Branding is Like Dating

At the HOW Design Conference last month, I was lucky enough to meet Marcus Hewitt, CCO of Dragon Rouge USA. (Ok, so perhaps I stalked him via email for a few weeks beforehand… but it was all for good reason.) Marcus was kind enough to share his presentation with me so that I could, in turn, share it with you.

Marcus actually delivered 2 presentations rolled up into one. The first was called “branding is like dating.” The second, “bonus” presentation, was all about the macro trends Dragon Rouge compiles each year through their international offices. I’ll share the first bit with you today.

As you will see, branding really is like dating. It requires a work, truth, self-confidence, and growth. Here are the 7 steps that Marcus outlined for “successful packaging design.”

Step 1: Love Yourself

The brand should be confident in itself and stand proud.

Example: Perrier. Even in the redesign, Perrier stays true to its essence and is not trying to be anything else.


Step 2: Dare to be Different

Let your personality shine through. Be unique. Don’t try to be like everyone else.

Example: Soupline laundry detergent (France). Why does laundry detergent have to come in a box or a jug? It doesn’t.


Step 3: Get to Know People


the time to know your audience, their aspirations and desires. Be it

your client or the consumer – find out what makes them tick.


Martell packaging – Dragon Rouge created numerous mood boards and

pulled inspiration from classic Japanese imagery, modern Sake bottles,

gorgeous craftsmanship, and technology. You can see these influences in

the final design.


Step 4: Don’t Overwhelm

Everyone needs a little space. There is such a thing as too much information.


Rituals bath and spa products. The design of the line is simple, and

the product information is easy to find and identify.


Step 5: Keep them Engaged

Don’t let the relationship get stale. Keep them on their toes with new products or visuals.

Example: Perrier limited edition bottles.


Step 6: Stay in Shape


relationships are hard work. They require discipline. Don’t get out of

shape or lazy when your relationship is going well. Your consumer is in

high demand and can always leave you for a more attractive, more

responsive brand.

Example: HP Steak Sauce was updated and modernized

for the times, but also remained faithful to its English roots. They also created a limited edition bottle by the

popular British clothing designer Paul Smith.


Step 7: Think About Tomorrow


will grow and evolve. Anticipate their needs and have a solution before

they even realize they have a problem. This requires and active effort

to follow and utilize macro trends. The most prevalent example lately

is global consciousness. We have an influx of eco products and most

major companies are now trying to leverage this in their portfolio of


Example: Clorox Green Works


The End.

(Thanks, Marcus!)