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Refining the Message

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: November 26, 2012, from the December 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

During the Marc Rosen-led panel focused on “Creating Products/Packaging That Are Eye Catching for Impulse Purchasing Online” at Luxe Pack Monaco 2012, Dominic Burke, creative director at Webb deVlam, told the audience that selling products online is “more complex than simply retailing a product. An online presence must be a continuation of the brand, and it must connect with consumers.”

“It’s about building the narrative, creating a common language and creating dialogue,” he continued. “What does the brand mean to a consumer? Digital mediums increase the speed in which consumers turn into brand fans and then into brand ambassadors. And the key continues to be an authentic, believable message.”

Product messaging is a topic Sourabh Sharma and Paul Janssen explore beautifully in “Message Strength: Tips for Beautiful and Effective Product Messaging.” The authors’ marketing research company, SKIM, undertook an analysis of more than 800 marketing claims, looking at pitfalls and best practices for the delivery of beauty product messages. Powerful messages are a critical part of successful product marketing, the duo writes, and the strongest messages can be developed through a three-step process of refining, articulating and delivering—steps which they break down and provide examples for.

Further, as Burke touched upon at Luxe Pack Monaco, there is an emphasis on creating specific, distinct language that conveys the proper tone and benefit information, and consideration of the message’s delivery mechanism always needs to be taken into account, including the product packaging.

“Elements [across a line’s packaging] ideally work together for the greater good of the brand, much like notes within a musical scale. This heightens the total sensory impact,” Nathalie Nowak, director of marketing and innovation, Rexam Personal Care, tells Abby Penning in “The Link is the Thing: Determining a Cohesive Packaging Strategy.”

In creating packaging that supports the brand, it is critical to identify the overt branded element and what makes the brand special, and then translate that across the products’ packaging. And developing that brand essence is essential for each individual SKU because it’s rare for any beauty product to exist solely on its own, apart from a line. As Sharma and Janssen note, the competitive landscape also needs to be highly factored into a product’s message in order to create a winner.

Good reading, and good luck with your next winner.