The Mill Brand Design


Creating brands, not design

I love brands and it seems that consumers haven’t forgotten their love of brands either. I’m sure you haven’t missed what was the huge success of Coles’ Little Shop promotion: Mini branded collectables, covetable I believe, because they are brands not because they are just little products.

And seeing some of these iconic brands small is a lesson in brand equity and how important unique visual assets are in building recognisable and emotionally relevant brands. 

Packaging with purpose
There is no question that unique, disruptive branding is one of the biggest assets a company, be it big or small, can have. The type of packaging likely to attract both niche and mainstream audiences and have cut through, is packaging that clearly conveys a brand’s values and voice.
Of course clearly defining and clarifying what your unique brand message is the first challenge and today’s consumers want that message to feel personal to them. Determining how best to appeal to the individuals whilst also appealing to the masses is a tricky line to walk, however the focus for a brand should not waiver from being true to itself and its own purpose.

Iconic symbolism
Creating meaningful brand assets and using them consistently over time, simply put, is how iconic brands are created. It’s their use of emotionally resonant and purposeful brand symbolism that sets them apart, however it’s the consistency of use that ensures they continue to build trust with consumers and have longevity.

Our recent redesign of Mil Lel, whilst a step change from the old packaging design, the tone of the brand remains unchanged. The new assets, such as the roundel with its rough painted edge and script variant descriptors, have been created to appeal to creative cooks, those inspired by recipes but not held back by them. By embracing a messier foodie aesthetic, consumers can now find a brand that's more relevant to their cooking experiences at home.

In summary
Iconic brands emotionally connect through the consistent use of their brand assets, building trust with their consumers. And it’s these brand assets that are the start point for any brand to evaluate whether they are being chosen on their values rather than on price. Brands need to push themselves to uncover their own story so they can be clearly unique and create equities that reflect their point of view.  If the Coles Little Shop promotion has taught us anything it’s that when we see our packaging small it still needs to convey our uniqueness, after all if internet food shopping is to grow in Australia like it has worldwide small might be the only way we see the pack before we buy.

Claire Riley
Founder & Strategy Directory, The Mill Brand Design Agency, Melbourne
Contact Claire if you would like to take advantage of her 20 plus years in the branding and packaging industry. With experience in the UK and Australia working on consumer goods brands, from cheese to gin and everything in between, Claire is passionate about creating unique brand assets that tell stories and increase the bottom line.

Rob Riley