It can be really difficult to give a creative agency constructive feedback on creative concepts for branding and pack design. “I don’t like it” is feedback we hear all too often, and it’s not bloody helpful!
Here’s a framework to give structure to your feedback and get the best out of your agency:
1) Go back to the brief
Did you provide the agency with a solid brief? If not, go back to the start and write one. This will ensure you and your agency are aligned strategically. The better the brief, the better the strategic quality of the creative output.
If you did provide a written brief, has the agency ticked all the boxes?
2) Does the creative concept command attention?
The shelf is a very, very busy place. New products need to stand out to survive. If you feel the agency has been too conservative in their approach, tell them! If you feel they haven’t pushed the limits far enough, tell them that as well. The more the agency understands your marketing strategy, the better the creative result.
3) Does the concept communicate the most important attributes of the product, clearly showing it’s distinct selling proposition?
If not, outline what you believe to be the most important product / brand features. In some cases, the brandmark itself is the most important graphic element on the pack (Coca Cola anyone?). Sometimes the brandmark is relegated to a small “endorser” in the corner or even back of pack (hello Unilever). If you are able to give clear guidance to the agency of the proportionate importance of the key elements on pack you will get a better result.
4) Does the creative concept reinforce the brand values and does it help build a consistent brand story? If you have a range of products, does this new concept work within that range? If it’s a stand-alone product range, does the design communicate what you want the brand to be known for?
5) Is the concept memorable?
While initial impressions are invaluable, it’s best to live with the creative concepts for a little while before giving feedback to the agency. FMCG & CPG branding is a numbers game. You want a concept that appeals to most of the people most of the time. Get feedback and viewpoints from a diverse range of your target market. Engage a market research agency if you have a few spare bucks.