Packaging the Tidal Wave of CBD Products

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As the CBD products hype grows, you may have found yourself a little curious about CBD, hemp, and cannabis: what are the differences? What are the benefits? And, what is legal and where?

There are two species of cannabis: marijuana and hemp. Although the use of medical and recreational marijuana continues to be an ethically charged issue for many people, research is pointing to the amazing health benefits of a naturally occurring element within hemp: CBD (cannabidiol). The recent legalization of hemp has brought a significant tidal wave of CBD products coming to market. Consumers are confused and looking for more information about the potential health benefits of CBD including reducing the effects of pain, anxiety, epilepsy, insomnia and even the possibility of treating cancer.

Thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation is now legal in all 50 states in the USA. How will this affect the cannabis business? The hemp plant contains a variety of different compounds classified as Cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. As of 2018, preliminary clinical research on cannabidiol included studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain. Supplement products containing CBD have net yet come under scrutiny by the FDA and are currently available for sale. It is important to note that CBD does not have the psychoactive effects of its sister variety, marijuana, that contains THC.

THC induces psychoactive effects (gets the user “high”) and has been the driving force in the popularity of marijuana use. Comparing hemp to marijuana, hemp contains little to no THC (0.3% or less), while Marijuana is abundant in THC with concentrations between 15% to 40%. Consequentially, products containing CBD and not THC have proven to have significant positive health benefits and have become rapidly more assessable for purchase.

For CBD to work effectively, your body must first absorb it. You can consume CBD in a variety of different ways: inhalation, swallowing, adding it to food, and applying it on your skin (in order from most to least efficient delivery method). The tidal wave of CBD products coming to market adopts various delivery mechanisms, dosages, and additional natural components to attract consumers and stand out from the competition.

Deal Design is known for making product brands stand out by designing creative, unique, interesting, and eye-catching packaging design. This approach applies to CBD branded products as well. Brands entering the CBD space should consider the target consumer and what is important to that consumer as he or she shops for CBD products. Depending on the type of CBD product we are designing packaging for, the right solution may be something all natural, modern, minimal, masculine, feminine, or a combination of design styles.

If you are entering the CBD space, be sure your packaging design sets you apart from the competition. This category is quickly filling with copy-cat products that look generic and similar to many other CBD products. Blending in with the pack will drive down the retail price you can command due to the perception you are now a commodity in the CBD space (like store brand aspirin compared to Bayer brand aspirin.) We suggest adding other natural elements and/or fragrances when applicable, to create a unique product offering that stands apart from the crowd.

Amazon and Google Value Brands Over Products

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As digital marketers and online retailers have come to notice, the way people purchase items has drastically changed over the past 10 years. We use to shop online for generic items sold from a commodity-positioned e-commerce site. Now, those generic domains are being downgraded as authority sites thanks to Amazon’s introduction of Branded Storefronts and Google Rankings that favor brand domains over generic domains.  These goliaths of the Internet are the leading forces shaping the growing importance of developing a brand online shopping – not just selling products.

Amazon introduced branded stores in 2017, marking a shift in thinking for the leader in e-commerce. Amazon is now allowing consumers to search based on brands, not just product types. There is evidence that branded stores on Amazon are being organically ranked higher than generic product listings.

Google has been favoring brand name domains instead of generic names like “autopartsproducts.com” for several years now. Exact match domains (EMDs) appear to be given a lower authority ranking by Google, in favor of branded domains. Consumers who are searching “auto products” will be given websites of brand domains that are specific and established far before they are presented with autopartproducts.com.

In a recent article from WordStream, the author articulates that EMDs lost their value in online search engines when consumers became conditioned to distrust generic web domains.

Using these market forces as predictors of future trends, it is obvious to see that brands are here to stay. Building a strong online brand presence is still essential to selling online and at retail. Even as digital development are moving at a blinding pace, the value of strong brand remains constant. So ask yourself, are you building a brand line of products and services, or just selling products and services?

Brand Versus Logo

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The word, brand, is dictionary defined as a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. However, this definition lies on the surface of how a brand is defined in the world of design. Brand means something different to each person whether it is a current consumer, potential customer, employee, prospect, or an individual within a larger population. Brands can take various forms: a human, an idea, a place, an experience, or a tangible object. This makes the word brand difficult to define and describe…that’s why each successful brand has a logo.

Logos serve as an iconic representation of a brand. A logo is a way for someone to quickly recognize and comprehend how a product or service relates to them. The logo design is the graphic expression of the brand, but building a brand is much deeper and more valuable.

Successful brands develop logos that have more than plain text of their name; they have a specific detail that indicates the brands overall intention, goal, or service provided. These details make the brand stand out among the competition.

