A Market Bull’s Eye for Kraft®
Project: Kraft® Bull’s Eye Barbecue Sauce
Design Firm: Design Partners, Inc.
Senior Graphic Designer: Mike Hopkins
Client: Kraft Foods
What do you do when you create a new recipe for an established brand?
Starting in late 2007, Kraft’s® Bull’s-Eye® BBQ Sauce marketing team undertook an extensive review of the BBQ category and the BBQ consumer. In 2008 this hard work resulted in a killer new sauce. With superior taste and more authentic BBQ flavor, the team at Kraft went on to develop a new brand position to go with the new recipe. This required new packaging to bring all these elements together – bottle as well as label.
Kraft contacted Design Partners, Inc. to help them explore, then select, and ultimately bring to market a new packaging identity. Mike Hopkins of Design Partners comments: “Our challenge was to make an emotional connection with visual imagery that resonates with the core consumer while maintaining the integrity of the brand’s new positioning: Bull’s-Eye is the brand of authentic BBQ sauce that has the taste of ‘real western BBQ’ because of it’s bold blend of hickory smoke, molasses, real herbs and spices made in ranch country.” The goal of the new strategy and graphics was to take this brand message and use it to increase household penetration.
Design Partners approaches all clients using the same basic principles: First, listen to the client and get to know their needs. Second, analyze the project from the perspective of the consumer. Third, review the marketplace and competitive environment. And fourth, make sure you’re in touch with the most current graphic design and aesthetic trends.
Once all the research is done, Design Partners moves to the first creative phase – simple thumbnail sketches. This low commitment approach to developing ideas lets the design team quickly generate ideas.
These ideations move from thumbnails to the computer to become digital designs using Photoshop and Illustrator. The selected designs are then mounted to presentation boards and presented to the client.
“After several designs were explored a finalist was selected for further optimization.”
Face to Face
Being located in the heartland of many of the great brand owners of our day has its advantages. For Design Partners this means being able to do in-person client presentations. With design boards and easels, this proven approach generates meaningful communication.
Prove the Idea in 3D
As the design gets narrowed down, through several meetings with the client showing a series of 2D illustrations, it’s time to prove the concept works in the real world. To do this, Design Partners relies on the virtual world made possible by Strata tools. Placing the new bottle and label design in the context of a supermarket shelf packed with competitors lets the client know if the design really works in the real… er, virtual world.
“Shelf presence is studied using virtual environments for competitive analysis.”
From Bottle to Box to Pallet
With a commitment made to a design, it’s time to see how it looks in the next level of packaging: the shipper box and the warehouse store pallet. Both of these once utilitarian shipping systems have become important secondary product presentation environments. Design Partners takes pride in making these elements an important part of the overall brand package.
“Shipping box and pallet become point-of-purchase displays in some store environments.”
The results are clear and effective. Bold graphics with a handcrafted feel provide an emotional tie for the consumer to an authentic, western adventure. The new Bull’s-Eye packaging is currently on shelf all across the United States and doing well as it increases sales.
“From old to new, Design Partners and Kraft hit the bull’s eye with this redesign.”
Bull’s-Eye and Kraft are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Kraft Foods. All rights reserved. All images copyright Kraft Foods.