January 5, 2012
Posted By: Marc

 

MSLK has recently been busy working on completely new packaging and overall branding for Wigwam Mills, and it’s getting ready to hit the shelves this spring.

This was one of MSLK’s toughest challenges to date, for no other reason than we needed to improve on their previous design… also created by us. Though the challenges were different, we followed the same process as always, leading Wigwam toward reevaluating their core messaging, and revamping that look to stay true to their brand’s DNA. This new packaging is the first step toward helping them secure their place as a leader in the performance sock market. Read more

October 6, 2011
Posted By: Sheri

Recently MSLK was asked to do some retail analysis for an apparel brand looking to grow their business. The assignment, create a line extension for the brand that would capture more fashionable, impulse purchases made by consumers — primarily women. As we reviewed the product offerings in each store, we focused on the merchandise at check out counters, cash wraps, and end-caps, primarily on the first floor.  These locations tend to receive the most traffic and often lead to impulse purchases. Besides the anticipated insights that fun, travel sized, and conveniently priced items often occupy this prime impulse real estate, I was struck by the immense presence cause marketing, primarily for Breast Cancer Awareness, was receiving. Read more

May 17, 2011
Posted By: Ryan


Most packaging projects pose the same marketing and design challenge: How do you present a large amount of information within a small area, while simultaneously conveying your brand’s voice?

We know you have many stories you want to tell, such as your brand’s core messages, the product’s purpose, ingredients etc. Since you have limited time to engage with consumers, it’s important to eliminate the extraneous and be clear about the hierarchy of elements.  It’s all about balancing branding with information design. The brand is the macro story and is the first thing that should be noticed about the package. Following that should be the purpose, and the micro stories which could include benefits, ingredients, technologies etc. MSLK has found that the best way to examine these issues is by playing the role of the consumer in the retail space. What do I see when I’m 20 ft from the package vs. 10 ft vs. 5 ft vs. 1 ft? Read more

September 3, 2010
Posted By: Sheri

Have you ever worked on bringing a product to market that was based on a formulation, product, or system that is already successful in the market? Almost everyone has. Market demand forces supply,  and before you know it,  your sales reps are begging for a product just like “X.”

We at MSLK believe it’s how you handle this situation that is the critical difference. Will you saddle right up to your competition with another “Me Too” product?  Or will you learn the essence of what consumers find so appealing, and offer them an alternative that is uniquely yours?

Read more

December 14, 2009
Posted By: MSLK

Help I’m Bored

Ever feel like you have problems that no one has any solutions to? Help Remedies may have an answer for you.

Don’t know what to wear?

Never been kissed?

Or maybe you just have a song stuck in your head?

Help Remedies have collected humorous (yet helpful) answers to all these questions and lots more. The brand is known for its elegant, minimal design and eco-friendly packaging, but they’ve also come up with great ways to get their customers involved in the brand.  The Help I’m Bored page is amusing and a great way to start a Monday morning.  It also gives a good idea of what the brand stands for: making it simple to solve simple health issues.

Read more

November 19, 2009
Posted By: ellen

Target Up & Up

This weekend I finally got a closer look at Target’s relaunched private label brand, Up & Up. Private brands have a tricky task in distinguishing themselves from the national brand competition. One common approach is to design packaging that works cross-catagory, so the brand has a consistent look from the electronics section to the frozen food aisle. The downside to this approach is the design often appears generic. And while I like the look of Up & Up, it is admittedly generic. They’ve combatted this with smart copy lines on the front of each package. Boring paper towels become “puddle busters,” standard aloe vera gel is “after sun aaaaah,” and just like that the cheaper brand becomes the smarter brand.

While designers tend to focus on the look of the brand, the voice is just as important. It can elevate everyday brands and help clearly define a brand’s position in the market.

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July 30, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

On July 25th the Tru Beverage Company announced that they will be bringing the fictitious beverage Tru Blood to a store near you. The beverage has been made popular by HBO’s vampire soap opera “True Blood.” On the television series, vampires have been able to “come out of the closet” and assimilate with humans because they no longer need to feed on them as their source of sustenance; they can drink the synthetic blood alternative, Tru Blood.

The carbonated blood orange based beverage promises to feature the same intensely red-colored product fans see on the show; however, I can’t imagine the consistency will be nearly as thick! Either way it’s a great way for fans to take home a piece of the brand aura.

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July 1, 2009
Posted By: MSLK

These days, it seems people have gotten really creative with their beer drinking. The Go Plate, much like The Ashhole, (which MSLK designed the packaging for) can transform your empty beer bottle, can or cup into an instant commodity.

While The Ashhole fits on top of empty bottles and converts them into an ashtray, The Go Plate fits around your beverage receptacle of choice and as a result, allows you to carry your food and drink in one hand. It’s pretty clever and pretty practical; however, I don’t suppose it will help get rid of any beer bellies any time soon.

-Mariana G.

As Reactions continues to evolve, we are pleased to announce the addition of guest bloggers to our blog. This post features Mariana Gorn, our trend-spotting, beer-swilling, intern. 

June 23, 2009
Posted By: Marc

I’ve become HD-obsessed. I refuse to watch anything on television unless it’s at full 1080 resolution. I’ve also recently purchased a digital camera which shoots HD movies and have become so enamored with all the detail it captures, that can barely care what it is that I am shooting. (So much so, my hard drive is petitioning for an upgrade).

The flip side to seeing everything in crisp resolution is that you see, well, everything… especially the flaws. I’ve heard stories about famous actresses who cannot be cast because their bad acne now shows up clear as day on everyone’s living rooms due to the HD Revolution.

Naturally, there is a line of  make up to capitalize on this new reality and try to remedy it…

Read more

June 23, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

Since 1876 Anheuser-Busch products have been conceived and manufactured in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Recently after feeling pressure that sales were not growing enough or that commanding 50% of the US beer market wasn’t good enough, the Busch family turned over the reigns to the Belgium based company, InBev. The sale was intended to increase A-B’s foothold in stronger and emerging beer markets such as Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Eastern Europe.

With all this in mind, I’ve become increasingly more and more upset that A-B — now after 133 years of American ownership — has decided to market their American Heritage first with the switch of  Budweiser’s tagline from “The King of Beers” to “The Great American Lager,” and more recently with the introduction of the new product, “Budweiser American Ale.”

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