How I found my perfect product packaging

A vital element of your brand is getting the look of your product or service perfect. So when we saw the packaging and brand of a new beauty drink that we funded, CLUO - packaging which both communicates the health benefits of the drink, as well as looking great- we knew we wanted to find out more about how founder Pearl Jarrett developed it.

CLUO is an innovative that doesn't just taste good - it's also the first ready-to-drink moringa preparation, a superfood which is hugely nutritious. We asked Pearl a few questions about getting the look right for CLUO.

Can you tell us a bit more about the story behind the final product packaging and look?

CLUO is a health and beauty drink made from the little-known superfood moringa. Moringa is a rich source of many vitamins, including zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C - all of which are essential to skin health.

We wanted the CLUO logo to reflect the fact that we were using the goodness of the leaves from the moringa tree, so our branding company cleverly incorporated the leaves in the logo and the designs of the packaging.  I had initially envisaged fruit on there to highlight the flavours, but we had a meeting where we defined our "message” and decided that the main branding message should be about the moringa itself, and not the flavours. So the leaves became the focus.

What was the process of developing the packaging like?

A little stressful.  I really laboured over the packaging, as I really wanted something that was different and something that would stand out on the shelves amongst all the other bottles.

I saw a beautiful stand-out bottle that I had my heart set on,  only to find out that the product would had to be hot-filled and therefore needed a bottle that could take temperatures of 75 degrees C or higher.  This eliminated my beautiful bottle and 95% of all bottles on the market, which were designed for cold-fill.  The bottles that I was left with were horrible and very ordinary, or my other option was glass. So I set out to find an unusual hot-fill bottle.  I searched everywhere, even China.  I would find one and then the neck would be too small so it would be awkward to drink out of,  or it would be too large and you would spill the drink all over yourself. I started to have dreams about bottles in my sleep.

How much market research did you do beforehand?

We did what seemed like loads of market research. I found this bottle that we are using now, and my thinking was that, as it's a drink but also a beauty product, why not amalgamate the two and put the drink in a food-grade cosmetic bottle?   When  we did the early stage focus groups and the cap was plain white, the response was that it looked more like a shampoo than a drink! It was quite distressing.

How long did it take to get it perfect?

I agonised over it for ages.  I really didn’t want a bog-standard bottle, but I didn’t want our drink confused with shampoo either. In the end, I had an idea. Instead of resuming yet another global search for the perfect hot-fill bottle, it would possibly work if we camouflaged the cap with colour.   So we shrinkwrapped the bottle up and over the cap and added colour to the tear-off tamper evident strip.   It worked! Suddenly it didn’t look like shampoo any more.

What were the key things you wanted the packaging to say about the drink and your brand?

CLUO is latin for "Clean and pure".  So everything about the brand had to be clean and pure.  The first couple of designs were not clean at all - they were cluttered with so much information - so we simplified the labelling. We had to determine what the most important messages were that our customers needed to see first, and everything else could go around the back or to the sides.  Our key messages are:

  • Beauty Drink
  • Made from the superfood moringa
  • The innovative flavours
  • No artificial flavours, colours, or sugars

Sum up your brand in three words

Beauty from within!

What has the response to your brand been so far?

It has been amazing.  I was so nervous the first day of the launch as I didn’t know if people would get it. We set up our stand at Food Matters Live exhibition at ExCel and the bottles were all lit up - they looked fabulous.  Just about everyone who came to the stand commented on how beautiful the bottles were. It was so worth it.

Then to top it off  we won an award on our first day of business for - we were highly commended in the 'Innovation' category. 15 global companies voted for us, including Tesco, Mars, Pepsi and Unilever.  Not bad for day one!

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