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Are you an early adopter or brand loyalist?

Sarah Parker   —   1 February 2011   —   Opinion

After my usual trip to the supermarket at the weekend I looked at the pile on my kitchen table and thought, “How boring am I?” Kellogg’s, Twinnings, Fairy, Sunday Times: all the same brands that had been in my cupboards for years. Why didn’t I buy something else? Is it the fear of change? Will it not be up to scratch? Am I a snob that won’t try a cheaper unknown brand over a tried and tested one?

There are many reasons why we buy some things over others but for most consumers on day-to-day items it is down to time. People switch into what is called unconscious behaviour and is the greatest challenge to anyone launching a new brand in a supermarket today. The minute you are through the doors you go into automatic pilot and throw the brands you are familiar with in the trolley. If you don’t spend time thinking about what you are buying you can get through a shopping experience twice as fast. It needs to be a big yellow special offer sign to wake you up and even make you consider varying from the norm.

Less frequent shoppers, for whom the experience is a bit of a novelty, are more rational about the process and are prepared to look at all the information on the labels before making their decision over which product to buy. This is classed as rational behaviour, which in my opinion is fine when buying an expensive item, but it is very frustrating when it comes to choosing between two types of blackcurrant jam.

That is why I NEVER take my husband with me. He will wander up and down the aisles looking at all the different labels going “ooh what about this, and let’s try that”. The process then takes twice as long, you spend twice as much, you have a trolley full of things that would never go together to make a meal in a million years and are nearly filing for divorce. Then when you eventually get the shopping home the things that look unfamiliar sit in your cupboard and because they are not familiar never get eaten. And worse still for the brand, never get bought again!

Pesto Pic

When a new brand is launched it has to hit all the right visual cues to get noticed and break people from their unconscious behaviour. On Sunday, I needed some fresh pesto and when reaching for my usual brand, my eye was caught by a new kid on the block.

Stark Naked Fresh Basil Pesto. It instantly hit all the right buttons to make me try something new.

The name Stark Naked instantly told me that it is additive and preservative free, whether it is or not I don’t know as I have no time for scrutinising the small print. So as they say, first impressions count!

Typographically, it was exciting with the handwritten type giving it a really simple, vibrant and fresh appearance.

Graphically, the leaping man is a clever way of tying the product, seen through the cut out, and the brand name together. This gives Stark Naked a relevant graphic device to help expand the brand and build on any brand loyalty that arises.

The simple clean black background not only lets you see at a glance what it says on the pack but as everything else on the shelf is green also gives great stand out from the competition, distracting you from the range leader.

Plus, with innovative packaging it gives you another reason to buy over the usual brand.

The visual promise made me expect something that was of better quality than the own brand fresh pesto and so I was quite happy to spend more on it. The product inside turned out to be great. In turn I raved about how good it was to all and sundry. And Bob’s your Uncle that is the key to launching a successful new brand!

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