Many food and drink products are today very similar which is due to the use of the same raw material, the same technical equipment in factories, from mixers to packaging line.
Therefore, it is difficult to be different in order to achieve an edge, i.e. a preference in the consumer’s mind. This could mean better profitability to be invested in the future.
It is here DESIGN enters as design, correctly used, does not only add perceived and real value, but also helps differentiation.
This site is about packaging communication, but for this article I have chosen an illustration (which could obviously appear on a pack) that many of the readers have seen in reality.
When you visit a McCafé, you do not only get your Cappuccino looking as good as possible, you are also part of the ritual when the person behind the counter prepares your coffee. Rituals are good differentiations in the packaging and product worlds and here I think of how you eat an Oreo cookie or how to drink a Corona. I am surprised that not more companies try to build in a ritual!
Back to design, i.e. the improvement of a product thanks to aesthetical values and convenience.
Paul Rand, the famous American designer who gave us the logotypes for Westinghouse, IBM (the eye, the bee and the lined M) and UPS said that “good design adds value of some kind, gives meaning and, not incidentally, can be sheer pleasure to behold; it respects the viewer’s sensibilities and rewards the entrepreneur.”
In the food and drink business, the appetite appeal is considerably enhanced through design which can be translated into ‘food styling’. To learn more about this way of improving the looks of a product, I refer to a previous article on the site or to chapter 6 in “The world’s first book about packaging communication” which is becoming more and more a reference for young marketeers.