Tag Archives: Packaging

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: History Channel Sox Box

How many of you watch the History Channel?

We created this History Socks Box for A&E so they could showcase, in their words, “some of their best footage ever” with their ad sales clients. Each quarter, A&E chooses two of their hottest shows to highlight. In this case, it’s Join or Die with Craig Ferguson and Vikings.

This box is the first of its kind for the network and was designed to hold three pairs of socks – two inspired by that quarter’s featured shows and a third made up of spares. The box also includes an insert with show descriptions and scheduled airings.  

Interested in learning more about what went into creating this box? Head on over to our website or email us.

Packaging Unboxed: How to Make Your Product Stand Out (In A Good Way)

Hani Douaji / Via behance.net
The old adage goes something like this: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Except when it comes to packaging, that is.
Though packaging been around for generations, in today’s digital-savvy, uber competitive retail environment, first impressions are almost as important as the product itself, with innovative, fun, or even weird packaging helping a product to stand out from its competitors. At times, the way an item looks can actually make or break a sale.
Let me tell you a personal story…
Lots of you have probably heard about or even seen those small, egg-shaped EOS lip balms (yup, those ones). Well, I was recently talking with a girlfriend of mine who pulled one out of her purse and started using it despite the fact that she liked some other brands of lip balms better. So, why did she buy this one? Because it looked cute.
Maybe you’ve experienced this, too? Bueller…? Bueller…?
Isabella de Felice / Via lushlee.com
Isabella de Felice / Via lushlee.com

Whether it’s an edgy typeface that gets your customers, some cool pops of color or the versatility of an eco-friendly container, we’ve probably all had a moment like my friend here where we’ve purchased something simply because of the way it looks and, more importantly, for our perceptions of how a product will make us feel. (Here’s an example of how the psychology of packaging applies in the alcohol industry).

That’s the whole point.
Packaging, when done correctly, is ultimately what sells your product in the end. It draws attention, sends a powerful message and elicits a specific response from your customers.
Here’s an example of a packaging design we created for Nokia:
Nokia Mural Launch Kit

Packaging Infographic Marketers
So, what’s a marketer to do to stand out from the crowd?
Well, if you’re a devout believer in creating a branded experience for your customers, making your product relevant and increasing your sales, follow these five Packaging Commandments and you just might create product packaging that will outlive us all.
  1. Thou shalt embrace all manners of colors, patterns, textures and sizes.
  2. Thou shalt never forget to think about the customer’s experience.
  3. Thou shalt utilize all available space to the best of thou’s ability.
  4. Thou shalt be playful, be bold, be simplistic – Thou shalt stay true to him/ herself.
  5. Thou shalt always tell a good, compelling and powerful story.
Feeling insanely creative? Give us a call at 860-767-2661 or shoot us an email. Together we can make your packaging really pop.

Drink Me: Marketing in the Alcohol Industry

A few tips (on the house).

“Marketing” is a broad term that embodies a wide range of activities and disciplines that promote and sell a product. It casts a wide net that is open to interpretation; and when you throw alcohol into the equation, well things can get a little crazy.

(Wait, what happened last night?)

Cheers!

First thing’s first. When you are marketing in the alcoholic beverage industry, the same basic marketing rules still apply.

Your 4 P’s: Product, Price, Place, Promotion

So, how exactly do these relate to alcohol beverage marketing? Let’s break it down.

Product

At the risk of stereotyping, there are certain alcohols that appeal to a younger crowd that do not appeal to older folk, and vice versa. My dad loves his tried and true Tito’s (really, Tito’s, my dad is your biggest fan – going on 10 years strong which is some serious brand loyalty).  I, on the other hand, the millennial in all of my glory, am more likely to try something different simply because the packaging catches my eye.

It’s no secret that our generations shop differently: my dad has been going to the same mechanic for years, whereas I go wherever the deepest discount is, or wherever the most convenient location is.

A study in Australia determined that adolescents were more likely to gravitate towards ‘alcopops’, a.k.a. booze-y drinks that have very little actual booze in them – malt beverages, wine coolers, etc. – because the packaging is designed to look like a soft drink.

Colorful-Cans

Price

Everyone loves a good discount. It is common knowledge that if we will get a discount on buying more, we will buy more (see Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.) whether we really need it or not. And not to much surprise, when we buy more, we consume more. Shots, shots, shots shots, shots, shots, shots shots…

Price discounts and promotions can have a huge impact on volume of alcohol purchases. They can be a key marketing tool for producers and retailers.

