How important is packaging to your brand? Absolutely crucial. In fact, packaging may be the first opportunity for your brand to make visual impact and create a connection with your customers. As with logo design, packaging can communicate key values and tell your customers important information about your brand. A good example of this principle is well known UK soap brand Carex, which recently redesigned their packaging to create a more caring image.
The new look, which UK shoppers will be able to see this month, is an attempt to reposition the brand in its very competitive category. Hand soap is already an in demand product in a market with plenty of competition. Last year’s flu epidemics underscored the need for proper hand washing. However, while Carex was known for being effective, the brand’s visual elements, including the packaging, lacked the element of caring that has proven to be imperative in the modern health and beauty market.
Blue is commonly known among logo designers to create both a sense of cleanliness and a sense of caring. This blue is not just clean and caring, but clearly reminiscent of pure water. The blue oval enclosing the name in gently rounded letters is appealing to customers while maintaining a sense of efficacy. Meanwhile, the well known Carex wave gives a feeling of movement. We all recognize these elements as central to the brand image, but the hand soap branches out from here into designs that represent each unique line offered by the company. The wave is customised to represent each type of hand soap, with colour and image matching the overall packaging theme. An arrow above adds yet another symbol of change and announces that this product offers germ killing benefits.
Not only is Carex being positioned as caring, it is subtly making a move toward being more upmarket as well. The newly curved bottle is ergonomic and slightly more modern than the competition. This is an important separation. Further, the new design maintains the square lines that the brand is known for but gives them a modern twist. The clear bottle and soap inside show customers that there is nothing to hide here while underscoring the upscale feeling. These understated differentiations will make it easy for customers to distinguish this brand from the others on the shelf while giving them a valid reason to choose Carex.
The message is that Carex cares, but this is not the only message. This bottle positions Carex as the modern choice, a brand that offers just a little more than the competition. The core brand essentials remain the same and the logo design is clearly recognizable to brand loyalists, yet new elements have been subtly added to expand the brand promise. This packaging change will likely maintain the loyalty of tried and true customers while encouraging new markets to give Carex a try. This is a good example of the power of branding and the ability of professionally designed visual elements to reach key markets.