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5 Reasons to invest in better packaging for consumer products.

Guest blogger: Joe Ray from Estudio Ray.

On occasion, I invite guest bloggers to share a subject they have expertise in.  Joe Ray is a brilliant designer and packaging guy and I value  his insight and expertise.  We spoke about the shift away from good packaging design focus and here is his blog on the subject to help the CMO’s and Marketing Directors across the country who read this blog improve in this area.

5 REASONS TO INVEST IN BETTER PACKAGING FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS. By  Joe Ray

Go to a grocery store, major supermarket or any other mass market retailer and stand in the aisle. Look around. For the most part, things have a tendency to visually run together. We tend to focus on the particular product category that we’re looking for. What grabs your eye? Can you tell one brand from another? Let’s face it, a lot of advertising is lost on consumers, so the packaging may be the only opportunity you have to speak and sell to them.

 Here are 5 points as to why to invest in better packaging:

1. With the number of products competing for consumers’ eyeballs and dollars, it’s difficult to grab and maintain their attention. Packaging might be your first and only opportunity to connect with consumers. New products continue to grow and with increasing competition, this creates additional challenges. How do you plan to stand out?

 2. Grab the consumer’s attention in 2 or 3 seconds. In the aisle and on the shelves, when consumers come across the package; it’s your opportunity to make a first impression or to get them to say, “Hey, I know you” or “Okay, let’s talk.” Stand out from your competitors’ products.

3. Create an emotional connection with the consumer. “Emotion activates the brain 3,000 times faster than regular thought. As a result, shoppers are willing to pay up to 200% more when their decision is based on emotion rather than reason.” A great quote by Lucas Conley from his book Branding Disorder. The package’s visual cues should prompt them to pick up the product and purchase it.

4. Don’t be like everyone else. You don’t have to play follow the leader. Just because everyone uses blue, doesn’t mean you have to. Do you want to be like them or do you want to sell? Look for niche markets and appeal to them. You want consumers to like you, to develop an affinity for your product and to spread the good word.

5. Packaging can and should become iconic and firmly rooted in consumers’ minds. A brand that demands a unique positioning in the consumer’s mind, should be uniquely packaged.

Whether it’s a new brand being launched or a heritage brand, shouldn’t it demand mindshare? Act accordingly. Develop trust. Also, the same principles apply to packaging beyond the shelves (B2B, online, etc.). Your marketing has a coherent consistency to it. Your packaging should apply this same discipline and be effective. If your product gets lost in the blur, you’ve got some very big challenges on your hands. Play it smart.

If you want more information or to contact Joe Ray he is President/Creative Director of Estudio Ray
http://www.estudioray.com. His phone number is 602/840/1580 or by email at: joe@estudioray.com
Estudio Ray is A Visual Branding Agency.

Visit his blog at:  http://blog.estudioray.com/

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Where to find the women consumers in social media.

Mashable again has a knock out recap of info from Information is Beautiful on demographics by site.  This is really valuable to CMO’s in evaluating your teams plans or the agencies next proposal.  It also says to me that if you are targeting men, Digg is one not to overlook. This also gives you a good check list to be sure you are represented on all the main social media platforms.

Here is the Link: http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/women-rule-the-social-web/

Here is a recap: “Women rule social media at least according to an infographic by Information is Beautiful. The stats, compiled by Brian Solis from Google Ad Plannerdata, show that equal numbers of men and women use sites like LinkedIn, DeviantArt and YouTube.

When it comes to sites like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, MySpace and Bebo, however, women outnumber men. In fact, there’s only one major holdout for men on the social web: social news site Digg, where 64% of users are male.

womensocialweb

Ad agency pay per tweet programs

I had an interesting  question come to the blog.   How should you pay a PR or ad agency for doing your companies tweeting?  Some have suggested a flat fee per day others are floating the idea of doing an “Ad agency pay per tweet programs.”

Both raise some interesting changes in the way social media will be used and how to monitize the actions involved with keeping it ongoing. The bigger question is how much should you as a CMO decide to keep in house and how much should you outsource?  How much control do you want or how much over site due to privacy policies or regulation do you need?   What about the tweeting across the company, should marketing be the control valve or is it really a legal, customer service or operation function?

 I look forward to your comments as to how you are compensating your agencies for tweeting.

Meebo solves cross platform issues with instant messaging.

If you are into marketing via instant messaging or are targeting a youth audience who does not understand why you would still email them when you can IM, then this is a platform foryou.  Look at Meebo at  www.meebo.com. It connects all instant messaging via AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Facebook and myspace messaging into one tool.

Here’s the details: Meebo is web based instant messaging. It works with any computer, any IM network . Meebo.com allows them  to chat with their buddies on most  IM network in a single buddylist.  It allows them to login with the IM account  they already have. There’s nothing to download or install, and it’s free.

 

This is a good tool for your social media team to look at if they are in the instant messaging space.

Advanced online business networking, look beyond Linkedin and Plaxo.

Business networking is big business and the list is much longer the main two Linkedin and Plaxo. Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are moving into business networking, but I still consider it more social marketing than networking.  There are also sites like Ning to form your own interest groups, or Secondlife where you can live a virtual second life, with friends, a house, a job ect.

Here is a list to check out of advanced networking on-line options.

  • www.Linkedin.com  This is a must do for business linking these days.
  • www.plaxo.com  This is a nice to have to be sure 100% is covered, you usually choose one or the other, I do both.
  • www.ecademy.com  Business networking with more of an international flair.
  • www.secondlife.com  Start your own virtual business on line and meet people that way.

Here are a list of others that have been recommended to me.

Looking for the next big thing in social media, look at Zooloo.com

Here is the buzz from my front line gear heads who say twitter has been passe for 6 month.  They are checking out http://www.ZooLoo.com  which says it allows you to create, connect and control your experience across the Internet.

The key point of this site is to gain a complete on-line environment built around your domain name. It brings together your interests all in one place.

It says it bring all of your interests together: news, entertainment, social networking, shopping, messaging, photos, videos, and more…Build your own site to share with family, friends or the world.

 

The drawback is you can only have one account tied to it.  This is not the case with http://www.Yola.com where you can tie many accounts and domains.  So check out both for that all in one option you may be wanting.

Tweetbeep adds alerts by email to track conversations.

I have learned to love Twitter, and now have found the TweetBeep http://www.tweetbeep.com  app that allows free Twitter alerts to your email.
It says it will keep track of conversations that mentions you, your products, your company, or anything you want to track and does it in hourly updates! It even says it can even keep track of who’s tweeting your website or blog, even  when they use a shortened URL (like bit.ly or tinyurl.com).

CMOs are always looking for ways to maintain a good to excellent on-line reputation management.  This Tweetbeep app allows for the catching all @replies and @mentions, other thingslike a finding job or gaining new networking opportunities.  I also think it would work great for keeping up on your favorite sport, news or hobby.