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5 QUESTIONS WITH THE VERTEX JUDGES: Ruth Galloway

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In preparation for the judging of the annual Vertex Awards International Private Brand Design Competition I sat down with each of the judges and asked them five questions about Private Brands, package design and differentiation – their answers present a unique global perspective and depth of knowledge of the retail brand space.

THE COMPETITION ENDS FRIDAY JANUARY 23RD SO ENTER TODAY.

Today’s conversation is with Ruth Galloway, Creative Director, Marque Brand Consultants, Sydney, Australia

What was your first memory/experience of Private Brand?
I always remember loving the Friday night supermarket shop. The color, the choice, these wonderful, vast huge places full of exciting products. Going shopping always felt like an adventure.

You knew however when you arrived home and the retailers version of your favorite products, they were not the real deal. Sneaky packs that looked nearly the same but never really delivered on quality.

ASDA’s attempt at Penguin with their Puffin bars (milk chocolate-covered cookies/biscuit bars filled with chocolate cream) always made me smile, cheeky! We’ve come along way since then but that perception is hard to shift. I still question the power of a private label Paracetamol (pain reliever).

What does the future of retail owned brands look like?
The consumer now has unlimited access to information and choice and they know it. We have already started to see the failing love for one stop shops and huge retail complexes. Retail is no longer just about the product it stocks it is about relationship and experience it offers. Consumer personal information is more freely available and retail should be, and will be expected to, offer a much more tailored and personalized shopping experience to each and every consumer.

How important is strategy to the success of a Private Brand?
As it is for every brand, strategy for Private Brand is fundamental. Strategy comes from understanding who you are and what you stand for, how you then communicate this and to whom. Strategy allows not only the consumer to understand and build a relationship with your brand but also every employee, supplier and contractor. Strategy should inform the core of the business so each person understands who they are talking to, what they are aiming for and how they are going to get there.

What role should design play in solving retail problems?
Design is a shortcut to your brand communication. Design creates your environment, design is the tangible element that consumers engage with. Design is what your consumers touch and interact with both physically and emotionally. Design is what the consumer chooses to click on or pick up to take home. Design is what they put on their kitchen table, display in their bathroom cabinet or share with their friends. Design can shift perception and make a visual promise but if that product or experience doesn\’t deliver then it’s just style.

What advice do you have for retailers trying to take their brands to the next level?
Consumers no longer need you. What will set you apart from the rest is understanding who you are and communicating this succinctly at every single touch point. The brands that succeed will be the ones that give the consumer what they believe they need and desire. Your brand is no longer a store containing products. Your brand is an experience.

Ruth Galloway, Creative Director, Marque Brand Consultants
Sydney, Australia
Ruth Galloway is an award-winning designer with over 17 years experience in brand and brand packaging design. Having helped shaped and define some of the worlds leading and most iconic companies, in 2007 she co-founded We are Him+Her, a London based creative agency focused on building brands and positioning them for success through strong strategic thinking and beautiful packaging solutions, building an impressive global and local client list including the likes of Unilever and Tesco. After the 2013 acquisition of the company, she relocated to Sydney and joined Marque as Creative Director in 2014 where her extensive experience, intuitive sympathy for the retail shopper, and enthusiasm for the changing retail landscape help guide Marque and Woolworths on a continued path to success.

THE COMPETITION ENDS FRIDAY JANUARY 23RD SO ENTER TODAY.

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vertex awards

Only 3 Days Left to Enter the Vertex Awards!

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Don’t miss the opportunity to join the best Private Brands in the world vying to win a Vertex Awards.

Retailers from around the world have entered how will your brands measure up?

Big Lots!, Brigaderia, Canadian Tire, Carrefour, Cotia, Dagrofa, El Corte Inglés, Eroski, Eurocash, Food Basics, Foodstuffs Own Brands, Fresh & Easy, Harris Teeter, Kero, Loblaw Companies, Mapco, Meijer, Metro, Modelo Continente Hipermercados, Nash Finch, Petco, Raley\’s, Safeway, Schnucks, Sonae MC, SPAR Netherlands, Super C, Target, The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., The Kroger Co., The Source, Topco Associates LLC, Unleashed by Petco, Waitrose, WinCo Foods, Winn-Dixie, Womo Srl and Woolworths

Enter today!

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vertex awards

5 QUESTIONS WITH THE VERTEX JUDGES: Adrian Whitefoord

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In preparation for the judging of the annual Vertex Awards International Private Brand Design Competition I sat down with each of the judges and asked them five questions about Private Brands, package design and differentiation – their answers present a unique global perspective and depth of knowledge of the retail brand space.

THE COMPETITION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY JANUARY 23RD SO ENTER TODAY.

Today’s conversation is with Adrian Whitefoord, Co-founder, Pemberton & Whitefoord (P&W),
London, England

What was your first memory/experience of Private Brand?
PERSONAL vs PROFESSIONAL
: From a purely personal point of view it was shopping with my Mother in a recently opened Tesco store in my hometown of Kettering in midland England. I must have been about six and it was the first time I had been in a supermarket rather than shopping specialist stores such as butchers, bakers and greengrocers on a small town high street. I remember how impressed mum was by the price and the fact that she was doing a whole weeks shop under a single roof.

From a professional point of view, it has to be when Simon Pemberton (business Partner) and I secured our first project with Tesco UK (now the world’s second largest retailer) having just set up our Partnership in 1987. It was all very exciting and as a two man band we did it all ourselves, with a couple of drawing boards, layout pads, MagicMarkers, Rotring pens and Cow Gum adhesive. How times have changed!

