ConfectioneryNews.com spoke to Mark Salisbury, director of graphic design agency Solid Block, about the role of packaging design in premium chocolate products.
Solid Block is a UK-based graphic design agency that works on branding for various industries, including the premium chocolate sector through its work with UK brands GNAW and Booja-Booja.
“I think the brand is really important, especially within a crowded marketplace. Communicating the brand is first and foremost a priority in packaging,” Salisbury said.
“Consumers are a lot savvier nowadays about who they buy from; they buy from companies they like. So for chocolate firms it’s about ensuring you are not a faceless company and about building a relationship with consumers.”
“Packaging design gives a personality, which is essentially what a brand should be,” he added.
Pleasing people and utilizing pack space
Salisbury said that optimal use of space on packaging is crucial.
“You’ve got so little space and so you really have to get the tone of voice and content right.”
The director explained that when working on packaging design there are three groups to please – consumers, manufacturers and retailers.
A cost base is set by manufacturers, he said, but ultimately consumers need to be pleased and retailers want a product that will fit in the store and sell.
“It’s working out for your brand and product what rises to the top of the hierarchy for you,” he said.
Plugging the gap
Salisbury recommended that chocolate firms should target gaps in the market when developing or positioning products.
“There is no space for generic chocolate products. It has to be something special, either in terms of packaging, ingredients or the story behind it.”
He said as the market is becoming increasingly competitive, it’s important to generate a sense of intrigue for consumers by creating a difference or showing points of difference in a product.
“That is where the design comes in, although design will only take you so far. If you haven’t got a product that stands on its own feet, it won’t survive, especially in a market that is so crowded.”