Posts Tagged ‘branding’

Those Crunchy Nutters

by Sarah Cameron

I’m going to put this out there – I’m just not sure about the new Crunchy Nut variant.  I’m a die-hard Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut fan, but this extension to a ‘luxury’ apply / rasin etc. granola variant is a stretch too far for me. Where’s the honey? Where’s the golden promise of nuts?  Where on earth are the cornflakes?!

The white and green identity looks a bit cold rather than luxury (and not at ALL welcoming in the wintery mornings),  and unfortunately ‘cold’ is exactly what this pack has left me feeling…



Coley Porter Bell rebrands Morrisons’ core own-label range

by Alex Benady


Coley Porter Bell has rebranded Morrisons‘ core range, the biggest and strategically most important of its own-label ranges.

Branded ‘Everyday Family Favourites’, the range aims to offer quality equal to that of market leading brands. It is seen as the key to Morrisons improving consumer perceptions of its quality and food culture.

The central thought behind the range is the ‘promise to please’. Products in the range are selected because of especially good tasting ingredients, naturalness and efficacy. The role of the packaging is to convey what it is about each product that delivers ‘the promise to please’.

The designs all use photography but in three different styles depending on the nature of the promise. The first and most prevalent is a lifestyle or editorial approach designed to evoke the eating experience. The second is led by the provenance or quality of ingredients. The third is for products such as crisps where the ‘promise to please’ is based largely on the fun of consumption.

An EFF label is superimposed on the photographs of the food. The label itself is usually in cream. The Morrisons ‘M’ logo appears at the top of the labels, set at an angle in an oval shaped grey/brown decal. Product names appears in a typeface specially designed for Morrisons by Coley Porter Bell to give EFF products a distinctive feel and more human touch. Further product information appears in Archer Bold typeface.

Said Stephen Bell, creative director of Coley Porter Bell: “Morrisons Everyday Family Favourites is the key pillar in Morrisons’ brand architecture. It is where the volume lies and where the major effect on perceptions of Morrisons’ brand comes from. It is the channel through which they are most likely to be able to express their true passion for food. And food is the mainstay of their business. These design convey that passion and commitment.”


Explaining to the French why we tampered with a French icon. In English.

by Ridhi Sain


Ricard is much more than an alcoholic drink in France. It’s an institution, a cornerstone of French life and its design and advertising occupy a truly iconic position in French culture.

So it was with equal feelings of honour, pride and gut-wrenching anxiety that I stood up to speak last week at the opening of an exhibition of Ricard’s journey through the years in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.


Can the ubiquity of sponsorship ultimately make a brand invisible?

by Igor Astrologo

An article published in Marketing magazine reveals that “Non-sponsor Nike is brand most associated with Olympics”.
This raises a couple of poignant questions for brands interested in becoming sponsors of global events: can being overly present turn a brand into wallpaper? And could well-targeted and -devised campaigns (be they traditional or social-media driven) prove to be the most effective form of communication/promotion for brands with their eye on a global audience?


Nike Make It Count campaign imagery


Why you should never name your boy Sue.

by Alex Benady
Wrong expectations you see

Wrong expectations you see

Remember the Johnny Cash song ‘A boy named Sue’?  As brand designers we’ve always known intuitively that ‘congruence’ is important when it comes to naming and branding new products. It meant that in a perfect world the overall brand should reflect the product and its physcial attributes, and that all the different elements of the branding (name, packaging, livery, packaging design etc) should work together because they also reflect the product. It’s common sense really.

But it’s nice to finally have the theory  confirmed by science -or neuroscience to be more precise. In a paper soon to be published by the Journal of Consumer Pyschology, Professor Charles Spence of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford shows that marketers can markedly  improve consumers’ experience of a product by setting up the right (congruent) sensory expectations.

In particular he is interested in sound symbolism – the association that people experience between specific sounds and particular attributes (e.g., when they associate words containing the ‘i’ sound with smallness). But he also looks at shape symbolism (e.g., between sharp pointy shapes and bitterness or carbonation in foods and beverages).

One of his most important findings is that these cues don’t operate in sensory isolation. They are ‘cross-modal.’ So a stimulus in one sense (say sound) can set up expectations in other senses (say taste or appearance). In keeping with other findings of neuroscience Professor Spence says that these effects appear to operate subconsciously so consumers aren’t necessarily aware of what is going on).

He produces mountains of evidence to back his case. For instance had it occurred to you that the letter K was a predictor of commercial success? Spence points out the disproportionate occurrence of ‘K’ in successful brand and business names. Think Kraft, Kellogg’s, Kodak, KFC, K-Mart, IKEA, TK Maxx to name but a few.

And he shows that people’s impressions of a new food product can be shaped by the vowel sounds contained in the product name. So respondents in one study were more likely to believe that an ice cream would taste creamier, smoother, and richer when it was given the invented brand name ‘Frosch’ than when it was called ‘Frisch.’

In another study respondents thought that a lemonade with a brand name having a higher-frequency vowel sound (such as the ‘i’ in Bilad) was more likely to taste bitter than a fictional brand name containing a lower-frequency vowel (such as the ‘o/’sound in Bolad). In the same research, the invented name Godan (containing an initial back vowel) was associated with a darker beer than the invented name Gidan.