What does the future of retail owned brands look like?
ENJOYMENT vs ENDURANCE: That depends very much on the retail brand in question, one size and shape does not fit all However I do anticipate retailers defining greater focus in their proposition. The “salad days” of big food retailers in particular, being cold bland one-stop shops is, in my view, beginning to become tarnished, even old fashioned. In order to maintain consumer footfall, stores need to become destinations to be valued and enjoyed rather than endured, otherwise why not stay at home and shop everything online? Retailers should relearn how to become part of the community rather than try to dominate, they must collaborate and listen to shoppers in order to gain loyalty and maintain their customer base.

How important is strategy to the success of a Private Brand?
STRATEGY vs. SAVVY: Strategy is essential but it comes in different forms. It cannot be denied that textbook strategy is important in order that learning’s are imparted by peers and scholars. Learning from other people’s successes and failures teaches powerful lessons in all walks of life, not just branding, “we stand on the shoulders of giants”. Strategic savvy gained from personal experience is, in my view, equally important; reading a book about chess and the great games played by grand masters is one thing, actually playing the game to win is another. Thirdly (and most contentiously perhaps) I believe strategy can be a function of individual instinct. Relying on a passion and a gut feeling of what is right can lead to more creative strategic paths than moving in conventional directions, however well tried and trusted they may be.

What role should design play in solving retail problems?
PROBLEMS vs PROGRESS: A very significant one. “Should” relates to the future not the present. The contribution of design with relation to the retail environment has never been more essential. For on-street retailing to endure, it has to deliver an experience that the shopper will embrace whether the broad brushstroke of design relates to; store layout, directional signage, point of sale communication, packaging, or the utilization of new media as a way of enhancing in-store communication. Good design makes life better, easier and more rewarding. Woe betides retailers that treat design as a commodity or a necessary evil. Design is the multi-faceted tool that connects customers with products emotionally and this can too easily be trivialized and unappreciated.

History illustrates, with great clarity, the benefits of great design in all arenas of cultural development, whether relating to architecture, engineering or retail store experience. Great design enhances, rewards and creates loyalty. It is the unsung hero of commerce.

What advice do you have for retailers trying to take their brands to the next level?
PASSION vs PURPOSE: It is a personal cliché that I have no shame in recycling again and again, the mantra that “it is better to lead than to follow”. That is not to say that it is unimportant to analyze competitors whether they are national / international brands or rival stores. To ignore market trends and drivers puts any brand or retail brand in a position of weakened authority. P&W’s trump card is its ability to see things from the customer’s point of view. We generate packaging that has the prime objective of delivering better on-shelf presence, resulting in strategic and tactical solutions that meet commercial objectives. We have a great passion for what we do and how we help clients, whether they are multi-national companies or start-up businesses. Passion and clarity of thought are principles that make the difference.

Never fear innovation and never assume market domination represents invulnerability. Like great empires, brands ebb and flow. Identifying the boundaries between arrogance and confidence will determine performance and longevity.

Adrian Whitefoord, Co-founder, Pemberton & Whitefoord (P&W),
London, England
Whitefoord believes the best design requires a combination of emotion and logic. Pemberton and Whitefoord clients include Tesco, Nestlé, Starbucks and Seicomart.

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Vertex Awards Deadline Extended!

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Due to an overwhelming global response to this year’s Vertex Awards the deadline for entries has been extended to Friday, January 23, 2015.

We have seen an unprecedented number of entries across a wide variety of categories ranging from traditional groceries, to home goods, beauty and automotive – DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

ENTER TODAY!

Categories
vertex awards

5 QUESTIONS WITH THE VERTEX JUDGES: Paula Bunny

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In preparation for the judging of the annual Vertex Awards International Private Brand Design Competition I sat down with each of the judges and asked them five questions about Private Brands, package design and differentiation – their answers present a unique global perspective and depth of knowledge of the retail brand space.

THE COMPETITION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY JANUARY 23RD SO ENTER TODAY.

Today’s conversation is with Paula Bunny, Creative Director, Brother Design
Auckland, New Zealand

What was your first memory/experience of Private Brand?
Seeing what Mary Lewis and her team at Lewis Moberly in London were doing with private label in the early nineties. She was the pioneer in my eyes of steering a course for design to enter areas of own-brand packaging. Most notably her designs for ASDA Wines & Spirits and her hosiery packs for Boots the Chemists, which stood out to me with their simply executed, yet brilliantly clever ideas.

What does the future of retail owned brands look like?
Shoppers want value from their private label brands and value translates to so much more than just being about price. We can no longer simply emulate the proprietary brands.

More and more consumers will begin to view private label as being experts and innovators in their fields rather than copiers of the category leaders. This has always been an obstacle for growth for own-brands.

How important is strategy to the success of a Private Brand?
Crucial. It’s method, not luck that separates successful design from mediocre. You need to have a comprehensive picture of what is, and what might be, to understand your brand and it’s place in the market. Build your brand from the inside out – this allows you to challenge norms and overturn the ordinary.

What role should design play in solving retail problems?
Design is a very powerful tool in its ability to express the intention of a product in a way that will get a positive emotional response. It’s not enough for your product to only do what it promises – it must do so while winning over the hearts and minds of your consumer. Good design is good business.

What advice do you have for retailers trying to take their brands to the next level?
Continuous innovation. Don’t sit still. Don’t be copycatters, be category leaders. Build a strong communication strategy outside of packaging. Consider changing store formats. Move into new categories.

Paula Bunny, Creative Director, Brother Design
Auckland, New Zealand
Prior to returning to New Zealand to manage the Foodstuffs New Zealand’s Pams brand, Bunny crafted private brand design for global companies including Johnson & Johnson, Gillette, and Kraft Foods.