Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a marketer falling prey to marketing.

packaging is one of the many ways to increase product sales, and being a marketing student, i would definitely know better. that said, it was like an unstoppable force was over me the moment i stepped into london's mega-supermarket, sainsbury's.

there are a few supermarket chains in london - sainsbury's, waitrose (which i forgot to visit!) and marks & spencer to name a few. marks & sparks and waitrose belong to the more atas category, whilst sainbury's is equivalent to ntuc supermarket in singapore... well, just about 10x bigger.

ok today's topic is not about comparing supermarket statistics but about british marketing and branding. i was absolutely fascinated by the variety of food and beverage brands on sale in sainbury's, and what amazed me the most was the way the products were being packaged. think i'll name it the triple 's' - seductively sweet & simple. =)

" there are 89 cranberries in every bottle of this water and 13 raspberries too"

walking into the store, just browsing through the first aisle, a row of bottled juices caught my eye. called this water, it sells juice drinks in cutely designed bottles. heck, it even has a website! selling at ~1.90 pounds a bottle (420ml), it's defnitely not the cheapest choice around, but i gladly paid for it just to bring one home. oh man... i stood at the aisle for a good whole 10 mins trying to decide which one to buy! if only money grew on trees, i'd get a carton of each design. heh!

mouth-watering designs (courtesy of the website)

we all know that housebrands are usually cheaper and at times cheaper equals lousier too. admit it, living in consumerism singapore, how many times have you reached out for the ntuc branded potato chips or toilet paper? sainsbury's also has its own housebrand, the sainsbury's basic range and a slightly more expensive version, sainbury's taste the difference. even so, the packaging for its housebrand products is simple yet elegant, and more importantly, extremely tempting!

doesn't just look good, it tastes delicious too!

two more things i've noticed about grocery shopping in london:

1) the emphasis on stating the product's nutritional content

sainsbury's taste the difference range
if you look at the top right hand corner of a sainsbury's branded product, you'll be able to spot a colourful circle stating explicitly how many calories, fats, saturated fats, sugar and salt is in each serving. it's a useful way to educate shoppers exactly what they're buying and feeding their body, and hopefully we'll see more of this soon in singapore.

2) the support of various charities

just like how anita roddick founded the body shop supporting causes like fair trade and anti animal testing, many products produced in the uk also emphasize a great deal on where their ingredients came from. for example, a bottle of this water will have these words imprinted, "by drinking this water, you are supporting wateraid's work helping people in ethiopia gain access to safe clean water." there has been debate on whether a real sense of corporate social responsibility exists or is it purely a marketing gimmick, but i'd like to think that it's a good start!

these caught my eyes at marks & spencer

used my last pennies at the airport buying potato chips


no fanciful or elaborated designs, keeping things to simple colours, bold lines sometimes a sense of humour is what makes the british way of marketing click - well at least for me, because you'd never want to know how much food i brought back from london.

2 comments:

Mike said...

It's the whole London culture, my dear.. Look at "Little Britain" and "Avenue Q", Brits have a 'wicked' sense of humour and it's evident in their marketing.

Then again, they're very blatant about it.

Sadly, this kinda humour does not work for the majority in Singapore, so we won't be able to this kinda of marketing take off in places like NTUC anytime soon. Haha.

chian said...

but i think their sense of design also very nice, like it's not very complicated but still so appealing!

hahaha avenue Q! the internet....

... is for porn!!!