Private label products are steadily gaining ground, but it's not enough to offer high-quality goods; packaging design is key to standing out and captivating consumers. That's where The Creative Pack, a California-based design firm, comes into play. Founded by the visionary Danielle Kidney, this creative powerhouse specializes in crafting eye-catching and engaging private-label product packaging.
With over 20 years of packaging expertise, Danielle brings a worldly vision and a wealth of knowledge to the table. Her journey began when she worked for a British design agency for nearly a decade, mainly collaborating with Tesco, a major retail player.
Her professional growth took her across the Atlantic, to California, where she built a dedicated team to work with a new client, Fresh and Easy. The challenge was monumental - to develop 3,000 private label hues, and Danielle's team rose to the occasion. The foundation of The Creative Pack was laid with this experience. In its early days, the team consisted of just two designers and Danielle herself, and in the first years, they leaned into the UK design team. However, what made her success possible was not just the scale of the challenge but the recognition of the potential in the US consumer market.
Danielle Kidney saw an amazing opportunity to introduce private labels and designers to the US consumer market. Her perceptive eye for the unique needs and preferences of American consumers drove her to build The Creative Pack. She understood that the US market was ripe for innovation, and she was determined to make her mark, and she did.
Today, with strong female leadership under Danielle Kidney's guidance, The Creative Pack has set a standard of excellence. Their journey reflects the power of design, collaboration, and the possibilities that come from tackling a challenge. It's no wonder that they've won over 180 awards that celebrate their innovation and dedication.
The heart of The Creative Pack's design philosophy lies in its focus on two primary categories: food and beverage packaging and health and beauty. Even when it comes to private-label packaging, competitive research is crucial. Danielle and her team understand that it's not about replicating what competitors are doing; it's about doing it better and future-proofing the design. The goal is to create packaging that remains on the shelves for years before requiring any changes.
“Take what the competitors are doing, do a better job, and future-proof it, then your design can stay on the shelves for a number of years before you need to change it.”
What truly distinguishes The Creative Pack is its commitment to exploring global markets, drawing inspiration and innovative ideas from Asia and Europe. This global perspective ensures that their designs are not only competitive but also forward-thinking. They are unafraid to venture beyond trends, opting for a more collaborative approach that builds on what’s already out there and transforms it into a unique idea.
When it comes to “standing out”, eye-catching products are no longer enough; it's about differentiation. This involves considering various factors such as category cues, price points, and the emotional response a design evokes from consumers. The aim is to create a design that captures attention while conveying trust and quality.
The "shelf" has evolved and Danielle has known how to perfectly incorporate that into the clients they work with. Traditionally, the shelf referred to the physical space in a brick-and-mortar store where products were displayed. Today, it encompasses not only physical store shelves but also the screens of smartphones, tablets, and computers. Consumers can now browse and make purchasing decisions from the comfort of their homes, with a world of options at their fingertips. In this digital extension of brands, packaging, and design play an even more crucial role, as they are often the first point of contact between a brand and a potential customer.
Brands now have more control over what consumers see, irrespective of their competition. This shift makes it even more critical to understand the brand's audience, their inherent values, shopping habits, and price expectations. By considering these aspects and the product's environment, brands can create designs that not only capture attention but also foster brand loyalty, ensuring customers return time and again. That is exactly what The Creative Pack knows how to deliver.
The Creative Pack has always had a strong focus on private-label brand work. In fact, private brand clients and retailers account for a significant portion of their projects, constituting around 60% of their portfolio. This expertise in packaging design, especially in the private label sector, has put them on the map. While they serve various brands and clients in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector, their commitment to private brands is always present.
Design for Growth and Longevity
As private-label products continue to gain traction in terms of unit and dollar sales, the significance of strong product design becomes even more pronounced. The Creative Pack believes that their designs should remain relevant not just today, but in the coming years. They closely review consumer market trends at the beginning of each private-label brand partnership and incorporate their findings into the brand roadmap.
