The current issue of Inc. magazine has a fascinating cover story on branding. It gives an in depth case study of a brand makeover for Dave's Gourmet, the maker of the famous Dave's Insanity Sauce. Dave definitely has a problem. He has 136 different products, many with completely different label design, and no common branding theme at all. His one main product accounts for 68% of his sales, but because people use it in such small quantities, they only buy one bottle every three years. So it is understandable he would want to broaded his product offerings.
The article explains in detail the steps taken by Deskey, the independent branding agency that convinced Dave he needed some help. There is an excellent slide show that provides images of the different label designs that were created. What I found most interesting was the insight into the creative process that these people went through in order to come up with the new ideas. Anyone trying to come up with a brand identity for their products could learn a great deal here.
In the end, Dave rejected all the ideas and a quick check of his web site confirms that none of his labels contain the new ideas put forward. In my opinion, Dave is making a mistake. The labels for his products are all over the place, there is no consistent theme, so he is not taking advantage of the brand identity he already has. While I wasn't crazy about Deskey's final designs, I think they provided a consistent look that would have served Dave's Gourmet in the long run.
Anyway, if you are struggling with your product label designs and want some new ideas, check out the January issue of Inc. If nothing else, you will come away with some insight into the thought that goes into creating a brand identity.