As a benchmark for impeccably designed packaging of consumer products, The Dieline Awards this year saw creative agency Onfire walk away with recognition for fantastic design for their retail products. We spoke with Matt Grantham, creative director at Onfire Design, about the importance of a strong visual brand in the retail product sector.
Auckland’s Onfire Design came out on top for the Dark Sprits Category for their creative vision around Luxerose RTD’s.
New Zealand mixologists were commissioned to create 3 distinctive cocktail blends reflecting current flavours and taste trends. Packaging the cocktails was a fundamental part of the project, with judges of the Dieline Awards commending the agency for its creativity, marketability, innovation, execution, and on-pack branding.
The packaging also came third in the Luxury Limited Edition category. The cases were designed with a brilliant colourful presentation. Matt Grantham, creative director at Onfire Design, said the project was to blur the lines between high-end premium alcohol and aspirational brands in cosmetic and lifestyle markets.
The cocktail and beverage category are a rapidly growing sector, asked of whether he believes a strong brand is important for retail success, Grantham agreed that the sector is linked strongly to trends.
Q&A with Matt Grantham, Creative Director at Onfire Design
What happens when a retail sector is dictated by the trends that surround it?
It creates brands, new and old, that are in a constant state of flux. Existing brands scrambling to retain consumers and stay relevant, new challenger brands hitting shelves with flavour and mix alternatives that create disruption,” he says. “A new brand has an extremely hard task of simply standing out, let alone of telling a compelling story and convincing the consumer to ‘pick me’.
Why do you think a strong branding in any sector is important for success?
A strong brand needs to consist of a memorable name, a clear message, a combination of flavours, messages and narrative that shout on shelf but are also easily transferable to discovery platforms - whether this be ambient advertising or social media (organic discovery of a brand is also important for success….but that is a whole other article!). To at least be in the back of a consumer’s mind when they walk in store will be a win.
How do you think a strong design helps push the product forward in a competitive retail landscape?
A brand requires a level of desirability and intrigue to get over the first hurdle in the consumers mind...why would I purchase this over my usual favourite beverage? Clean, clear visual assets to cut through the clutter of competitive retail shelves, a tone-of-voice that is relevant and easy to understand, pack formats and print finishes that entice the pick up, underpinned by brand values that connect with the consumer. Strong design is a layer cake that goes beyond the first impression and create a connection with the audience
Why do you think innovation and creativity are important for a brands product offering?
Innovation and creativity in this sector are ‘ownable’, while flavours, various cocktail mixes and blends are ubiquitous across several brands. But if you can create an innovative dispensing experience, unboxing, pack format or new product formulas then the brand will have a visual or tactile appeal creates intrigue.