The good news for international naming and design projects is that these responses seem deeply wired. The effects seem to operate subconsciously (so consumers aren’t necessarily aware of what is going on). And  when you concentrate on the sound, (rather than the meaning) many of these responses are universal across cultures.

But this doesn’t mean we can market sewage as perfume or make up for poor quality products simply by setting up the right sensory expectation through branding. Professor Spence warns of the awful consequences of what he calls ‘disconfirmed expectation’ and you and I would call ‘over claim’. “When the product experience does not meet the consumer’s product expectation, it can cause long-lasting negative consequences for product perception and consumption,” he concludes.

So the idea that names and brands should reflect the product is not just a marginal factor. It’s a powerful tool that can make or break new brands. As Sue found to his cost it should be used with great care.

Beautiful Appetite

by Chris Button

Predicting trends in the cosmetics market is not the easiest of tasks for a brand manager. Nonetheless, the competitive advantage provided to a brand that predicts, or indeed drives, a new trend is immense. Over the past few years, a reliable indicator for the future of cosmetics has emerged in a category traditionally treated as separate: food.

Currently, the global cosmetics market is broadly driven by two consumer needs: personalisation and naturalness. Personalisation used to be solely about basic needs like ‘oily’ or ‘sensitive’, but is now becoming increasingly segmented by gender, ethnicity and lifestage (e.g. age, pregnancy). ‘Natural’ used to have enough meaning to engage the consumer, but now consumer calls for increased specificity are leading to more sophisticated claims like ‘Paraben-free’. However, these further developments in personalisation and naturalness are causing problems for cosmetics brand managers. Disengaged consumers are jaded by naturalness claims while making increasingly individual demands.

The main problem for brands in their attempt to meet these two consumer needs of personalisation and naturalness stems from unresolved tensions within the cosmetics market. At Coley Porter Bell we have identified three tensions: natural versus scientific; minimal versus maximal; functional versus emotional.

The clash between natural and scientific revolves around the twin demands for naturally sourced, herbal treatments and technologically advanced laboratory solutions. Although not necessarily mutually exclusive, they represent very different approaches to the market. The claim of bareMinerals that “it’s make up so pure you can sleep in it” is in stark contrast to Voss Laboratories’ Amatokin that proudly champions its “unique polypeptide compound” based on stem-cell technology.

The distinction between minimal and maximal refers to the use of cosmetics to achieve a flawless natural look or to decorate with colour. This contrast has been particularly pronounced in 2011 with brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein adopting a pared back approach while John Galliano and Louis Vuitton currently favour a more glammed-up approach.

The division between functional and emotional refers to the divergent role of cosmetics as something that treats (e.g. moisturising cream) or something that adorns (e.g. lipstick). As with the tension between natural and scientific, functional and emotional concerns are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Some products currently on the market, such as Bite ‘Natural Food Grade’ lipstick, attempt to do both.

Whether for the mind or the body, the unifying concept that we believe can help address these tensions is nourishment. More specifically, it is ‘outer’ nourishment with its focus on what is applied to the body externally as cosmetics. This may be contrasted with ‘inner’ nourishment with its focus on what is consumed by the body through diet. However, even this distinction is slowly being eroded as food terms like ‘organic’, ‘fair-trade’ and ‘halal’ proliferate on cosmetics packaging. This overarching concept of nourishment has formed such an inextricable bond between cosmetics and food that food trends are now leading the way for personalisation and naturalness in cosmetics.

At Coley Porter Bell, we have identified nine food trends that we believe will feature prominently in cosmetics in the future.

1. Transparency: explicit, quantifiable front of pack ingredients possibly with a nutritional key.

2. Guidance: ‘healthy-aging’ (like ‘healthy-eating’) rather than ‘anti-ageing’.

3. Functionality: multi-purpose products addressing a variety of needs.

4. Convenience: cosmetic ‘snacking’ on-the-go.

5. Sustainability: production quality linked with product quality.

6. Provenance: product source linked with product quality.

7. Nutrition: entrance into ‘nutricosmetics’ (beauty drinks/foods) by major cosmetics players.

8. Revivalism: nostalgia for ‘good old days’ reviving past ideas of glamour.

9. Connectivity: aps/sites following personal recommendations (e.g. MAC ‘Shop Together’).

By carefully using these trends to nourish the consumer needs of personalisation and naturalness, cosmetics brands will not only be able to be on-trend, but will also be able to lead and sculpt the very future of beauty.

Beauty Spot Brandkok

by Ridhi Sain

While on holiday in Bangkok a few days ago, I was amazed at the overwhelming presence of brands in the city. They were everywhere – creeping into car seats, hanging off ceilings, even growing on trees!! Loved our Pink Burberry taxi ride in particular…

Random deals

by Helen Hartley

Click on the image to read article in detail, or see Page 17 of Design Week.

If the shirt fits…

by Tom Probert

A photo of the new Tottenham home strip was leaked onto the internet this week. It wasn’t a great shot. Spectral and grainy, it looks like a ghost shirt. But it wasn’t just the quality of the image that gave it an ‘other-wordly’ feeling.

There’s an asymmetric navy epaulet effect in Spurs blue. And there’s the Spurs cockerel over the left breast. It looks strangely dignified. And yet there’s something’s missing. Something that marks out nearly all top flight football teams these days.  What could it possibly be?


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.