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Packaging that Lies 2: Breaking the Trust of the Brand Relationship

Packaging, as the face of the brand relationship, should provide a service to the customer by simplifying the complex decision to buy. When it does the opposite the relationship will suffer, and so will sales.

Unfortunately it is often the case that labeling increases the complexity of the decision. The label on this small can of “jalapenos” is not only a poor design, with a cheap, unappetizing picture that sends a message of low quality, it also tells a visual lie. This goes in the face of the customer-centricity that consumers have come to expect.

This can contains as many carrot slices in it as it did jalapenos. Granted, if a customer checks the label with a Spanish dictionary it does say that jalapenos are a minimum of 40% of the contents. The other 60% is water, vinegar, onions, carrots and soya oil. There is a small label stuck to the top of the can with the ingredients in Czech and Slovak, however this is so poorly printed in tiny print that anyone with less than fighter pilot eyesight can not read it.

This sends a message that the label is not for the customer, but merely a formality to comply with labeling laws. This shows that La Costena, has not yet adjusted to the over-arching importance of design, and still sees it as a necessary afterthought.

The visual lie—that the label shows all jalapenos with only a few pieces of onion—is not only disappointing, but angering. It is manipulative and disrespectful. And with an expiration date in 2017, this is going to be on shelves having this effect on customers for a long time.

The result is that now, if I a customer wants jalapenos, there is another layer of thought and calculation necessary when deciding to buy. The packaging has complicated the decision, not simplified it, and used up the customer's valuable time. That is not what packaging or product design is about. This is not the first contact experience a company wants its customers to have. Furthermore, with the long shelf life the company’s agility is greatly hampered.

Reference: Packing That Lies 1





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