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The Shape of Your Container

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The Shape of Your Container

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The September issue of Brand Packaging magazine had an interesting article titled Designing for Retail Realities. The main idea of the article is that we don't just need outstanding packaging that will break through the clutter but we need packaging that stands out in real life conditions - how it actually appears on the retail store shelf.

Yesterday as I was browsing my local grocery store I thought about this article. Many aisles had immaculate shelves with the product labels all pointing in the same direction on the shelf so the consumer could easily see the labels. Then there was the shelf with the product in the photo above. I snapped this photo with my iPhone and you can see that someone had picked up this product and put it back carelessly. It made this product less visually appealing on the shelf.

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Now look at the products in this photo above. Again it was taken with my iPhone so it is a little fuzzy but it illustrates my point well. This is a product that shows well, and because of its unusual shape if someone picks it up they will likely put it back on the shelf exactly as they found it.

Most of the products on the supermarket shelf have round bottles with one wraparound product label. So it is easy for a grocery store clerk or a shopper to put the bottles on the shelf in a haphazard way. With a bottle that has an obvious front and back, like the Annie's Naturals brand, there is less likelihood of this happening.

Of course, I am not suggesting everyone switch from round bottles. Almost all wine bottles are round and wine is one of the most label-conscious products there are. But notice that most wine bottles have an obvious front and back label so it is easier to display them correctly on the shelf. Whatever container you use it is important to be aware of the impact that the shape of your container has on your product's visibility on the supermarket shelf.