One hugely important visual aspect of branding, and for gourmet food products on the grocery store shelf, in particular, is the product’s presentation.
This should really be a simple concept for every gourmet food company to understand and execute, because you (more than often) are demanding that the consumer pay more for your product, over the normal grocery store brand because it’s better. Therefore your presentation has to be just that, better, impeccable, darn near perfect, not to mention the quality and flavor have to be amazing, but that’s a whole other conversation. So this includes how you package to ship, the packaging itself and inside the box, the product labeling, the product being clean (no residue or food on the packaging… I know, sounds silly, but I’ve seen product make it on the shelf with stains and food caked on the packaging itself), and then the presentation on the shelf to name a few.
I would constantly inspect product going out the door, right down to how the tape goes on the box to close it (if it was sideways, or missing the flap, I made the production team correct it – every box), and even making sure pallets shipping were neatly and correctly banded and wrapped. For instance, I would use 3-inch tape, instead of 2-inch for packaging because it reinforced the boxes better. From the very first time your customer sees your product hit their dock or go into their shopping cart, they are judging you. So take the extra time to guarantee your customer is going to one: be attracted enough to pick up your product among a sea of other like products because the presentation is great, and two: respect the product they are purchasing from you so much so that they come back and tell others about it. Then finally be willing to pay more money for it, right from the start. These are basic steps. You just have to take the time.
Here are a few examples of labels not lining up on the shelf, and being different sizes. I think customers stop and look at this with a thought and judgment of professionalism ultimately. If the presentation is not what is expected (darn near perfect), then what does that say about the product, about the company, how clean the production room was when this product was made, and the person that owns this company? Just something to think about the next time you ship your high-end gourmet food product.
PS – There is no problem with you taking a few minutes to tidy up your display or shelf presentation when you are in a store that carries your product, I’ve done it every time I was in a store. Turn the labels to all face front, move the bottles forward, clean/dust them off and look to get multiple facings if you can!
– Dewey –
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