Posts Tagged ‘customer confusion’

Kraft Shreds its Cheese Packaging

April 27, 2009

At the supermarket this weekend I did a double-take passing the shredded cheese display. New packaging! How exciting. I made a beeline for the display which looked a lot like what you’d expect a generic or store brand to look like. Then came the big shock — it was Kraft!


Considering how controversial the rebranded Tropicana packaging was, I was very surprised to see that Kraft had followed suit. In the old packaging, although each package varies from cheese to cheese, the basic look remained the same: a blue wave at top and bottom, a “banner” top and center with the Kraft logo and type of cheese, and a clear view into the package. It’s recognizable, eye-catching, and invokes a sense of quality.

Please excuse the photo from my phone's "utility" camera.

Kraft's new shredded cheese packaging — white space and lower case letters.

The new, cleaned up packaging is almost austere in its simplicity. I am a big fan of white space, but this new design may be oversimplified for a big consumer brand. It heralds the old store brand packaging we all used to recognize, before “no-frills” brands began to compete on visual presentation, and not just on price and value. The packaging is not just a simple white and blue stripe with a block of color to indicate the type of cheese, it’s also not glossy! It’s a more matte-looking plastic package material, which, I’m sure, is intended to stand out from the other brands’ glossy cheese packaging. You might also think, that given all the clear-space around the Kraft logo, that the logo would stand out more from the package. However, it manages to get lost on this über-clean design, your focus, instead, is drawn to the colored block of copy on the bottom, which tells you the type of cheese in all lower case letters. (more…)

How To :: Create Customer Confusion

January 6, 2009
Does this go in the fridge or the shower?

Does this go in the fridge or the shower?

I saw a coupon for this product this weekend and immediately thought, “Since when did Dial start making yogurt?”

It’s not uncommon for companies to branch out into new markets. Really, what company today doesn’t sell bottled water? So it’s not unreasonable to think that The Dial Corporation, known best for soap products, would create a dairy product. Yogurt is a popular food item after all, and businesses need all the revenue they can get. And vanilla honey yogurt sounds delicious!

But once your initial confusion subsides, you’ll see that this is, in fact, soap! No, it’s not yogurt at all. It is soap with yogurt in it! Genius, right? Perhaps. But the package design, while pretty, is confusing! How many consumers will think (as I did — a packaging and graphic design veteran) that Dial has gone into the yogurt business and buy this thinking it’s edible? Of the people who buy this thinking it’s yogurt, many of them (most I hope) will figure out that it’s soap before ingesting any. (The bottle is really a standard body wash bottle.) But what about the hand full of consumers who, for whatever reason, don’t figure out their mistake before trying some? What about the few who will actually consume this product? Can eating soap make you sick? I don’t know but I’m sure I don’t want to find out.