2013's Brand Innovators:
Terry T. Schwartz - Director, Global Design, Campbell Soup Company
Laura Sturdevant - Director of Product Development, Private Brands, Walgreens
Peter Borowski - Head of Design, Kraft Foods
Supposedly, behind every great man is a great woman, and certainly, behind every great leader is a great team. Just as inspiration is no respecter of time, it also does not care what title a person holds. That’s why excellent brands listen to thoughts from their supply chains, consumers or chief designers, because any one of those suggestions could lead to the next big thing. As BRANDPACKAGING honors this year’s Brand Innovators, know that each one will tell you that he or she could not have done it alone. Please join us in congratulating these folks, and their teams, as 2013’s creative thinkers in the packaging and branding industry.
Terry Schwartz started his professional career working in design agencies as a graphic and product designer. After 10 years in various designer roles, he moved into the corporate world, including management and leadership roles at Quaker Oats Company, Kraft Foods and ConAgra Foods. Now, Schwartz serves as director of global design at Campbell Soup Company.
After listening to Schwartz talk about his contributions to the industry, it’s easy to see why he’s had such a rich vocation already: Schwartz loves what he does.
“It’s amazing that I get to freely do what I love and work on such iconic brands,” Schwartz says. “I’m inspired by the changing dynamics of the world around us — consumers, shopping and eating habits, technology, etc. Change around me inspires me to solve marketing and communication challenges in new and different ways.”
“It’s amazing that I get to freely do what I love and work on such iconic brands. I’m inspired by the changing dynamics of the world around us — consumers, shopping and eating habits, technology, etc. Change around me inspires me to solve marketing and communication challenges in new and different ways.”
“We’re developing new products for new groups of consumers with different needs and taste preferences,” Schwartz says. “We know that young adults have positive affinity for the Campbell brand, having grown up with ‘Campbell’s Condensed’ soups, but the brand saw a great opportunity to evolve with the Millennial palette and preferences.”
Campbell wants to create an experience for that audience with its products, and the experience begins with the package.
“‘Campbell’s Go’ soups are a great example of a bold package for a bold product — changing the typical frame of reference for Campbell’s soup,” says Schwartz.
Though the famous can has inspired pop art, the Campbell team knew it was not the right container for the line and developed a flavor-lock pouch with Cool Touch technology to use instead.
“Campbell is thinking outside the can to help find ways that we can appeal to a new generation of consumers,” Schwartz says. “The pouch enables the brand to stand apart from the perception and expectations of other shelf-stable soups. Although the design was developed to reach new consumers, its appeal and relevance is very broad. That’s the challenge most brands face: blending a specific point of view with an appeal that is desirable to many.”
Today’s busy consumers want convenience, and while not having to pull out a pot is excellent, putting on oven mitts is not. “The Cool Touch technology enabled us to respond to our users’ desire for an easy meal with a specific zone on the package to hold on to after the product has been heated in the microwave,” says Schwartz. “This technology is critical to delivering a simple and convenient meal.”
Campbell’s team is able to introduce such gems into the market by evaluating designs through its WISE acronym: Works, Inspires, Separates and Expresses.
“My favorite part of the ‘Campbell’s Go’ brand is the way it is so tightly aligned to the insights about our audience,” says Schwartz. “The design elements of the packaging meet the WISE criteria. For example, the font treatment is less formal, and the facial expressions are more exciting. The package speaks to the target audience in a variety of ways and on a variety of levels. The consumers see themselves and what they want through the package. A winning design should implement insights, and ‘Campbell’s Go’ brand has done that well.”
Besides making sure the package works for the consumer, Schwartz makes sure designs align with the brand’s equities. “The greatest challenge at the beginning of the project was to create a solution that was relevant to the demographic but respectful of the Campbell heritage at the same time. This design has accomplished that goal and has positively stretched perceptions of the Campbell brand in the process.”
Laura Sturdevant has been working at Walgreens as director of private brands since August of 2009. Prior to Walgreens, she was at Topco for a year working on strategic sourcing and non-food grocery. She also spent 19 years at Aldi, where her work led her though four positions, with the last one being group director of corporate purchasing.
“I have always enjoyed private brands and Walgreens has given me the opportunity to work on the strategy and development of private brands influencing sales, branding and merchandising. Launching new brands and products has driven, and continues to drive, my passion. Seeing a new brand such as Nice! take off and be so successful and recognized is rewarding.”
