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At Writing by Design, we believe that powerful marketing begins with potent language. Our blog is your source for tips and insights into the world of market-minded communication.

Unlocking new product development success with the right story

Are your products telling the right story?

As consumers, we’re drawn to good storytelling. Short news stories shared on the radio, videos of how a football player got where he is today or full-length feature stories that tug at our hearts—no matter the medium, one thing remains the same: a good story needs a good hook.

What’s that hook? The consumer insight.

In launching (or repositioning) a product, getting a clear story (aka, a concept) in front of consumers is crucial to getting the green light for launch, and that story relies on a clear insight (or the problem your product is solving). Plus, that story acts as a bridge to your in-market communications.

Dave’s Killer Bread
Image of Dave's Killer Bread on the shelfThis one caught my eye because the packaging is so different from the other options in the bread aisle. Dave’s Killer Bread has an image of Dave with a guitar on the front, the brand’s story and the nutritional benefits. The story of providing second chances (they hire people who’ve recently be released from prison, a risk most companies aren’t willing to take) by eating nutritious bread piqued my interest.

What we think their insight was
Consumers love finding small, everyday ways to give back to their communities. What better way to give them that chance than by combining it with something they likely do often, such as eating a sandwich or piece of toast? A little contribution to the world around you with every bite of wholesome goodness. Genius.

Features they highlighted
Organic white bread made with five SUPER grains, no bleached flour and no high fructose corn syrup.

Benefits they included
Consumers get to eat bread that’s not only good for them, but also good for society by giving much-needed second chances.

JUST Ranch
I had heard about JUST brand products through a couple of dairy-free groups on Facebook, and finding it in the store was easy because of one thing: its simple and clean packaging design made it stand out on the store shelf.

What we think their insight was
Consumers want a dressing that’s made with simple ingredients with minimal impact on the environment.

Features they highlighted
While they kept their package design very minimal, the few words they did use were only to convey their dedication to clean ingredients while still communicating key features important to their consumers: non-GMO, gluten-free and just for all.

Benefits they included
Consumers can enjoy the foods they love knowing the ingredients are responsibly sourced.

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste
Photo of butt paste diaper rash creamI first stumbled upon this product when my then-baby had a stubborn diaper rash I couldn’t get rid of. I had been using another product, mainly because I’d seen it on a lot of baby shower registries and thought that meant it had to be good. That was until I found myself in the baby aisle trying to find something, ANYTHING, that would relieve my baby’s discomfort. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste stood out on the shelf (red is not a color you would think of when trying to soothe a baby’s bottom), and after studying the package and reading that it was fast-acting and had no dyes (i.e., would be gentler on my baby’s irritated skin), it ended up in my cart.

What we think their insight was
Baby’s skin is sensitive and diaper rashes can come on quickly but are hard to get rid of. Parents want a solution that’s gentle on baby’s skin but tough on fighting rashes—and something that will stick around until that fight is over. Butt. Paste. Crystal clear!

Features they highlighted
Based on their package design and copy, we think their concepts were light-hearted, yet straight-forward. The product contains 16 percent zinc oxide (40 percent in the maximum strength formula) while other leading brands have only 13 percent zinc oxide in their regular formulas. It is also free from parabens, dyes, preservatives and talc—all of which can irritate skin.

Benefits they included
They played up the functional benefits that parents would care about with language like “starts healing on contact,” and used playful copy to hopefully elicit a smile while making the product memorable (i.e., “Let’s kick some rash”). An image of a baby holding dumbbells to represent strength helps seal the deal on who’s going to win this diaper rash fight!

O Honey White Balsamic California Vinegar
O HONEY white balsamic vinegarI had never heard of O Honey White Balsamic California Vinegar, but as you can see from the picture, the packaging made it stand out from the rest on shelf with its wine-bottle-like-presence. It’s clean and clear (you can literally see what’s in the bottle), and “O so clever!”

What we think their insight was
In a sea of sameness for balsamic vinegars, consumers have a desire to try something new and unique. Similar to the wine category, nuance is everything, so perhaps a brand like “O Honey” could benchmark nuances that existed in the wine category and leverage the same kinds in the balsamic vinegar category. Additionally, it appears that many balsamic vinegars have tested high for lead and are non-compliant to Prop 65 which regulates this. The manufacturer saw this as an opportunity to create a safer balsamic while combining it with California’s love for wine country.

Features they highlighted
Rich, smooth. Lightly sweet. Aromatic. It contains sweet clover honey (not a common ingredient in balsamic vinegar) steeped in California (not Italy, so it must be ‘new and modern’) golden balsamic vinegar and aged in white oak. Their balsamic vingears are hand-crafted, one batch at a time in California, and have tested 30 times lower than even the rigorous safe standards established by California’s Proposition 65.

Benefits they included
Flavorful, but more importantly, safe, and “a healthy alternative to European vinegars.”

Each of these products uses solid storytelling (and a unique package design that brings the story to life) to stand out on the shelf and hopefully land in the carts of consumers. That solid storytelling began with a concept that was written with an eye on the in-market support it will receive from your brand at launch and clearly proved successful for all of these products.

Want to tell a clear, compelling story with your new product launch? Let the concept-writing experts at Writing by Design help you craft a Crystal Clear™ one! Tell us about your concept writing project.

Headshot of Kayde Kempen, SEO and communications specialistKayde Kempen joined the Writing by Design team in 2016 as a Communications and SEO Specialist and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She has written hundreds of blog posts and e-blasts, both for Writing by Design and its clients, is the lead content writer for Writing by Design’s website/SEO clients, and assists with press releases, concept writing, script writing and more. Prior to joining the Writing by Design team, she was an associate marketing manager at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where she worked for five years and led nearly 90 website redesign projects, wrote for the University’s alumni magazine and news website, and wrote and managed a variety of print and digital marketing projects.

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