If you’ve ever wondered about the process involved in changing packaging designs – it’s not as simple as swapping illustrations for photography and moving things around a bit. Like everything we do at Handful HQ, a lot of thought, care and attention goes into what is right for our customers.
Here’s a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our recent packaging redesign project with Emma Wilson, Account Director at Brandon – the agency responsible for our new packaging refresh.
We came to you to help us make our proposition clearer to consumers. How do you approach a task like that when you’re working with an established brand?
Our first step is always to get a clear sense of what is driving the decision for change. We understand that our clients are under huge pressure to produce instant results, and so we need to understand the bigger picture so that we can be sure that we’re all on the same journey.
We have a strategic brand building process that we use to demystify the often-complex world of branding, and also map out the clear strategic path to achieving competitive advantage. We always do this with our clients – not to them – as they know their business better than anyone.
With an established brand like Real Handful, it’s even more important to know what’s working, what’s not and why, so that you don’t throw away the elements that resonate with consumers the most and lose all important brand equity.
What was the thought process behind our redesign?
Feedback showed that consumers were finding it difficult to navigate the RH range in what is an extremely competitive category. We know that RH is a brand with bags of personality; you live and breathe it and customers are loyal brand advocates. While the previous packaging design had served you well in terms of establishing the brand and gaining distribution, the brand dominated the pack at the cost of clearly communicating the product benefits.
We needed to evolve and craft the brand identity and messaging on pack to encourage people to buy it, while ensuring that the heart and soul of the brand wasn’t lost.
How did you go about that?
We looked at the category in depth and analysed what the competition was doing vs. Real Handful. We identified different territories that the brand could ‘own’, and within those explored different ways of addressing the hierarchy between brand vs. product attributes. Our final idea was based on ‘All Hail the Trail’ – trail mix dates back at least to the 1910s, and continues to be a well-known and widely popular snack format in the US and Australasia but less so in the UK. We felt that this was something distinct for which Real Handful could be known.
Also working with you, we established the correct pack hierarchy for brand, flavour, range, descriptor and benefit, and which messages were the most motivating to consumers.
So how can we see these changes on the packaging?
To help shoppers and to increase differentiation between the products, we retained the existing flavour illustrations but added a suite of landscape backdrops to allow the characters to live within their own environments. The mountain, desert or beach, and city landscapes also hint at the great outdoors and the origin of trail mix to help establish a connection and ownability of the category.
We incorporated the window into the backdrop’s design on the trail mix, and we added a product shot to the bars in a ‘Real Handful’ way to dial up appetite appeal.
And, we brought the product benefits and nutritional claims, such as ‘vegan friendly’ and ‘gluten free’, to the front of pack to provide consumers with the desired info at a glance. Combining these with the Real Handful hand icon also helped to retain the brand’s personality.
We’ve enjoyed working with the Brandon team throughout this project and found them very supportive. Their work has given us a solid platform to take Real Handful & ‘Trail Mix’ to the masses whilst also enabling innovation within the range. As a smaller company we’ve also hugely appreciated the completeness of the project handover with Brandon which has provided us with all the assets we’ve needed to communicate the evolution of the brand with our trade partners. We’re very excited to see this refresh rollout across our range in the coming months!