Archive for the ‘Packaging’ Category

My Integrated Marketing Communications class writes an almost-weekly marketing communications blog. My goals are to teach the blogging medium and business writing skills. I promised to write 500 words with them every week. Here’s my first post. The topic is my favorite thing.

I assign this topic to have my students market it across the IMC spectrum. Today they’ve created a content marketing piece for it in WordPress and will personally sell their item in class. Later in the semester we will create print mock ups and prescribe the magazine choice, ad size, and location within the journal. By the end of class, we’ve fully explored all aspects of IMC in the metaphor of a small, personal object. The word of mouth is incredibly powerful.

The only rule it that the item must be portable and something they could actually sell. Handmade objects are difficult, so I advise they choose something they know intimately. I want to hear about why this object is truly a favorite thing.

20140212-130932.jpg My favorite thing, this semester, is my Julie Hewitt lipstick.

It’s not the shiny case that attracted me, although it does possess an 80s glamour. My brow artist who works wonders with my prolific eyebrows sells the Julie Hewitt line in her shop. I’ve always used my hometown brand, Aveda, because I like it’s minty-ness and sustainable packaging. In many years I’ve never thought of changing brands. I am Aveda loyal.

However…the colors change and I’ve had more than one Juut make up artist suggest a truly ugly color for me. Ugly, like coral orange. It’s not that coral is an ugly color, but with my skin tone it looks awful.

Julie Hewitt sells gorgeous blue-tinted reds and pinks. I have exactly three shades:  Femme Noir (pictured above to the left), Sin Noir (not for class) and my go to favorite, Scarlett.

Why I love this lipstick

First of all, I love color. I consider red, purple, and fuchsia almost as wardrobe neutrals. I wear brown and black, as well, but I also wear something colorful. My purses are black or bright. My hats are the same.

I often match my lipstick to what I’m wearing. My red and white herringbone “statement” jacket matches my Julie Hewitt Femme Noir lipstick perfectly. I don’t wear a lot of makeup — usually just tinted sunscreen and lipstick, maybe a little eye liner now and again.

I don’t wear much eye makeup because I have wild eyebrows. Well, they would be if I didn’t seek professional help from Brow Chic. My eyebrows are my true vanity. Having grown up in the era of Brooke Shields full brows, my almost Freda Kahlo-esque brows were very stylish in the 80s…

The unibrow is not in style. I really don’t think it ever was. Thinking positively, having full brows means my eyebrow stylist can shape them easily without requiring me to fill them in with additional color. I trust her judgement implicitly.

My stylist recommended Julie Hewitt. I was hooked ever since..


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In marketing, we always talk about distinguishing yourself, finding your niche, emphasizing your uniqueness.

Lately, I’ve been telling my students to think about using paper.

Paper, as in door hangers, business cards, and table tents. All with QR codes, of course. But paper, never the less.

Why? Because people don’t use it that much anymore. Now it’s unique, different, and special.

What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?

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I noticed another change the other day. My toothpaste now comes in plastic tubes.

Stop the Presses!

Yes, I know that if you use Crest or Colgate, this is nothing new. But for years, Tom’s of Maine packaged their paste in recyclable aluminum.

The problem? While it might have been a good idea at its inception in the 1970s, in the 2010s things have changed:

  • Consumers complained about leaking tubes.
  • Recycling companies wouldn’t accept the tubes for recycling
  • Non-deposit aluminum recycling opportunities have decreased.

Why do I know this? I read the Tom’s of Maine Blog, which says:

In 2011 Tom’s of Maine began packaging its toothpaste in plastic “laminate” tubes rather than the aluminum tubes that were part of the brand for many years.

We made the decision to switch after giving the subject lengthy, holistic consideration which included taking into account current practices of manufacturing and recycling and, most importantly, your overwhelming feedback. (Source:  Tom’s of Maine)

Not only do they reference their decision process they make an environmental appeal for the change:

In 2007 Tom’s of Maine began the in-depth process to assess options for a better package alternative for our toothpaste.

In our evaluations we made sure to consider both the feedback you provided on tube usability and product waste as well as the values based Stewardship Model that has guided our decisions for many years and continues to do so today.

The results of our investigation, including consumer home-use testing among current Tom’s of Maine users like you as well as a critical review of our packaging and its projected sustainability and environmental impact, indicate:

  • Plastic Laminate tubes outperform aluminum tubes in both ease of use and our Stewardship Model beliefs;
  • Current Tom’s of Maine toothpaste users — and potential users — participating in testing significantly preferred plastic laminate tubes over aluminum tubes;
  • The lighter plastic laminate material reduced tube weight by nearly half — which saves energy when shipping tubes.
  • Manufacturing plastic laminate tubes requires less energy than the manufacture of aluminum tubes. (Source:  Tom’s of Maine)

Why Does This Matter?

It’s 2011:  if you have an opinion about a company you broadcast it on Twitter or ask them on their Facebook page.

Tom’s of Maine was smart. As they introduced the change they explained it in all their media. Why? They know their customers.

There’s a key to marketing.

What other consumer product changes have you seen?

Were they well-managed? As a consumer are you happy with the change, or at the very least does it make sense to you?

Tell me about it!

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Maybe it doesn’t matter to  you, but to me it does.

Where is my foil lining? Where is my paper wrapper? Where is the Hershey bar I grew up with?

Saturday night we celebrated lakeside with a bonfire and s’mores.

Six lovely chocolate bars wrapped in a cellophane package.

Each chocolate bar wrapped in printed foil.


It’s not the same.

The foil rips, you can’t slowly unfold the paper and savor the smell of super-sweet milk chocolate.

I’m sure it’s cheaper. The new packaging is tamper resistant (and safer.) Was it worth it? Marketing Research supported the change…And, yes, I know it happened way back in 2003 in an effort to attract the youth market, but I’m still bothered.

As a marketer, I wonder if the outcry would have been louder had the change occurred during the Twitter Generation when blogging hit the mainstream in 2004.

What do you think? Does packaging matter to you?

Tell me if I’m the only nostalgic fool lamenting the loss of the foil wrapper. Good think I can still count on Green and Black’s for that foil/paper experience.

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