CorningWare: Refreshing an Iconic Brand
The story: CorningWare started out in the space-racing 1950s as Pyroceram, a material that would safely absorb temperature fluctuations in rocket nose cones. By 1958, it was introduced into homes with the ability to go directly from the freezer to the oven to the table, a substantial benefit for those preparing the family meals and cleaning up after.
The glass-ceramic — and later, stoneware and aluminum — material, with its secure-fitting lids and availability in a variety of sizes, has been a mainstay in kitchens ever since.
The challenge: Despite its iconic status, sometimes cultural trends sneak up on your brand faster than you can say “Food Network.” Such was the case with CorningWare French White bakeware, which was consistently losing share in a housewares category dominated by celebrity chef-endorsed product lines. Research revealed that consumers associated the CorningWare brand with nostalgic concepts, although they were delighted by the new, more updated offerings in bright colors the brand had introduced — and even more excited to learn they were from a trusted name like CorningWare.
The long-standing bakeware company needed to give people a new way to think about CorningWare and turned to branding, design and prototyping agency Kaleidoscope.
The solution: At the start of the initiative, Kaleidoscope discovered that the CorningWare packaging had not been updated in years. Its challenge was to update the established brand without risking consumer trust and the feeling of nostalgia they associated with childhood memories. But updating was necessary if the agency was going help CorningWare to compete with the style and performance promise of newer, contemporary brands. Kaleidoscope’s mission was to re-establish the CorningWare name around timeless style and innovation.
The agency developed a brand strategy that was designed to elevate brand recognition of all the many CorningWare offerings at shelf and help the products stand out against competitors. At the same time, the team needed to ensure that each current and future sub-line would have the right balance of personality.
Kaleidoscope created a brand essence for CorningWare as “the little black dress of the bakeware category” — it’s the classic, go-to choice that never goes out of style. You can dress it up or down, making it right for any occasion.
The redesigned packaging features dual “hero” panels: One panel highlights the classic lines and timeless design of the chef’s toque-inspired bakeware pieces (the little black dress), and the opposite panel features a contemporary table setting (the occasion).
Turning its attention to the product itself, the Kaleidoscope team updated the cornflower icon that’s been featured on generations of CorningWare casserole bakers, and then incorporated it into the brand mark. A heritage call out, “since 1958,” now sits beneath the flower.
The packaging architecture is simple and bold, distinctive enough to pop off the shelf but also flexible enough to accommodate current sub-lines of CorningWare Cast Aluminum, CW by CorningWare and Etch.
1. A well-designed but simple look calls out to customers from the shelf and stays true to the brand’s “no stress and no mess” personality.
2. The bakeware easily and safely goes from freezer to the dishwasher (and everywhere in between) — quite the selling feature for busy cooks. Kaleidoscope built the product characteristics clearly into the package redesign, aiding shoppers searching for such a solution.
3. As seen on the various varieties pictured, the new package design adapts gracefully to all of CorningWare’s products, thanks to the consistent handling of the brand name and mark in a tidy information lockup.