Journal

CHEAP FOOD SHOULDN’T LOOK “CHEAP”

CHEAP FOOD SHOULDN’T LOOK “CHEAP”

Nebojša Simić, Design Director

What’s with the LV bags? Why is LV the most counterfeited fashion brand on the planet at the moment?

“Counterfeits appeal to those people who want to demonstrate their status, but don’t have the funds to do so with genuine products” – BBC

We all want to feel good. We want for our choices to show our taste. So what is happening with food brands and why is it that the cheap food has too look cheap?

When you go to the supermarket you surround yourself with approximately 40,000 items. How do you choose which one you will buy, how do you know what is it you need, do you really want that fancy looking, gold – letters – single – origin chocolate or the “normal” chocolate is good enough for you?
That brings out the question, how come that the “normal” chocolate has to look “bad – cheap”?
With the new means of printing and production, the cost of fancy looking packaging is not beyond the reach anymore. Or even better, with proper and clever design you can save money on production and create something more interesting than gold foil fancy lettering chocolate wrap.

But the more alarming question appears when you find out that many brands don’t even consider changing their bad & ugly, excuse me, bad & outdated looking packaging,
I am in the branding industry for quite some time now, and I have heard many so-called reasons, and the most appeared one is that “our target audience won’t buy our products anymore if we make any changes”. But the target audience changed! The time moves for them too! The target audience should never be underestimated, especially in this digital age when we are all surrounded by LV bags and “we want to be part of that club”.

I recently read the article at AIGA “Eyes on design” about the private labels changing their design and it showed a perspective in which brands don’t want to look cheap anymore as they understood that they have to look good and compete the with hi-end products, regardless of their price and quality.

“With the private label, the design does not intend to get consumers to pay more for a product. Instead, it’s supposed to make people feel better about paying less.”

Not to mention the financing side of that.

“By making their own brands into an easy, attractive, looks-nice-in-the-pantry choice rather than a compromise, mid-tier retailers improve their margins and drive brands loyalty.”

Our job as designers, marketing and brand directors is to educate consumers, too. People will buy products based on the quality and price they can afford, and, yes, there will always be some Evian and Fiji on the shelf, but the local spring water is also good as any!

Yet, on the other hand, as our creative director Slobodan Jovanovic – Coba often says

“The good design will be the fastest killer of a bad product. Yet, there are less and less bad products today when there are so many restrictions and regulations, but still, we define “good” and “bad” without an inquiry on compositions and add-ons. I think that design is THE MOST critical element in the products life cycle and it must be a visual counterpart of the taste and quality of the product.”

So what’s the excuse for not having a good designed brand?
There isn’t any.

See you in a bit.