Combining the two seemed like a natural progression for the creative team at The Design Group who were charged with coming up with something different for the confectionery shelves. The team ­ made up of the account handler, creative director, two senior designers and a copywriter ­ first held a couple of brainstorming sessions to work out who they were targeting and how they could do it. To help them, mood boards ­ cut outs of people, lifestyles and products from magazines and newspapers, which reflect the design team's perception of the product and the market the manufacturer's aiming at ­ were made up. These aim to help a client rethink or confirm their target audience. Creative director Grant Marshall says the firm normally starts by gathering research on the market to reiterate the client brief. "Not that we doubt their research," he insists, "but to make sure we're both on the same track. We like to feel as confident as they are." It can also set up focus groups to reinforce the brief. Marshall adds: "We always think about the whole brand and work backwards or outwards." The team then outlined their initial thoughts for what the product should be, where it could be sold and who'd want to buy it: The objective: To create a range of "genuine" coffee-flavoured chocolates to capitalise on the trend for coffee drinking among young adults with sophisticated tastes and to exploit the trend for people wanting an energy boost with the emphasis on real caffeine. The brief: To create a brand image and name plus individual identity within flavour variants, with real credibility and relevance to the target audience. The product: A range of coffee flavoured chocolates ­ chocolates in the shape of coffee beans with coffee flavoured syrup centres - in a bar format, or individual servings of any shape. Planned distribution: Multiples, independents, forecourts, and CTNs. The audience: 18 to 35-year-olds with a sophisticated taste in coffee, chocolate fans, and those seeking an energy boost ­ innovators and early adaptors. It should appeal to those with busy lifestyles who need the extra stimulant at key times of the day, for example going to work, going out in the evening and before sport. Considerations: The range must work across individual packs and multi-format packs Once it had the idea, the team had to think of a snappy name which encapsulated the product concept while at the same time grabbed shoppers' attention. It first came up with a number of possiblities including: Cafe Olé - a play on words (au lait) if the product was made with milk chocolate; - Cafe Reál, Spill the Beans!; Choc Shot; and Caffeine Hitz. It also thought of the name Chocolate Twists ("chocolate with a twist ­ it packs a caffeine hit!") where the logo would twist in the middle and turn upside down, while the actual chocolate bar could feature twists of chocolate and coffee. So the name would refer both to the shape and to the product proposition. However Marshall and his team realised this could mean extra manufacturing costs ­ something every supplier has to take into account; fancy packaging and printing also all add extra time to a planned launch date. Another idea was a standard chocolate bar with a coffee bean moulded into each square, but in the end they plumped for a product which most looked like a coffee bean ­ a chocolate outer casing with a syrup centre in a variety of three coffee flavours: cappuccino, latte and mocha. Most of the names to describe this new concept were dismissed because the team wanted to differentiate between varieties in the range, such as latté and espresso, and they needed something that could be adapted. It's clear that it's not easy coming up with a name and even harder than it once was. "Naming is so difficult nowadays because so many names have already been registered," says Marshall. "You want it to be literal and ownable, and if it can be descriptive that's great, but most of the obvious ones are already in use." The more obscure a name becomes, the more description it needs, but you also need to bear in mind that you don't want to overload a pack with text, and that each word should work really hard. "If you can sum up the brand proposition in five words then you're really on to something." Good examples are BMW ­ the ultimate driving experience' and It's not Terry's ­ it's mine'. Designers also need to watch out that consumers don't get confused by their packaging, and read the wrong bit of information first. According to information hierarchy on a pack, the name should stand out, followed by other information such as size and ingredients. The team eventually plumped for Caffeine Hitz, spelt purposely with a z' which they reckoned made the name ownable. According to Marshall, the name means the product obviously contains caffeine and is authentic and genuine. It's also easy to say ­ which is very important. He adds: "Sometimes the name comes after you design the pack ­ there's no set starting point." The team came up with possible typefaces at the same time as they thought of the names because this helps creative people get across the brands' potential personality better. In our case, a sans serif typeface was used because it's more punchy and "the