Tag Archives: Packaging Design

Gillette Razor Packaging. Shopper-insighted and improved.

In my last article, you may remember I promised to show you a better design for Gillette’s Pro-Glide Razor packaging. You may also remember that I found a lot of problems with all of the packaging in the category which ended in frustration in the shop, and disappointment after unpacking it at home.

I’m interested in helping clients develop packaging that is a commercially optimised. I believe in this instance that if the team responsible for this packaging had gone on a similar shopping trip as I had, and I always do beforehand, they might have arrived at the same conclusion, and achieved better.

Complete End to End Appraisal

To summarise.

1) We found the packaging graphics designed to grab the shopper’s attention, prevented the shopper from appraising the full product.

2) We couldn’t see if spare razors were included, because of the recycled formed board had no window. Neither was it obvious from the copy there were no spare blades.

Current Gillette Proglide Packaging

In the process of improving the design I started to understand why. Simply, P&G’s intention was to highlight the ‘power on/off’ button associated turning on/off the vibrating razor. Nice, but I wanted to see the razor head design, as is a fundamental requirement of a safety razor. The problem is that the on/off button appears on the wrong side of the razor handle. It should appear so that both the button and the razor head can be viewed together.

Additionally, spare razors, could easily be incorporated to be visible from the front. If not, then excuse my Japanese here, but the written copy isn’t very obvious. More prominence of it would have been the simplest solution.

Here’s the new design..

Gillette ProGlide Improved

The design omits some of the feature illustrations, allowing the full product to be celebrated and appraised. The ‘power button’ is now further highlighted by a star-flash on the clear plastic cover. The button appears the same side as the bladed razor head. The blue/yellow card insert is cut away to reveal the plastic case (we’ve featured it with spare blades)

We believe the design is far more honest, more effective in merchandising the product in it’s packaging and we haven’t destroyed the original idea. We’ve just applied a little more thinking to the design with some insights garnered from a store trip.


Packaging Design for Export Markets

Since 2010 I have been living in Japan. I don’t think I’ve experienced a more different culture when compared other Asian countries. It is a wonderful society and culture which is full of contradictions. Contradictions because, there are times when everything appears to follow rational thought, and then after some more enquiry something will contradict your previous experience.Food and beverage is a great example. During an average lunchtime or dinner excursion you’ll find food which is freshly prepared and staggeringly good to take away. I remember my first Japanese chicken curry. It was so good, that I had it every day for a week. I bought it from a local grocery store. Japanese consumers are known for expectations for high quality and demand for exceptional freshness. By this standard I believed all food and drink would be the same. However, it isn’t true for all food and beverage as my weekly grocery shop revealed. If the children’s confectionary and snacks category in Japan were the creation of Ferran Adria I would happily make it a destination. But this category makes Uncle Toby’s Roll Ups look more organic than a tree. Simply the packaging and the products are more processed and artificial looking than a scripted Discovery Channel documentary series.

Jap Confection3

However, this category aside, I am continually staggered by the effort and consideration Japanese manufacturers pay to their packaging. While it is ever so slightly over packaged most of the time, there is no length a Japanese manufacturer will not go to in order to appeal on the shelf. Customised shapes? Naturally. Product and package are given equal consideration in this country. It is very natural for a food and beverage manufacturer in Japan to investment beyond the graphics on the packaging. Structural packaging design is considered as an important part of the project. Additionally, the product in it’s package is presented like a diamond at Tiffanys. Chocolate coated macadamia nuts by Meiji are packaged in a sleeved box with plastic formed tray. It makes each macadamia (though there aren’t many in the box) more special. This is not an isolated case, it seems most products are revered by the packaging. Even apples are wrapped in Styrofoam netting to prevent them from being bruised.

Meiji Macadamia

By comparison, Nestle, the last company I worked for, would only ever consider redesigning the label, because of the need for the packaging machinery to pay itself off ASAP. As a result, most brands and products used the packaging. If Japan’s food and beverage industry finally model themselves on the Toyota business model, I believe their Australian and Asian counterparts will face a formidable competitor and a more progressive attitude towards packaging design will be needed.

What else is different….local flavour, taste preferences and attitudes towards nutrition. Every meal is also considered according its calorie loading and nutrition value. Japanese people believe that the road to a long life is partially dependent on eating what you need. Not over eating what your body doesn’t. As a result Japanese consumers don’t need % daily intake guidance on the front of their packaging, as is required in Australia.

If you decide to export your products to Japan, or if you are a Japanese manufacturer looking to expand into Australia, you will need to have the information on the package label changed to meet local regulatory requirements. So if there are going to be some expenses involved, it’s a great opportunity to have the packaging designed tailored to stand out amongst the local competition, appeal more to local tastes and consumption behaviour to name a few areas. Doing some homework on the export country, it’s people, retailing….will pay dividends if you apply the knowledge to the design of your packaging. It will give your company a better chance and you some piece of mind.