The following are 4 successful companies that have developed brands and logos that represent them:

  1. Amazon:

This iconic logo has a smiley face arrow underneath the brand name which depicts the brands intention with customer service and efficiency.

  1. FedEx:

FedEx creatively incorporates a secret arrow in between the E and the X in their logo which represents the brand as a delivery service.

  1. Taco Bell:

The bell that is used in the Taco Bell logo represents the Hispanic culture that Taco Bell aspires to provide at a fast pace. The bell can also be associated with a ringing bell indicating that the food is ready!

  1. Target:

The iconic target icon for the store, Target also indicates the shopper will hit a bullseye while shopping for what they are looking for.

Augmented Reality in Packaging Design

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We live in the age of technology; a culture where smart phones have become personal mini computers most humans carry around all day, every day. Packaging design is now taking advantage of the digital world and the capabilities it has to enhance products sitting on the shelves with a technology called Augmented Reality, or AR. This revolutionary mode of branding has the capability to superimpose virtual information on the image we see on our smart phones.

So how does AR benefit brands who choose to incorporate this technology in their packaging? The answer is simple: the packaging becomes memorable. Products that have invested the money, time, and creativity into their AR packaged products are more likely to build a following and buzz around their product in comparison to a similar product without AR interaction. For an example, take the 19 Crimes AR wine label; the consumer purchases the bottle of wine that comes with an added bonus story and visual that makes the bottle memorable and interesting. This feature becomes the center of attention at gatherings where people record and post on various social media accounts; thus, promoting the wine to all of their followers. Guess what bottle of wine is getting free advertising that night?

As exciting as this breakthrough in packaging design may be, AR also has the potential to provide more information and valuable demonstrations of products as well. By using augmented reality, brands are able to update and change the content of the AR without having to recreate the packaging. This feature enables real-time discounts and promotions that can be easily changed just like any other content on your website. Brands have created games that earn you special offers, scanning custom codes to unlock hidden AR objects, or even a 3D model of the product allowing you to interact with it. The possibilities for creating brand engagement and excitement are truly endless.

The following great reasons to incorporate AR in packaging design:

  • Customers are exposed to elements of packaging and product that can’t be seen with the first look
  • Improves overall brand loyalty
  • Attracts more consumers with free advertising
  • Stands out compared to competitors with a similar product
  • Extends packaging real estate

While the technology is pretty amazing, the real benefit to using augmented reality lies in creating a memorable experience. The more memorable you are with your packaging, the more you build on existing customer relationships and create new ones. If you want to talk with a professional about the possibilities with AR product packaging, contact Deal Design today!

Digital Marketing is All About Content Marketing

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Content marketing is the process of using multiple content works to educate, engage, and build a credible reputation with a target market  as an authority on the products or services being sold.The content may include articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, case studies and other creative works. The byproduct of this altruistic endeavor is lead generation and sales conversions. Essentially, brands bring knowledge, entertainment, and best practices to the marketplace, and in return, the marketplace rewards the brands with sales and long-term loyalty.

The key ingredient of content marketing is authenticity. The days of a clever sales pitches are long gone. Today’s digital consumer is extremely astute and can detect shady salesmanship instantly. Brands that win followers have to be authentic. Don’t attempt to manipulate or overtly ask for the sale; rather, the sale comes to you after you establish you are worthy of the sale by the consumer. Being worthy comes through bringing value to the consumer in your products, services and brand messaging. You can’t be all things to all people; instead, be something meaningful to some people and you will enjoy the business success that follows.

The content may be delivered by many methods including e-mail, infographics, case studies, web sites, podcasts, blogs, videos, webinars, and white papers.

Content marketing is about diving deeply into what makes you unique and why your target market should buy from you, but in a subtle way – through education. By helping consumers, you establish yourself as a trusted authority that brings more value to them than competitors that just try to sell them without first proving they are worthy of the sale.

The consistent act of publishing new information results in engagement with prospects who are searching for answers. The act of searchers finding your answers and consuming content is tracked by Google algorithms. This boosts your search ranking with Google. Google loves sites that deliver a great user experience, and rewards those sites with higher page authority, which means you rank higher on searches for answers that your content marketing works deliver.

The key to being relevant in a culture that is constantly multi-tasking, swiping while working, and consuming content is to become a reliable source for information that is geared towards a specific interest. Become a specialist. Content marketing is a proven tactic in digital marketing to win consumer loyalty a world where new information is only a click away.

Deal Design Named A Global Leader in Packaging Design on Clutch

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Believing the package IS the product has enabled Deal Design to create innovative packaging design solutions that grab attention, engage shoppers and close the sale. The conceptual approach of believing a product’s package should be an extension of the product itself puts us in the right strategic mind set to create award-winning packaging and has now brought us global recognition as a leader in packaging design.