This proactive approach empowers their clients to steer clear of trendy bandwagons and 'me-too' strategies. Instead, The Creative Pack positions its clients ahead of the curve, allowing them to create their own trends and carve out their unique path to long-term success and growth. This necessitates a design system with the flexibility to adapt to ever-changing opportunities.
A Unified Brand Story
Maintaining consistent communication with the retailer is a cornerstone of The Creative Pack's approach. In the world of private label brands, different category leaders often have distinct brand visions. The role of The Creative Pack harmonizes these ideas in a logical manner, ensuring a unified brand story. This line of communication, both with clients and within the design team, ensures alignment with the brand's goals, even as projects may encounter unexpected twists and turns.
When it comes to designing private label packaging, The Creative Pack follows a meticulous three-step process. It all begins with strategy. They believe in creating a strong foundation for each project, based on a clear brief, exhaustive consumer trend research, and a comprehensive review of the competition. This initial step helps set clear expectations, ensuring that the project aligns with the launch timeline and follows a well-defined critical path.
Once the strategy is in place, the design process kicks off. The team conducts a comprehensive audit of the current branding if any exists. Mood boards play a significant role in defining the visual direction and setting the tone for the entire project. This is the stage where they tackle the most challenging categories or complex packaging formats first, ensuring a foolproof design. The process involves creating mood boards and presenting multiple design concepts to clients, encouraging a collaborative decision-making process.
After presenting design concepts, typically two to three directions, to stakeholders, they choose a direction and proceed to further developments based on feedback. The final step is artwork approval and production. Once an approved design concept is in place, they gather all necessary assets, like die lines, imagery, and fonts, to create print-ready artwork. This artwork is then extended to all SKUs and flavors within the product range.
The Creative Pack's creative process can span from four weeks to four months, depending on the project's complexity. Their primary goal is to create a brand with a distinct presence that's instantly recognizable. Importantly, they are mindful that packaging has a lead time for printing and production, typically ranging from 4 to 12 weeks. Given the expenses and challenges associated with reprinting or changing packaging, each print run often lasts for a considerable period, usually 2 to 3 years or more.
The Creative Pack offers a full spectrum of design services at your fingertips. This is how they can help you:
The Creative Pack has excelled in various projects, demonstrating their creativity and innovation. These are some our favorites so let us share them with you:
Basically - Convenience Redefined
The collaboration with Gopuff for the launch of the "Basically" private label brand redefines convenience. Offering a wide range of essential items, from batteries to toilet paper to gummy bears, the brand relies on striking color schemes and patterns to make a lasting impression.
Levain Bakery - Delicious and Protected
The Creative Pack's expertise in e-commerce packaging shines through their work with Levain Bakery. This project presented the challenge of creating packaging that not only showcases the bakery's mouthwatering cookies but also ensures their safe delivery to customers.
The future of private-label brands lies in the hands of creative visionaries like Danielle Kidney and design firms like The Creative Pack. By navigating the intricate balance between aesthetics, differentiation, and consumer understanding, they are driving private-label packaging into a future where innovation, quality, and engagement reign supreme. Their ability to design for growth and longevity, adapt to changing market trends and create brand stories that resonate positions them as invaluable partners for retailers seeking to make their private-label products truly stand out.
Thanks to the innovative spirit of companies like The Creative Pack and the visionary leadership of Danielle Kidney, the future of private label packaging is filled with endless possibilities. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to feature them on our blog page and get inspired by their amazing work
If you're looking to make your products stand out and leave a lasting impression, consider partnering with The Creative Pack. Their expertise in private label packaging and dedication to innovative design is your gateway to captivating your audience. Let The Creative Pack transform your vision into incredible packaging. ***
**Contact them today and embark on a creative journey that sets you apart in the world of private labels. Be sure to follow them on socials to stay updated and inspired!**