? There’s a big difference. I find too often that marketers are primarily focused on marketing and tend to forget they are consumers too.

As a consumer, I am focused on getting in and out quickly and getting good value. I’m finding these days that getting in and out quickly is not easy. In many cases it takes 10 minutes to figure out the difference between one variety and another in all the brand noise – the operative word here is noise.

More often buying decisions are being made at the point of purchase and shoppers are being forced to sift through a lot of visual noise and confusion. I’m sure you’ll agree that when you stand back and look at a shelf set, in most cases there isn’t much that jumps out at you. An old design trick that I learned early on is to “squint” to see what things look like. When I squint at a typical supermarket isle, it all looks much the same: same colours, same shapes and same sizes.

As a person who is trying to move products off the shelf, design should matter to you. Imagine the possibilities…

Your brand stands out from the others.

Your brand has a unique message.

Your brand is the one that looks good – the one you wouldn’t mind seeing on your kitchen counter.

Department store Target set a precedent for good design years ago when it began creating well designed consumer products at affordable prices. Consumers liked it because they like good design. The best thing you can do as a CPG brand marketer is break through the clutter by having a clear understanding of your brand’s unique difference and using design to articulate that difference in store.

Design is a long term investment but an investment in design can create massive brand value.

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