June 18, 2012 at 9:12 am by Ted Mininni
Not long ago, Annie’s Homegrown was known for one thing: all-natural mac and cheese. Signature bunny, Bernie, naturally appealed to kids as part of the brand identity on Annie’s packaging, while parents who were searching for healthier alternatives for their kids’ meals relied on its brand communication. After becoming a hit in natural product stores, Annie’s appeared in supermarkets and gradually became a star. All without traditional advertising.
Annie’s has continued to roll out consumer products in more highly-competitive categories. Enter in more ubiquitous products: pretzels, crackers and snack mix. While arguably more wholesome than other brands might be, how does a smaller company like Annie’s get its message across? Especially on a shoestring marketing budget?
Annie’s packaging has always had to tell the story. It has done more than deliver the brand and product. It’s been used for advertising purposes, as well. Take a look at the package design for Annie’s snack mix. It’s pretty basic at first glance.
What attracts the eye first? The die-cut window in the shape of a running rabbit – Annie’s Bernie. Showing the tasty snack mix by using the die-cut design that refers back to the brand? Great stuff. Making sure Annie’s brand identity and iconic Bernie appear right over the window? Smart. Putting the product description right underneath the window? Makes perfect sense.
Varieties are segmented by color. Basic Organic Snack Mix is packaged in a deep red box; Pizza Snack Mix in bright red; Cheddar Snack Mix in orange and Traditional Party Mix in deep blue. Each package has deep green borders conveying the natural and organic qualities of the product line. The shapes of the snacks: bunnies and pretzels dance in the corners of the primary display panel.
Brand communication is selective but tells the entire story in a few, well-chosen points around the window.
Annie’s isn’t the only brand to use packaging for more than building brand awareness on the shelf. How many small brands use packaging as advertising successfully besides Annie’s?
Let’s name names and give smart brand builders some kudos here!
Categories:Branding, Package Design, Consumer Products