sector's language", according to Marshall. Italic text was used because it adds speed to words and takes a shopper's eyes along the shelf. Ideas about packaging usually follow at this point, so the designers can see how the name works on pack. The Design Group decided to come up with radically different packaging to the usual confectionery offering, so that the chocolates were eaten from a coffee cup rather than a bar or plain pack, with the drinking hole used to dispense the chocolates. In this way, it aimed to reinforce the product's image as intensely coffee related, and the novel idea aimed to give it shelf appeal in a form that could easily be vertically stacked. Another reason was so that individual retailers can't tamper with it, so that point of sale can be guaranteed. However, Marshall advises that you need to make sure you're not left with something that looks over-packaged which can be both off-putting for the consumer and environmentally unfriendly. Once they'd decided on the pack shape they wanted, the first concept they came up with was a stylish black design to go with the name Cafe olé. This was a fairly safe look embellished with a comtemporary photograph of a waitress carrying coffee cups. The next idea was brown corrugated-style packaging ­ giving the product a contemporary feel which was thought to be something the major multiples would go for, using the Caffeine Hitz name and a graphic of the product on pack. But both were rejected in favour of something a little more futuristic ­ a metallic finish which reflects the light and gives the product more shelf stand out. Three colours ­ bright red, blue and green ­ were used to differentiate between the varieties. "Metallic says sharp and the colour reinforces that," adds Marshall. Although blue and green aren't traditionally food' colours, they're used a lot in the confectionery market. They also relate to milk ­ blue for full fat, red for semi skimmed and green for skimmed, which the team capitalised on, using blue for the variety made from the most milky coffee - latte, followed by cappuccino - red, and mocha, the least milky - green. "We think they're current, appropriate and vibrant," says Marshall. The product name and image are also printed on a sticker on the cup lid to get the message across from a different angle ­ brand visibility is important whichever way you look at it. The product, name and packaging having been decided upon, point of sale was the next consideration ­ an important part of the process if the new brand is going to stand out in store, especially the crowded shelves in the major multiples. The team suggested using signs similar to those used in a contemporary coffee shop, with a concealed light source behind the bean image. A printed shelf strip was another idea, as well as a shelf wobbler printed with the product. Other suggestions were a special merchandising unit for forecourts so that the product was dispensed out of a machine similar to a real coffee dispenser, so that shoppers could pick cups and help themselves to a measured serving. Although it is seen as important to get listed on home shopping sites such as, a web site per se was not seen as important unless it had a good reason for being there. At this stage, a mock up of the product was created. Such mock ups are often tested with consumer groups. They are shown the different packaging and asked which one they'd expect to find the product in; too downmarket and it could take it into a different category. "Once you've got general approval, prototyping is key. You can look at 3-D simulation but until you pick up the actual product you can't get a really good idea," says Marshall. "It's also good on a sensory level as people like to feel packaging." The team often tests new products in store by putting them on shelf and seeing whether they work ­ something retailers are often happy to oblige with, particularly if it's with a favoured supplier. And once it's managed to get on shelf, designers are still involved, thinking up new ways to drive trial. "We thought about limited edition varieties such as Irish coffee at Christmas or ice cream, and how we could move the product into different parts of the store, or format, such as an off licence. "We also thought about promotions at the same time, such as a competition to win a trip to Brazil or covermounts on magazines. Then we thought about partners with whom we could work, who could lend their brand equities to our product. It's all about keeping people's interest going." After all the hard work, Marshall has some final words of wisdom for manufacturers on the new product trail: "Bear in mind the competition at all times and keep talking to the designers while the product is being made to make sure you're both working in the same way. "Once you establish a market and the kind of customer you're talking to, then it's time to think about packaging ­ and remember it can change people's perceptions, while the position in store can affect the image too." But he concludes: "At the end of the day, all packaging can do is get people to try the product ­ if they don't like it they won't buy it again." l Next week: below and above the line advertising. {{FEATURES }}