A study conducted by Alcohol Focus Scotland found that supermarket promotions and discounts on alcohol increased sales by 20 – 25%. 

Place

Location, location, location. Anyone who has ever been in a liquor store knows that those places can get pretty crowded. So many brands are trying to promote their products on the shelves or even at the register, so it can be hard to stand out and get the consumer to pay attention and make them want to buy. Did you know that companies pay top dollar for prime shelf space in the stores?

But once you have that spot, how do you stand out among the rest of the bottles of the shelves surrounding it?

Diageo was wondering the same thing, so their agency came to us looking for new ideas of how they could boost sales in stores. This was the first time they have ever done anything like this – and viola, they were so successful, that they have already placed their second order!

Ciroc Case Tucker
Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Ciroc Case Tucker

How exactly do they work? These case tuckers were tucked in between the shelves in between the bottles, promoting and drawing attention to their products.

Case Tuckers5
Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Ciroc Case Tucker

Case tuckers are a unique way to sell your customer directly while they are shopping, begging for customers attention. These most certainly trump the Sharpie and neon signs you see on every shelf promoting cheap liquor and practically screaming, “DON’T DRINK ME.”

Case Tuckers3
Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Captain Morgan Case Tucker

 

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Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Captain Morgan Case Tucker

Promotion

Alcohol promotions are everywhere. Sponsorships, advertisements,  commercials, events, the list goes on. Increasingly, alcohol is being promoted more and more via social media.

Do you need to promote your liquor brand, or unveil a new one? A truly exciting and creative way to do so is to host a PR event. And that’s exactly what Bacardi Brands did with when they came to Structural Graphics to create their Dewar’s Influencer Kit!

See below.

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The Marketing Arm came to us to develop and design this beautiful Dewar’s influencer kit. The kit was for a PR event unveiling two new brands, Craigellechie and Aberfeldy, and showcases each in a storybook format appropriately titled “The Tale of Two Whiskies”.

To read more about this super cool launch, click here!


It’s no secret that no matter what you’re promoting, you need a way to stand out amongst the crowd. Need to reach your audience? Give yourself some height by adding a little dimension to your brand.

Death of QR Codes Is Greatly Exaggerated

Have you have fallen prey to the urban myth that QR Codes are dead? There are plenty of designers and industry pundits who think these 2D mobile barcodes clunky and out of date, but if you look at the data, the death of QR Codes couldn’t be farther from the truth. Consumers are actively using QR Codes to get coupons, access detailed product information, watch promotional videos, and take other steps that move them toward a purchase. If you’ve “moved on” from QR Codes, you’re abandoning a critical tool for building your business.

Let’s look at three facts about QR Codes that every marketer should know.

  1. QR Code scanning is on the rise.

According to ExactTarget, 34% of smartphone users in the United States have scanned a QR Code while shopping in-store (ExactTarget Mobile Behavior Report 2014). This rises to 46% of those who own tablets. This doesn’t include people scanning QR Codes on direct mail, posters, in-store displays, packaging, and magazines. In fact, when ExactTarget asked about scanning coupons or QR Codes, it found that 43% of consumers had done so.

Can we quote Mark Twain here? “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” As you watch the data, sure, the growth rate of QR Code adoption is slowing. But that’s not unusual for a maturing technology.

  1. QR Code scanning frequency is on the rise, as well.

In 2014, Scanbuy data showed 4.0 scans per person. In 2015, this rose to 4.3.  That’s growth of 7.5%.

  1. Among the most common uses for QR Codes are accessing coupons, downloading mobile apps, and accessing product information.

ExactTarget found that 56% of men and 39% of women have scanned QR Codes to gain quick access to information. Scanbuy found that when consumers are interested in a new product, 20% will scan a QR Code.

We could go on and on, but you get the point. QR Codes remain a cost-effective way to reach a high percentage of the mobile population. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Make the code highly visible on the direct mailer, in-store signage, packaging, or other channel.
  • Provide instructions on using the code, and perhaps more importantly, the value the consumer will gain from scanning it
  • Offer real, tangible on the back end.

Check out some examples of QR codes in our own clients’ print marketing campaigns.

Want to make sure your QR Code strategy is spot on? Give us a call and let one of our experts talk it through with you.

