With Michele Bondani, owner of Packaging in Italy, we deepen in this article the concept of a packaging with a Genetic Profit™, a theory studied and developed by Bondani himself, who has drawn up guidelines capable of helping companies to pursue the path towards the success of a product, precisely through its packaging
At the dawn of the activity of Michele Bondani and his “Packaging in Italy” agency, before affiliation with “Trout & Partners” and the development of Packaging Positioning®, there was the study on the packaging with a Genetic Profit™, a sort of decalogue that is to be considered a bit like the trademark of Michele Bondani, the intuition from which everything started.
A study that started from the field, or rather the observation of shelves in stores, a flood of packages analyzed, because nothing could be left to chance, and above all with the precise desire to codify procedures so as to make them scientific and replicable.
What is a packaging with a Genetic Profit™ and why is it so important for the success of a product?
“Tracing my professional history, and rewinding the memories of about 10-12 years, when observing different types of packaging, and analyzing different case studies on the market, I identified and defined the packaging with a Genetic Profit™”, begins Michele Bondani, which then very pragmatically immediately gives us some concrete examples.
“The classic example, which well represents and embodies the characteristics of a packaging with a Genetic Profit™ is the jar of Fabbri black cherries, that is a package capable of selling more than the product it contains”, adds Bondani.
Let’s clear the field immediately from a misunderstanding: the product in question, the black cherries, are of excellent quality, as well as other examples that we will analyze in the course of this in-depth study, but in this case we take the quality issue for granted therefore there are other factors that we want to analyze. Ironically, if in a successful package (with a Genetic Profit™) the product is replaced with an equivalent one, we are almost certain that the consumer would perceive it as the original. There are also many “sociological” examples in this sense, think for example of the advertisement for McDonalds sandwich, served in the Gourmet restaurant, or the latest advertisement for Carrefour, which serves its products in a local market, therefore with the clear intent to make perceive it by the consumer as a high quality product at km 0, revealing only at the end that products are present in a large-scale retail trade. In this case, it is not the packaging but the context, which contributes to the idea of perception of quality in the consumer’s mind.
How to develop a packaging with a Genetic Profit™ and what are the mistakes to avoid?
There are some characteristics that define a packaging with Genetic Profit™, from which Packaging Positioning® is born: personalized and clear structure – institutional color – brand naming or the legibility – historicity of the product.
The last of these characteristics is of fundamental importance, in fact it is not possible to think of developing a packaging with Genetic Profit™ and to expect immediate results, as it is essential that history, and therefore the market, take its course and decree success (at least 18-36 months), obviously in the presence of the other elements characterizing a packaging with Genetic Profit™. “One of the mistakes to avoid is to think of using a packaging with a Genetic Profit™ for an extension of the company’s range. The risk in this case is to weaken the product for which the brand is perceived as a leader, with the risk therefore of losing all the advantage deriving from a packaging with Genetic Profit™”, adds Bondani.
The packaging with a Genetic Profit™ is therefore an “eternal” solution capable of generating sales over the years, the classic situation in which it is easy to admit “that that product sells itself”. A product which, as we have already said, is of excellent quality, but which by right enters history for highly distinctive packaging solutions.
Also in this case there are numerous examples of packaging with a Genetic Profit ™, which thanks to the aforementioned characteristics, have decreed its success: let’s think of Proraso beard foam, characterized by a structural design of the packaging, a well-defined institutional color as well as the brand naming and lettering, all characteristics that have allowed the Tuscan company to also obtain the historicity of the product, which we have seen as a fundamental element for a packaging with Genetic Profit™. Only later the company launched other variations of the same product, shaving foam, or different products such as Marvis toothpaste, avoiding the temptation to re-propose a packaging that could recall the packaging of the famous beard foam, but thinking of completely different but equally significant and successful solutions, let’s think for example of Marvis toothpaste, which is always part of the group’s brands.
“Often brands, caught in the frenzy of proposing something new, have a tendency to change, but doing it for historical products, whose packaging has clearly a well defined Genetic Profit™, means losing at the start. It must be understood that most of the time a successful product in an equally distinctive and recognizable packaging should not be touched. Try to imagine the Pino Silvestre bubble bath package, another example of packaging with a Genetic Profit™ in its typical green and brown color, proposed with a musk fragrance and in a package with the same structural design but in black and blue color? This would be a mistake that would compromise the real positioning of the product”, says Michele Bondani, underlining how very often company managers are more inclined to modify projects that have already started, rather than embark on new adventures.
It is therefore also important to have the ability to stand still, to do nothing, especially if we are talking about products with packaging with Genetic Profit™; just as white is an important element in the color of a package, sometimes silence is more predominant than a communicative action, and the ability not to act at any cost is a more than wise decision when the product already has its own historicity on the market.
“Tassoni bottle, in glass with the writing in relief and without a label, as well as that of Campari, are very strong elements of Packaging Positioning® and Genetic Profit™, which emphasize the concept of the type of product, decree its positioning as leaders, and automatically reposition the competitors’ products to a lower level”, concludes Michele Bondani.