Archive for April, 2013

Coley Porter Bell creates new identity for Handpecked

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has created a new brand identity for UK poultry supplier Handpecked.

The design consisting of a chicken’s wing in the form of a hand on a block printed silhouette of a hen, was inspired by the company’s name. It represents the hands-on nature of the business, the human touch that is present in every aspect of their work and the care and attention that goes into all their products.  (more…)

Consumers will be highly intelligent but lacking empathy says Baroness Greenfield

by Alex Benady

Hyper-connectivity is creating a generation of Spock-like consumers with high IQs, but little empathy, Baroness Susan Greenfield told Coley Porter Bell this week.

Speaking at the House of Lords where she was being interviewed by senior planner Ed Silk for Coley Porter Bell’s 2013 Visual Futures presentation: ‘Eureka: how a renewed interest in science is informing a new visual language for brands’, Baroness Greenfield was explaining the implications of new technology for the human brain and human behaviour.

She argued that the human brain adapts “exquisitely” to its environment. “Now the environment is composed of just two dimensions –sound and vision, the brain will adapt to that,” she said.

“Marketers are now selling stuff to people with a much less robust sense of identity, shorter attention spans who want to be hyper-connected and therefore perhaps have less empathy with others. But at the same time they have very high IQs and can make connections very fast.”

She predicted that marketing in the future will be primarily about segmenting through experience rather than the provision of ‘things’. “Objects are already smart. That will increase. And when you have Google glasses and Facebook phones, everything will be even more personalised as you walk down the high street.”

She added that brands will need to adjust to new ideas of what constitutes desireability. “The old idea was that brands say something about you. Now status is more to do with ‘cool’ than mere objects. Coolness is not about owning a Rolex or a Bentley, it’s about something that will get you followers.”

The full interview with Baroness Greenfield will be available on our web site closer to the Visual Futures presentation on June 26.



by Tim Smith

by Tim Smith

Coley Porter Bell creates packaging for luxurious Müller yogurt.

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has designed the packaging for a new luxury version of its best selling Muller Corner range.

CPB has designed four new variants of the new product branded ‘de Luxe Corner’. They are Marc de Champagne, Crème Praline, Coconut Dream and After Dinner Mint.  Rich colour coding and sumptuous top of pack photography underline the luxurious nature of the ingredients. The work is part of a broader design overhaul of the Müller range intended to differentiate Müller products from each other with a more explicit architecture while at the same time giving individual products greater appetite appeal. (more…)

Why has the old passing off debate reignited?

by donnatrist

There’s a lot of crime going on in the supermarket aisles but it’s not shop-lifting says Which magazine. Yes the old ‘passing-off’ debate about the extent to which supermarkets copy brands reared its head again last week after lying dormant for more than a decade.

As we work for both brands and retailers it’s a debate we are especially interested in and one which we witness from both sides.

The survey by Which accused supermarkets of bamboozling consumers into buying their own-label products by copying the packaging of better known branded equivalents. The investigation looked at 150 own-label products and found that a fifth of those questioned had accidentally bought a supermarket copy of a brand, at least once. 18% had deliberately bought an own-label product because it resembled the branded equivalent. 60% of these shoppers did so because it was cheaper, 59% wanted to see if it was as good.

The question of passing off or “intellectual property theft” as brand owners called it, first came to prominence in the early nineties when retailers realised they could grow sales and margins of own-label products if they improved the quality and made them look more like established brands.

The problem was how do you do that? On the one hand every category has its conventions. Disobey them and you aren’t in the category. One the other hand if you use too many of the conventions, -especially colour cues, packaging shape and type face, its easy to imply a connection with the brand that doesn’t exist or trick consumers into mistaking your product for the branded leader. No wonder the brand owners called it “parasite branding”.

Certainly some of the examples of own label shown in the Which report were so close to their branded rivals they were almost funny. But you have to wonder why the issue has returned now?

It seems that the main driver is likely to be economic downturn. With consumer confidence down and many real incomes falling, own-label is taking a larger and larger share of supermarket turn over. The temptation for retailers is to sail as close to the brand leader as possible because, according to the British Brands Group, a lookalike pack can boost sales by fifty per cent or more.

We know that retailers are especially interested in own-label at the moment because in the last couple of years we have received briefs from two retail giants who both wanted help transforming their own-label into own brand.

So are they deliberately copying established brands? We know for a fact that our clients aren’t. One the other hand we also know that at least one very major retailer (not our client) actually told its design agency to “get as close as you can legally.”

That’s not only dishonest, it’s a mistake. The reason being that it suggests a lack of confidence and undermines your ability to build your own brand.

The best way for brands to deal with this problem is to create strong unique and distinctive visual properties. Of course anything can be copied. But if your visual language is truly distinctive it is harder for plagiarists to argue they are merely using category conventions.

For retailers the challenge is to marry these conventions with your own distinctive brand personality and design language. The result is almost certain to be uniquely and distinctively yours but recognisable within the category.

Coley Porter Bell collaborates with Londoners to create Beefeater limited edition

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has created a limited edition Beefeater gin bottle using photographs submitted by Londoners to encapsulate the concept ‘My London’. The bottle launches this month and will be available in more than 25 countries worldwide as well as travel retail outlets.

The concept was developed in response to a brief to create a limited edition bottle that showcased the creativity, personal freedom and the exciting twists on the expected that are all prevalent in London. The packaging was intended as a catalyst to a bigger story for the Beefeater brand and generated a rich campaign idea.

The Beefeater My London design uses photos of London uploaded to a Beefeater website by consumers for a competition which asked them to demonstrate what London means to them personally through photography. The aim of the competition was to evoke the richness, diversity and creativity of London. It was created specifically to generate ‘content’ for the new design. (more…)

by Tim Smith

Coley Porter Bell wins no. 2 position in Drum Design 100

by Sarah Cameron

This blog is about all the things that inspire us as we make brands beautiful: insights and ideas, points of view, fabulous work, nascent trends - all the things that excite us and help us to see new possibilities for the brands we work on. So please enjoy, add your comments, forward the link, and come back and see us. We’ll be posting regularly.