We don’t just think outside the box, we think what can I do with the box
New start-ups often shy away from investment outside their direct product line. Putting in the extra budget early on could be the lifeline you need to launch your business, saving man power, time and money further down the line.
ChickenGuard are UK based manufacturers of automated chicken coop door openings. With easy programmable timers and built in light sensors, the range provides maximum security and peace of mind for all flock owners. With over 100,000 customers in 44 countries (and growing) they are fast becoming the go to brand for hutch security.
We were approached early in the company journey, as the business was looking to expand into new countries and markets. With no internal marketing department, current sales were limited to UK markets and distributed in plain brown packaging. As part of their upcoming expansion, they would begin wholesaling to smaller retailers in the agricultural, homeware and pet care industries. Whilst the driving force for the project was to create a series of eye-catching display packaging, improving the branding of direct sale deliveries was also on the agenda. With the business in its early stages, cost-effective solutions would be key to the project’s success. With three product levels and three languages to negotiate, ChickenGuard approached us due to our reputation in providing high-quality solutions at business-friendly prices.
This project was as much in the planning as the design. By nailing the inventory setup, we could reduce billing and create a range of packaging that was suitable for multiple scenarios. To do this we set about splitting the product range into the 3 key product levels (standard, extreme & premium), with English, French and Dutch language versions to fit with the first phase of the international marketing push. Following careful consideration, we proposed a single English language version, followed by a dual sided French/Dutch copy to reduce print costs but still utilise the display in foreign markets.
Once signed off, the English language version was translated into French and Dutch respectively before being pushed back to the client for approval by some key customers in both markets.
Following copy sign off – we developed a single packaging design to be used across the product range, with a varying colour palette applied to distinguish product variants. This technique was applied to maximise efficiency, reduce costs and build a brand that would become recognisable in a new emerging market, whilst increasing multi-language impact with clear photography and descriptive illustrations.
Due to the nature of the business and its development into fresh markets, we were inconstant contact with the ChickenGuard hierarchy. Be it to help develop the brand or for approval and sign off on translated copy, by keeping the business in the loop we ensured there were no nasty surprises and content was tailored to their exact requirements.
As always with a niche product we pride ourselves on our ability to listen, learn and develop your business. Nobody knows your business (or customers) better than you, but we’re on hand to understand the hurdles you face in day to day business and develop a smooth transition to your market and sales.
With 3 months from the initial proposal to launch, time was of the essence with regards to the quantity of work involved and ensuring brand accuracy in new markets. With this said, initial prototypes were created and approved within two months of proposal, providing ample time to test and evaluate the impact of the new design through consumer research.
Initial consumer research was extremely positive. Unlike most product tests, we actually began by showing English speaking consumers the foreign language version. Whilst they couldn’t appreciate the full technical details of the product, 98% of consumers tested could give us a correct explanation of what the product was used for and how it worked. With the exception of some font amends and minor amends for foreign marketing laws, the client was impressed with the styling, visualisation of the product and understanding the packaging provided at first glance.
The challenge 2
Thanks to the results of the consumer feedback, we were then asked to continue our work with ChickenGuard by providing a set of instructions and warranty card to be included inside the packaging. Armed with a ChickenGuard unit and word document instructions, we set about using the product, noting in detail how and where we got stuck, or the current instructions appeared unclear.
Whilst this was ongoing, an opportunity arose to market in a UK based agriculture magazine, requiring A4 design artwork. With short notice, a one week turnaround, we were tasked with creating something that showcased the ChickenGuard brand, in a fun, friendly manner that would be eye-catching and get noticed inside this popular publication.
The solution 2
Taking inspiration from our packaging concept, we figured illustrations would not only be clearer but quicker and easier for programming and set up purposes than text-based instructions. Whist this increased page count and initial cost to the client, long term cost and time savings in customer service would be a much-needed outcome.
Having illustrated the process, we produced a 16-page A5 flyer, accompanied by a simple dual sided A5 warranty card, fully branded and printed on 350gsm card to give that sense of quality that ChickenGuard were fast becoming associated with within their market.
Fortunately, we have heaps of publishing experience, so sourcing imagery, copy and content was not an issue in this instance. We played off the idea of safety and family happiness to create an advert that would appeal to the larger market and encourage readers to learn more by visiting the ChickenGuard website.
The results 2
As before, initial scepticism was met with joy once the final product was delivered. Now the business could provide their instruction in clear, branded print materials. The initial costs had seemed excessive to a start-up, but the end results not only showed an element of care for the customer, but exuded quality and would reduce both cost and time in regard to future customer service.
As with many start-ups, funds can be scarce in the early stages of the business. Whilst many would see this as a need to cut back on outgoings where possible, you should be looking at it as any other resource. As with staff, you would apply the best person to the job and your budget should be no different. Spending money early and getting things right, in the case of instruction manuals and packaging can be a hefty blow to the bank account in your infancy, but save you exponentially in the future, be it through time, money or just through gaining a return on investment.
At Attribute Design, we tackle all our projects by looking at the bigger picture. Whilst you may need someone to look at your packaging or brochure design, we like to see what we can do to add value not only in your proposed project but to your business as a whole through small adjustments to the design brief. If you would be interested in talking to us about your upcoming projects or your business as a whole, please get in touch.