Ironically, Mr. Warhol depicted the cans in the thirty-two canvases not in bright hues, but in the red, white, and black of the traditional Campbell’s label. However, putting out a special edition in those familiar colors would fail to adequately set cans apart for shoppers.
Tomato soup is a commodity product, like oranges or milk. University of South Africa researchers had 312 consumers assess the quality of milk poured from brand-labeled and from unlabeled packages. The researchers found that without branding, all milk tastes pretty much identical, but when there’s a label, distinctive taste perceptions result.
- Pay particular attention to how you present commodity items. Even if the manufacturer’s packaging is the same from one brand to another, something as small as the way the boxes are angled on the shelves can make one product look more attractive than a competitor’s.
- Be aware of what the label is actually selling. The early California Fruit Growers Exchange orange crate labels portrayed snow-capped mountains and beaches dotted with sun umbrellas. Then around 1922, the packer realized the labels were establishing a distinctive image, all right, but were selling California more than selling the fruit. In fact, the labels didn’t even include a picture of an orange. A redesign changed that. Then around 1935, the labels were again redesigned, this time to give greater highlighting to the brand name, which itself has changed from California Fruit Growers Exchange to the single emotion-packed word “Sunkist.”
- Use shelf tags with comments to add to what the manufacturer’s label portrays. The orange packinghouses created particular names and labels for fruit that was small or off-color. One objective was to distinguish these from the top-grade premium-priced citrus. These lower-grade offerings had labels with names like Mutt and Camouflage. However, another objective was still to sell the fruit. So taglines were developed like “The Quality is Inside” and “Not much for looks, but ripe, sweet, & juicy.” You can do the same sort of thing on your store shelves to add the appeal of personality to each offering.
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Punch Up Offerings with Distinctive Labeling