Vertex Awards 2019: GOLD WINNERS

Specially Selected

  • RETAILER: Aldi
  • COUNTRY: Australia
  • CATEGORY: G3. Packaged Goods
  • AGENCY: Equator Design


  • Creative Director: Chris Lapsley
  • Senior Creative & Strategy Director: Howard Wright
  • Creative Director: Martin Orme
  • Senior Designer: Stephen Reilly
  • Senior Account Director: Andreea Grosanu
  • Creative Account Manager: Karl Dixon
  • Artwork Account Manager: Martin Barnes
  • Production Account Manager: Paul McNulty, Anna Ballard & Carl Weston
  • Senior Photographer: Stewart Bimson
  • Food Stylist: Pam Witter
  • Creative Director of Photography: Dawn Wormald
  • Color Manager: Gary Moore
  • Retoucher: Garry Bradley
  • Retoucher: Sam Fillingham

The task entailed a complete brand and packaging refresh for Aldi Australia’s premium offering, Specially Selected, providing a new look that would distinguish it and grab attention in a marketplace brimming with premium and indulgent brands. The solution was to capture the expressive nature of the food and to combine this with bold pops of color and sleek pared-back branding. For this project, design, photography and finished art were accomplished within 12 months and delivered across 140 SKUs.

Taking into account an ultra-competitive premium tier marketplace and the emerging trends of e-commerce, transparency and social media “shareability” influencing the sector, the aim was to win loyalty in customers by using simplified text and bold designs that would demonstrate consistency from product to product and across the ‘Specially Selected’ brand. The product would likewise need to sit well within Aldi branding, diversifying and elevating customer perception of the Aldi brand as a whole. The work would necessitate demonstrating what a premium brand looks like now, as well as forecasting how the look of premium may change in the coming years and ensure shelf stand-out within a fast-paced commercial landscape. With an eye on the future, the goal was to innovate around today’s perception of premium goods, with an intent to instruct and influence that perception going forward.

Larger, bolder, crisper – these were our design criteria. In order to ‘future-proof’ the brand and address a consumer preference away from an overly fussy, information-filled style towards a fresher, pared-back framework, the new design was made to appear simpler and lighter, as well as communicating transparency and clarity of provenance. With the new design framework expected to have a lifespan of at least three years, a consistent, adaptable and effective Brand Architecture was created, ensuring the distinguishable new Specially Selected premium look could be carried forward and applied to innovative products and ranges still in development now.

Numbers are still being crunched on customer purchases sporting the new brand design, which was launched just ahead of the 2018 Christmas season. As of January 2019, products are still being rolled out, therefore little data is available as of yet. However, early feedback has proved tremendously positive. The cross-category range of products has been made available in 500 Aldi supermarket stores nationally across Australia. The target demographic? Consumers far and wide who are keen to find an affordable indulgence right before their eyes on the shelf – which of course includes nearly all shoppers.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.