“I have always enjoyed private brands,” Sturdevant says, “and Walgreens has given me the opportunity to work on the strategy and development of private brands influencing sales, branding and merchandising. Launching new brands and products has driven, and continues to drive, my passion. Seeing a new brand such as Nice! take off and be so successful and recognized is rewarding.”
Nice! is the number two brand at Walgreens and one Sturdevant and her team are quite proud of. Nice! was introduced to replace the numerous brands in the company portfolio that had been developed over the years, taking the company in a different direction than other large retailers who hold their products under many names.
“By consolidating to one large brand, we moved from building products to building brands — brands that we can spend marketing dollars against that will build customer loyalty,” she says. “We believe it is better to build around a few great brands so that we can better use our marketing dollars. Walgreens has less than five key brands, but we do have some smaller brands for specific product categories.
“I am most excited about the development of the Delish brand that we acquired through the Duane Reade acquisition. We continue to build the brand and products and have recently launched 30 new Delish Premium Chocolates that are quite tasty.”
Sturdevant and her team at Walgreens work to make sure what they offer consumers will meet their needs and expectations — a key aspect in brand building.
“We’ve developed each brand to have its own unique look. The look and feel fits the brand promise, builds customer loyalty and has a style that is uniquely Walgreens.”
As head of design at Kraft, Peter Borowski provides design leadership and vision for the company’s U.S. beverage brands, including MiO, Capri Sun, Crystal Light, Kool-Aid and Country Time as well as the company’s coffee brands — Gevalia, Maxwell House, TASSIMO and YUBAN. He recently helped complete the brand identity for the new Kraft Foods Group Inc. in which the company revived the iconic red, white and blue “Racetrack” logo.
A native of London, he received his B.A. in graphic design from Camberwell College of Arts. After graduating, Borowski was invited back to teach and administer the first-year degree course in graphic design. He moved to the United States in the early nineties and began developing brand identity systems and print communications for a number of global brands.
In speaking to us, Borowski lays out the ways he is steadily able to stay creative. “I look at other categories for inspiration, not just food and beverage, and I keep an inspirational folder on my computer of objects and designs that interest me. I also look to social media platforms like Pinterest for a wider range of inspiration.”
His methods clearly work, for in 2009, Borowski and his team at Kraft created an entirely new product category.
“I look at other categories for inspiration, not just food and beverage, and I keep an inspirational folder on my computer of objects and designs that interest me. I also look to social media platforms like Pinterest for a wider range of inspiration.”
The task was to develop an ownable brand that had the ability to break through at shelf and communicate to consumers that it’s a liquid, not a powder. The team implemented simple cues through design and pack structure.
“The goal was to blend function and aesthetic in one integrated package. We had to create consumer desire to carry everywhere — a ‘must have.’ The name MiO and the brand mark sum up the consumer benefit and instantly grab the Millennial’s attention.
“The brand mark acts as a beacon and doubles as a flavor-finding system. The left bar of the ‘M’ communicates fluidity, flavor and customization. The right bar communicates strength and confidence. Where the two meet, a single drop is formed which depicts the concentrated flavor in each bottle.
“We played on the modern lifestyle trend for simple iconic silhouettes and captured water’s essence in the droplet shape. The droplet form inherently helps the consumer understand how to use the product. It points them in the right direction so that they can squirt MiO neatly into a glass of water.”
Anyone who has ever opened a suitcase and found an oozing mess inside hesitates to carry those liquid items again. The team devised a solution to ensure fans would not experience that kind of disaster with MiO.
“The design instantly had to convince consumers that the bottle was safe to carry in their shirt pockets or purses. This was achieved with the audible double-click, flip-top lid which provides consumer reassurance. The slit valve creates the feel of ‘positive shut off’ and further emphasizes the ‘safe to carry’ and ‘no leaking’ message.”
Borowski and his team transformed the traditional beverage structure and set the standard for the category in one go.
“There were no competitors, so we had the opportunity to define the ‘on-the-go liquid concentrate’ space for the first time. The package is instantly recognizable. We raised the bar for design at Kraft and took the non-traditional approach in solving a design challenge. The design is proprietary and unexpected — there’s nothing else like it.”
MiO was one of Kraft Foods’ most successful new product launches in years, and the brand continues to inspire people to change their water. The company is dedicated to leading and growing the category it created. MiO launched in March 2011 with six flavors and has now grown to 15 different varieties across three different platforms — Original MiO, MiO Energy and MiO Fit.
“Everything about the MiO launch speaks to our company’s goal of operating with the ‘spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse,’” says Borowski. “As Fast Company noted in a MiO article last year, ‘you’re never too big to act small.’”