All posts by Richard Barry

Waitrose Gives Top Tips

clare photo2The importance of suppliers trying to see things through the retailers’ eyes was one of the key messages that members of BAMA at the 2014 Forum heard when Clare Norman, Waitrose Technical Manager for Household, Baby & Pets, presented her topic – ‘The future of aerosols – a retailer perspective’.

Ms Norman explained that Waitrose customers expect the stores to offer something different, so suppliers need to think of the bigger picture.  One way for suppliers to succeed is by offering something exclusive in the UK – perhaps selling the same concept in Europe but allowing Waitrose to offer that point of difference.

The presentation covered a number of retail topics including the importance of keeping the aerosol offer compelling, to keep up with customer expectations, through differentiation whilst minimising the impact of legislation and environmental perceptions.

She highlighted the ethos behind Waitrose, and went on to discuss challenges faced by the retailer and aerosol manufacturers, including the transportation of aerosols becoming more complex and the requirements of additional legal text on product.

Ms Norman said that new initiatives in aerosols will always be considered if the offer is compelling. “The challenges of increased and complex legislation regarding the transport of aerosols from the EU can be viewed as beneficial to UK manufacturers of aerosols selling in Britain.  This benefit should be maximised when talking to Waitrose as the Company is particularly interested in responsible sourcing, and sourcing from the UK,” she told BAMA members and their guests at the Forum.

The presentation also stressed that retailers were now keen to help act as the customers’ conscience. “The industry should all play their part in promoting to consumers that empty-aerosols are recyclable by looking to carry the message on packs and in-store,” Ms Norman advised.

Clare Norman represents Waitrose on The BAMA Retail Liaison Group which consists of technical representatives from many of the UK’s major retailers including several of the largest grocery, pharmacy and DIY groups. rackspace cloud . color palette .

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Colour & Design

stephen_westlandAerosol packaging is an ever evolving design challenge. Designers and brand owners are always keen to make the pack designs fresh, appealing, sustainable and difficult to copy or counterfeit. All consumer good packaging must have shelf-appeal of course; but for aerosols, where people cannot smell or touch the product before they purchase, the need for clear communication on the pack is all the more important.

So the members of BAMA at the 2014 Forum listened with interest to what said the eminent colour scientist, Professor Stephen Westland (above) from the School of Design at the University of Leeds.

He said that colour management and colour meaning are important issues for packaging experts to bear in mind. Perception of colour is what matters for brands, products and packaging.

“A  shaving foam might be ‘white’ but the differing shades of white matter to the perception of the user,” said Prof Westland.

He was overwhelmed by the interest generated.  Companies realise that although they’re doing well they could perhaps do better, by developing a greater understanding of colour psychology.

Colours can be perceived differently when juxtaposed against other colours  – so that a shade of white will look more or less bright when placed against other colours.

Colours also have different meanings to different individuals or groups of people  depending on our innate reaction to colour, the social economic mores and cultural traditions,  with differing geographical and cultural patterns affecting perceptions of colour. For instance, in Western countries, white is associated with purity, health, weddings, and has clean and innocent connotations; elsewhere white is worn for funerals and has very different meanings.

Despite the cultural difference across the globe, he showed research indicating that the preferred colour across the world is blue. “However, just because one colour is your personal favourite, doesn’t mean that you would only select packaging with that colour,” he explained.  “Red is almost universally the colour of danger and blood. However, many products, especially those that contain berry fruits, successfully sell just because they are red. In some countries, and at particular times of the year, red is associated with holidays, happiness and weddings. Context is all important. translations . There is nothing simple about colour perception,” he said.

Prof Westland said, in the future, he could envisage big data gathering and analysing colour perceptions and preferences, so that companies could appeal in a very tailored way to particular customer groups or even individual consumers.

Even now, as Stephen Westland has said, colour perception and branding is not simple; as we are bombarded with even more sources of online visuals in addition to images in the physical world, colour science is, perhaps, about to become even more complex.