Packaged FINDINGS: La Colombe’s Brand-focused Approach Wins on Shelf

Posted on Jun 21, 2018 by

Creating an effective packaging design that has maximum visual impact, stands apart from the competition, works in a display ready unit, and acts as a reflection of the brand can be a challenge. In most cases, you should begin design exploration with a clear understanding of the brand, and how it relates to the future success of your packaging design and marketing activities.

Why brand first? When you have an accurate understanding of what the brand represents and how it needs to convey that message, you can design the appropriate “environment” that supports the brand to effectively communicate to the consumer; more importantly, how your brand aligns with consumer perception and desire. It is important not to lose sight of the importance of connecting quickly and effectively with your consumer because you never have the chance to make a first impression twice.

Often branding gets swallowed up by a package design that actually distracts from the brand, or makes the brand a secondary message. I admit that finding a “stand out” package has become much more challenging – which leads me to the La Colombe® cold-pressed beverage package. It’s a quiet, elegant and clean design that clearly positions the brand as the leading communication and design element of the package. The “design” of the package is more appropriately an absence of design, relying on the expansive use of bright, unadulterated white space to isolate the brand and critical product communications. The result ­­is a package that stands head and shoulders apart from competitive products surrounding it; presenting a package design that is super effective in providing a visually distinct but quiet space for consumers to focus on.

This package is a breakaway package size in our local stores. The slender, ergonomically designed individual serving size cans are highly transportable, easily fitting in a purse or briefcase. A simple but tightly controlled graphics system is accompanied by minimal color-coded flavor and brew cues. The colored plastic rim encasing the top of the can augments color-coding while providing a secondary benefit of not having the end user drink directly out of an aluminum can. And the cans are not just cans – the manufacturer has also innovated a structural packaging feature that serves to “froth” the espresso beverage as the can is opened. The printed colors on the cans are deep, saturated, dimensional colors that provide sharp contrast for the limited packaging copy, which holds the integrity of the finest type and art lines while delivering incredible color consistency package to package. I don’t know specifically how it is achieved, but the colors on the cans are luminescent, creating a rare phenomenon of clean, intense consistent color in spite of existing in a world filled with bad overhead fluorescent store lighting. The intense and effective elementary color scheme confirms with me that approaching a design solution through a purposeful brand focus with “less”, creates the best visual advantage on shelf.

At first, you might think the package would be dwarfed by larger, half-gallon size containers surrounding it – but here is where a brand-focused design packs a punch – the design readily cuts through the visual clutter in the category with a brand message that communicates quality versus quantity. If I could change anything about the package design, it would be to give the product feature communication slightly more presence. I had some difficulty reading the fine print that conveys the brew format style – an important message to communicate (especially as more and more manufacturers will attempt to replicate the unique design features this product and package have). There are also product features that could elaborate a little more on their benefits to consumers. That notwithstanding, this package design is practical and aesthetically effective. I couldn’t help but be drawn to it on shelf.

If you are thinking of exploring innovative packaging, contact us at 920-886-7727 or  Throughout our 60 plus years of supporting customers with consumer brands large and small, we apply our experience and expertise to the entire process to create efficient and effective solutions. 

The purpose of our “findings” blog is to spotlight packaging that displays thinking that breaks the mold, delivers something new or chancy – or at the very least, highlights packaging that catches your eye in the retail environment.