At Deal Design, Inc, we make our clients and their brands our priority. This is why we rely on Clutch to gather feedback and reviews from clients. The B2B ratings and reviews platform collects third-party verified reviews from clients, which are combined with its analysts’ market research to determine leading service providers in a variety of market segments.

We are excited to announce that we are featured as one of the top packaging designers in Clutch’s most recent Global Press Release report. On the significance of earning Clutch’s most prestigious annual award, Clutch Senior Business Analyst, Ilse Heine, commented.

After being named one of the top logo designers by Clutch and one of the top packaging designers by The Manifest earlier this year, we are excited to be featured in this broader global report. We measure our success based on the success of our clients and want to thank all of the client’s we’ve partnered with and all of those who took the time to give feedback. We look forward to continue using our creativity to accelerate your brands in 2019!

 

 

 

 

Visual Effects in Packaging Design that Drive Sales

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From a young age, we are taught to be in awe of shiny, new, and beautiful things. Nothing sparkles quite like a diamond. Nothing excites like colorful glitter. Nothing catches the eye quite like a golden coin in the sunlight. We all know the saying, “see a penny, pick it up, all day long, you’ll have good luck.” It is a part of our culture. So how do we apply this concept to developing eye-catching Packaging Design? Here are 5 techniques that are sure to catch a shopper’s eye and get them select your product for their basket.

1. Metallic Foil:

Metallic Foil can be used to create small, intricate details in packaging design that give the product a new level of sophistication and intrigue. Whether it’s a faint texture or bold type, metallic foil catches the eye of consumers in the same way as a quarter on the floor in a parking lot.

2. Holographic Foil:


Holographic foil is a new, up-and-coming trend in the recent years. The futuristic appeal gives off a certain aura of innovation and technology. The multiple colors in holographic foil change while you move the product, making each angle a new and exciting experience. This quality makes the product feel special and overall more attractive than a similar product with bland packaging.

3. Embossing:


Embossing can be used in packaging design to enhance text and add texture. The consumer experiences sight and touch simultaneously while many products rely solely on sight alone. The 3D effect that embossing gives the packaging brings the details of a product closer to the consumer by actually coming off the flat surface. The detailing of the package design convinces the consumer the product will have the same quality as the packaging; therefore, making it special.

4. Spot UV Varnish:


Spot UV Varnish is a ultra-violet light resistant coating that can be also be applied simply to give packaging a glossy appearance. This effect can be used on a range of small-to-large areas and can make a particular feature of a design stand out. Combined with Soft Touch (see below), this pairing can elevate the quality of a design and make the product stand out amongst competitors.

5. Soft Touch:


Soft Touch (often paired with Spot UV Varnish), is a matte material coating that has an extremely smooth, buttery finish. Products that are packaged with a Soft Touch effect are compelling to consumers; they almost have of an addictive quality. The finish feels like luxury and elegance. It elevates the perceived value of the product through its unique tactile quality.

Visual Effects with special print finishes have a powerful effect on consumers. They grab attention, elevate the tactile feel, and increase the perceived value of the products. All this increases the shopping experience and closes the sale. Whether one of more of these aspects of visual effects on packaging designs is being considered for your new design project, these unique impressions are guaranteed to grab your customer’s attention.

Adobe XD’s Role in Shaping Website and Product Experiences

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With Adobe XD, designers are able immerse themselves in the user experience of website and product user interfaces. This design software application empowers today’s designer to create rich interactions that engage and delight customers. The tool supports website wire-framing, vector designs, and the creation of interactive click-through sliders, among many other capabilities. The real question is: How important is interface design and how does it increase sales?

Any consumer’s key concern while browsing the web is efficiency. If a website is clear, direct, and easy to navigate; the consumer will quickly find what they are looking for in a timely manner. When a user interface maintains the integrity of the brand while also delivering efficiency, the consumer in more likely to return to the site. According to BIA Advisory Services, time 61% percent of SMBs report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers, rather than new business. [BIA/Kelsey and Manta]. The key audience demographic on an efficient website is returning visitors—visitors that return after having a positive first- experience.

The challenge with designing experiences in the past has been the lack of ability to quickly and affordably test the usability of a web or interface design. Prior to Adobe XD, designers had to create static versions of their designs and then imagine what the live interaction would be, and hope their clients could imagine this too. Coding multiple concept designs by engineers was too costly to be part of an iterative design process.