And the winner is…

It’s no secret that when it comes to design and style with some extra POP, Structural Graphics takes the cake (or, in this case, the pizza).  Some extra validation never hurt anyone, which is why we are so thankful to have been named winners of the Fibermark’s 21st Annual Specifier Best of Show Gold Award for our Bacardi Limited Dewar’s Influencer Kit.

Fibermark Specifier Award

The awards didn’t stop there, either! We were also recognized for excellent for our Samsung GS3 Mini Small Book Launch Kit, Samsung GS5 Gold VIP Launch Kit, Samsung Gear Fit VIP Launch Kit (see these at TheBoxSmiths.com). A special shout out goes to TracyLocke, the agency who we collaborated with on all of the Samsung projects.

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Samsung GS3 Mini Small Book Launch Kit
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Samsung Gear Fit VIP Launch Kit
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Samsung GS5 Gold VIP Launch Kit

And… also, we are very thankful for the pizza party brought to us by the Fibermark team themselves, yum!

Pizza Party
Pizza party!

This is the second award that our Dewar’s Influencer Kit has won this year, also winning a GDUSA American Package Design Award earlier this year.

Design Team
Structural Graphics design team with awards

So often, the response to Structural Graphics is “Oh, the people who do all the pop-up stuff?”

We live and breathe “pop-up stuff”, we practically invented it! Many people are surprised to hear that we are doing way more than that, and getting recognition for it, too.

So, whether you need some pop-up stuff or packaging, you can call on Structural Graphics – anything paper is possible!

Looking for packaging that’s a little more luxurious? Visit The BoxSmiths for luxury packaging that performs.

A Brief History of Packaging

It all began with some twigs and leaves…

For most of us, shopping is an integral part of our daily lives — food for our fridge, supplies for our offices, a new pair of shoes.  Chances are, whatever it is we may need will be wrapped up in a nice little bag or box.

Packaging is everywhere. But do you ever wonder where it all began?

Shopping list


Packaging as we know it today has been the result of a long development process.

Packaging is an industry that has been around since the beginning of man. In ancient times, packaging was used to transport, assist, store or protect items using natural materials such as leaves. In the Middle Age, wooden barrels were the most common way to store goods.  In the 1900’s, paper and cardboard became more important packaging materials.  As our world continued to evolve, so did packaging.

Ancient people

The Industrial Revolution sparked a tremendous change in the way that people lived their lives. Ultimately, hands were replaced with machines in the workforce, which lead to faster and higher levels of product production. This naturally created a higher demand for different types of packaging, such as:

1. Storage and transportation bins

2. Bags

3. Food packaging methods

4. Primary packaging materials

5. In-store packaging options

The Great Depression brought in the rise of the “self-service” culture where people began going to grocery stores more often.  This new trend changed the way that items were packaged.  The use of packaging turned into more of a sales tool, also known as the “silent salesman”, instead of a tool to simply hold items. After World War 2, new materials were explored, such as plastic and aluminum foil.  This offered the convenience of single use and “throw away” packaging, which was highly attractive to the supermarket culture.

In the later half of the 20th century came the rise of digital technologies, and the producing world became more competitive. Businesses now had a way to differentiate themselves on the shelf. The marketplace became more competitive as mass producing allowed businesses to venture globally.

Shopping icons

Today, packaging plays a primary role in consumers buying decision.  It’s a marketing tool that directly impacts point-of-purchase. Packaging is an industry that continues to be sculpted and molded to fit current trends.

More of a visual person, or just can’t get enough of the history of packaging? Take a look at this infographic:

History of Packaging Flowchart

Structural Graphics wins 6 awards at Ad Club show

Structural Graphics won six awards at the 60th Annual Ad Club Award Show held on Wednesday, May 21 at Farmington Gardens, including a total of four awards (a gold and three bronze) in the Dimensional Mail category, a bronze award in the Packaging category, and one silver award in the show’s Point of Sale category. Continue reading

Structural Graphics wins three American Package Design Awards

We are very happy to announce that we have taken home not one, but THREE American Package Design Awards from GD USA! The winners include a table tent for Chick-Fil-A (complete with a fire-breathing cow) and a POP window display for GAP Athleta stores – both created with Sandy Alexander. We also won for the packaging campaign that we did for Samsung in conjunction with TracyLocke. We couldn’t be more thrilled!APDA2014_SG_ChickFilA   APDA2014_SG_Athleta_display

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