Packaged FINDINGS: “Souped Up” Packaging Still Keeps Brand Strong

Posted on Feb 3, 2022 by

With the help of ongoing COVID safety and prevention measures, people (including me) are feeling more emboldened about returning to public places, most notably the grocery store. I’ve truly missed the opportunity to pick up a product, feel it, smell it, embrace the package and experience the variety of goods. One of the joys of returning to in-store grocery shopping is seeing the new and exciting packaging appearing on shelf – with my recent trip revealing the splendid new Campbell’s soup package, the first redesign in 50ish years. Although the redesign hasn’t stepped that far away from its original design, I congratulate the company’s ability to take the best of the iconic brand, modify it and still keep the brand integrity strong.

So, what changed? The standard Campbell’s red and white bisected design remains true to the historical portrayal of the soup can package; but if you look carefully at the reorganization of messaging, you’ll see that the standard “condensed” statement has moved from being a secondary line of copy supporting the logo to a very recessive visual placement in gold at the top of the package. Additionally, the logo typography itself has changed. The characters have had some of their flourish removed – without losing their brand identity. The removal of the black shadow supporting the logo presents a clean, crisp look – again without compromising the brand.

At the center of the package, the Campbell’s emblem grounds the packaging in the familiar but the area below the emblem is where change is readily visible. The product style font has changed from an all-caps to an initial cap, condensed font (possibly a “nod” to the condensed product?). Additionally, the standard gold fleur-de-lis that banded the bottom of the package has been removed in favor of a reduced SOUP with the fleur-de-lis using the capital “C” in the Campbell’s logo.

Last but not least is the addition of “ingredient imagery” specific to each product, which is also more in keeping with what competitive products display on their face panels.

As to the side and back panels, not much has changed. The copy, unfortunately, remains very small and difficult to read. As with all food packaging, unless you shop with a magnifying glass or a computer at hand to reference content, most consumers buy on faith there is nothing detrimental in a product. Ironically, in my opinion, this is the area that needs the most design attention and innovative thinking. While it is great to provide in-depth content information, it should be readily legible to a broad majority of consumers. Add in language issues, and a solution seems elusive.

This packaging redesign is particularly exciting because of the retained brand identity supporting the design “tweaks”.  In my experience, consistency and relevance are the most critical elements of effective branding and resulting packaging. The product label and the consistent treatment of the brand/product identity provide that continuity of impression that may make the redesign almost invisible except for the addition of the product content images. To my thinking, it is the way brand identity should evolve. This is a reengineering of design that was well worth the effort. Well done Campbell’s.

 

If you are planning for your next packaging redesign and need graphic design support that will ensure your brand integrity remains strong, we invite you to start a conversation with us by contacting us at info@brand-directions.com

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

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