I’m excited to see some brand redesigns that have recently occurred, to two long-standing brands we are all so used to we probably don’t even think about them much, for bananas and ketchup.
Heinz has updated, with brilliant results, the lowly ketchup packet and if you think about it, you’ll see how people and their needs factored into this design. The old ketchup packets can be messy, inconvenient (if eating while driving, and unfortunately, we have to do that sometimes) and they don’t even hold much. The new condiment packaging is more like a small tub, so you can peel back the cover to dip your fries or whatever in it, OR you can rip off the top and squeeze out the contents. The beautiful part of the design is that it resembles a tiny bottle of ketchup… this was inspired creative thinking, to solve real complaints by customers for over 30 years, and I really love it! Yahoo has an excellent piece on this from the company’s perspective about how and why they made this change and what took them so long… they’ve apparently been working on a new design for years.
Chiquita Bananas have also been modernized, with a playful, icon set of stickers that will introduce a whole new cast of characters to banana lovers. Stickers, games and a Facebook community give people something to play with and talk about… there are even skateboard graphics! Everyone knows bananas are healthy to eat, but with all of these little images and fun ways to participate with the brand itself socially, now I believe they’ll be more fun. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this positively impact Chiquita’s bottom line. The graphics are kid-friendly, but not kid-like, if that makes sense… they will appeal to adults too, especially those who Tweet and hang out at Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and the like, where we talk in OMG’s and LOL’s. The images are quirky, fun and cool. There’s a wonderful article with a lot of details about the design here… check it out! Their website also rocks – very interactive and playful… corporate businesses could stand to take some lessons from it about how to present information in small chunks and make exploring a site fun and compelling.
The thing that cannot be denied is that people are increasingly affecting what brands do, where they participate online, and what they offer. And that’s a great thing! We’ve had focus groups and marketing analysis for years, but those efforts to get into customer’s heads by nature, can only represent a small sampling. With the advent of social conversations, sentiment analysis, and being able to directly ask anyone listening online what they think about your brand, or what they need, the opportunities for hitting the target when changing a product or service are better than ever. I have noticed, in the last six months, nearly every single proposal we do has SOME element of social marketing or social presence in it, because it’s needed (we think) or wanted (by the prospect.) Despite the economic troubles nearly everyone has faced, it’s a really fun time to be in the business of branding, marketing and selling!