User interface design is crucial in the first impression of a first-time visitor. The consumer wants to see the product, learn about the product, and imagine themselves using the product. These three aspects of visual and imaginative stimulus can finally be visualized, developed and achieved with use of a user experience design program such as Adobe XD.

Deal Design Named Leader in Logo Design by Clutch

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As a Brand Design agency, we strive to provide more than just artwork. We work hard to understand your brands’ unique vision, values and create designs that ensure your products stand out above the crowd.

At Deal design our work covers Logo Design, Packaging Design, Product Photography, Web Design, Catalog Design and Naming, and we are happy to announce that B2B research firm, Clutch.co, has taken note of some of our accomplishments.

Clutch recently positioned us as one of the top logo designers in San Diego. Moreover, out of over 850 packing design firms evaluated, they also positioned us as one of the top 15 packaging designers on their platform. The Leader’s Matrix published by Clutch below highlights our position as a leader.

Clutch evaluates companies based on their market presence, industry experience, and most importantly client feedback. Some of our clients have taken the time to review our work on Clutch and some of our favorite testimonials are highlighted below:

 “They were accommodating and willing to do a bit of extra work to make what we wanted.”—Founder, 2Market LLC

 “They’re a great company and communication is their strength.” – CEO, Kordoba

 “They always take time to understand our projects and meet client expectations.” – Owner, CMJ Media

Clutch’s sister website, the Manifest, has also recognized us as one of the top logo designers in their new research. A good logo is at the core of your brand’s identity and increasingly important for your business. We are happy to have been recognized as leaders in this space and look forward to hearing more about what our clients have to say about our work on Clutch!

The Secret Life of Product Catalogs

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With the increasing reliance on eCommerce sales, the printed product catalog is become more scarce. However, leading brands understand the often overlooked power of catalogs for brand building and continue to invest in them.

Printed catalogs do things that eCommerce Web sites cannot:

  • High quality printed photos of products and lifestyle photos with sharp detail, in larger size than your laptop or phone screen
  • They remain in constant vision, reminding you of the brand, even when you are not online
  • They are instant access to product info without having to be in front of your computer
  • Millennials are only 15% likely to ignore direct mail, compared to 50% who say they ignore digital ads, according to a report from the U.S. Postal Service
  • Hold viewer attention longer than web sites due to the ease of page flipping without waiting for page loading
  • Catalogs are often shared and viewed by others, compounding their brand building power and product sales.

Here are some examples of our favorite brands that understand the secret power of printed catalogs:

 

Reef

As Deal Design’s client, Reef develops seasonal catalogs for their buyers 3 times a year. The continuous cycle of products, new styles and on-trend branding remind buyers of their success in sales with Reef products and therefore, keeps their title as one of the top selling surf-inspired brands in the US.

Restoration Hardware

This high end furniture company sends out a massive catalog to their exclusive mailing list with high end photography, exquisite design elements, and aesthetically pleasing layouts. This catalog serves as a high quality coffee table reader – not just a spread of products.

Harry & David

When the holiday season comes around, loyal Harry & David customers receive their seasonal catalog with all of their best selling products. For many, this is a visual reminder to order their loved ones or coworkers a holiday gift. This visual reminder boosts sales and increased brand recognition.

Ulta

Ulta is a leading beauty supply company that is known for mass production of their consumer catalogs.. The thing that makes Ulta stand out among other catalog mailers is their reliance on discounted product prices advertised as ‘on sale’. This deal does not require a coupon. The strategy is uses discount offers to get bargain shoppers in their stores. And let me tell you a not-so-secret, ‘secret’ – bargain shoppers go shopping with other bargain-shopping friends.

Wileyx

This eyewear company provides the ultimate protection of eyewear and gloves for military, law enforcement and civilian market. Their catalogs are created, developed, and designed with their buyer in mind. Each lifestyle photo represents their customer and every description of a product has focused and detailed language. The buyers see the catalog and instantly want to be immersed in the landscape with the models. It is rare to find a catalog that encourages a lifestyle as well as the product itself.

Even though we are in a digital age, the printed page still holds a profound place of importance in marketing. Take your time developing a catalog style that fits your brand – not just a copy of what other brands produce. Be authentic to your brand and your customers will reward you with loyalty. Consider these questions when developing your catalog:

  1. What products most drives your sales? Put them up front!
  2. What products define your brand image? Leverage them to set you apart from competitors.
  3. What experience do you want your customer have while flipping through your catalogs pages? Think of your catalog like a movie or novel that tells a story.
  4. How can your products reflect a lifestyle? People want to live a lifestyle first, and then select products that support that lifestyle, second.
  5. Need some help developing a catalog worthy of your brand? We are here to help.

Contact Deal Design for a catalog design that builds your brand and drives sales!