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Creating Brand Impact with Sample Packaging

By: Aniko Hill
Posted: May 3, 2010, from the May 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

Promotional samplers allow for a long-lasting experience with the product, and also create a permanent takeaway that is a daily reminder of the brand name.

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To get noticed in sampling, the packaging system itself can deliver a strong message if it is innovative, unique or has additional benefits such as sustainability. The single dose Snap!, manufactured by Tapemark, is one example of a unique delivery system that has become popular in the last year. This type of sample packaging delivers a single dose of a cream, gel, ointment or lotion that can be opened with one hand. “Accurate dosing is critical,” says Julie Karlson, marketing manager, Tapemark. “Ninety-five percent of the product is dispensed using Snap!, which can be very important in prescription products. The Snapplicator adds an applicator so the user doesn’t need to handle the solution inside.” For multi-doses, a collapsible sample pack with a tear spout is also a nice choice, and it can be customized with graphics to mimic the actual packaging and create brand association and impact.

Mrs. Meyer’s—which, in addition to household cleaners, markets baby care products—has a new sample package that utilizes a Xela Pack, which is an environmentally conscious option to plastic bottles and tubes that can also be self-sealed with a pinch of the applicator. “Xela Pack uses 92% less plastic than the same-sized plastic tube. It’s 100% collapsible, customizable in shape, and can be made with FSC-certified and 100% postconsumer waste papers,” says Anthony Gentile, director of art and marketing, Xela Pack. The company itself is also Green e-Certified for its environmentally conscious practices.

Promotional

There is a relatively new sampling trend taking place with promotional samplers. These samples are often less traditional in their delivery systems, and create opportunities for brand awareness beyond the single-use concept. Promotional samplers are seen mostly in the fragrance category, with Klocke of America in partnership with Castelberg among the innovation leaders in this area. Their DKNY Men fragrance sample is done through creating a compound of essential oil and elastomer to create collar stays for men’s dress shirts that can last up to eight months. Klocke/Castelberg also manufactures a scented key chain for CK Free for Men and a scented mobile jewel for Diesel. Not only do these promotional samplers allow for a long-lasting experience with the product, but they also create a permanent takeaway that is a daily reminder of the brand name.

No matter what method of sampling is used, the most important factor in selecting a package should be whether or not a sample design and delivery system is appropriate to the brand—and the budget. If done cleverly, brand impact can be made utilizing the simplest of delivery systems—the most expensive or innovative systems may not necessarily yield the most impact. As long as the sample is an authentic representation of the product, the consumer will be able to identify with and make a memorable connection to the brand behind it.

Aniko Hill is the founder and creative director of The Kitchen Collaborative, a boutique branding agency that works to create premium lifestyle brands. She has worked on branding projects for Boeing, Disney, Master Foods, Sony, Ketel One Vodka and Red Bull, and has taught advanced courses on branding and packaging design at The Art Institute of California. In 2008, Graphic Design USA recognized Hill as one of its People to Watch.