Being 1 in 1000, 30 times a shopping trip (WTS? & JKR 1)

This is the first in a series of 5 posts about how design can "amplify" your brand and grow your business. The series is powered by JKR, the London based design agency that is run by Andy Knowles; he’s the "K" in JKR. No, Andy is not paying me to plug his agency! (though, now I think about it …..) From working with him, I just think they have some cracking case studies that are really worth sharing.

Being the 1 in 1000
At the heart of JKR’s approach,  "Brand Charisma", is identifying and amplifying what makes you brand unique. To see how important this is, consider some killer data from Tesco:
– Average number of items in a supermarket = 30 000
– Average number of items in shopping basket = 30
So, for each of these 30 shopping choices you make…
– Number of things you DO buy = 1
– Number of things you DON’T buy = 999


That’s 30 shopping decisions where you have to be the 1 in 1000 that gets picked. To do this Andy has a nice visual that shows how your brand needs to look:

    Are you one of the crowd?                                                Or standing out?

Category codes can be copied

Now, the trap many brand fall into is to use so many category codes, such as food photos for food brands, that they merge in with the other brands on the shelf. And, perhaps most importantly, they are easily copied by own label. Here’s an example of this from the cosmetics category, with all the brands using the same sorts of colours, finishes, shapes etc.:

And I can’t resist showing this set of adverts for perfume that JKR took out a single womens’ magazine last Christmas… lots of nice sexy camera work, but can you spot the difference?

Superior stand-out
An example of amplifying your brand is the ethnic food brand, Sharwood’s. Their original pack design was a classic example of nice packaging that does well in focus group testing, as it has lots of colourful category codes. However, stick it on the shelf and it merges into the sea of peppers, spices and chillies.

The new design by JKR created an ownable brand device in the form of a black "window", that created impact on shelf. Indeed, in testing on a mocked up supermarket shelf the new pack had three times the share of attention of the old one. Three times more likely to be that 1 in 1000 that gets picked. Now that’s what I call the power of design!

[Seeing how the design looks like in a real, on-shelf situation is key. Its sounds stupid, but its amazing how many times brand teams proudly show their new pack sat by itself on a boardroom table, rather than mocked up against the competition on shelf]