By Don Alldian – 02/27/2019
With more than 530 stores in 17 states, Piggly Wiggly is one of the most recognized brands in the country. As such, it’s a major undertaking when a company of its size initiates an accelerated rebrand of more than 1,400 individual SKUs that make up its line of private label products.
TWO GOALS, ONE INITIATIVE
The Piggly Wiggly rebrand decision was, in part, prompted by looming FDA-mandated changes to nutrition labels. These new regulations will require updated nutritional information to be incorporated onto packages beginning in 2020. Piggly Wiggly sought to accomplish its label redesign in less than two years, effectively meeting two goals – a brand redesign and regulation compliance – in one major initiative.
Knowing that this undertaking would require close collaboration with a trusted partner, Piggly Wiggly turned to West Essex Graphics (WEG), a full-service design, prepress and flexographic image carrier provider with facilities in New Jersey and Indiana.
Based on the sheer number of SKUs involved, this effort would require careful planning and a highly disciplined work process. For example, cheese packaging presented an interesting challenge, as private label cheese is a substantial revenue driver for their stores.
“Because there’s a huge market for our private label cheese,” explained Timothy Yarosevich, senior director corporate brands of Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers, owner of the Piggly Wiggly brand, “we thoroughly explored creative options to ensure we properly showcased the product.”
The cheese category was also critical because the design needed to bridge multiple packaging configurations and still retain the proper “line look” of all of the other items in the store. It also presented an additional challenge for printing, as multiple types of printing were needed throughout the category.
“Ensuring that these products maintained a consistent look when multiple printers are involved can be difficult if you don’t adhere to strict design protocols and rigorous quality control procedures,” said Robert Jackson, SVP of sales at WEG.
A PROCESS-ORIENTED APPROACH TO A NEW DESIGN
WEG follows a structured process that helps streamline and consolidate workflow for large-scale rebrands such as Piggly Wiggly. Clients are interviewed carefully to determine precise goals and assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing graphics. WEG then generates a variety of designs and presents them on a range of products across multiple substrates, providing a comprehensive preview for the client.
Once a concept is given the green light, WEG creates graphic standards guidelines to establish layout norms and maintain consistency throughout the execution of the redesign. Upon launch, the company uses a web-based presentation tool to allow the client to review, discuss, critique and approve designs in real time for a more accelerated workflow.
WEG also manages all necessary photography and takes responsibility for contacting suppliers and gathering packaging specifications. The adoption of such tasks by WEG saves customers like Piggly Wiggly from having to allocate additional internal resources to the overall project.
Upon approval of the artwork, WEG prepares final contract proofs and locks down deliverables for printers. Clients are then offered the option of hard copy or digital proof approval to streamline the final release of print files. To help support advertising executives, retailers and merchandisers, WEG often provides 3D renderings of completed products which are hosted on a secure website for client use. These renderings can be used in print, web or in-house promotions to help sell new and redesigned products. WEG also offers print management and color management expertise to help ensure that what ends up on the shelf meets client expectations.
SPEED TO (SUPER)MARKET
When collaborating with Piggly Wiggly to develop new packaging designs, WEG understood the importance of maintaining brand equity – including Piggly Wiggly’s iconic pig – while still giving the package a fresh look. WEG supplied an array of creative options, and Piggly Wiggly executives eventually pared the potential choices down to five. For the final stage of the project, the executives turned the decision over to an employee/customer vote.
According to Piggly Wiggly, the rebranding process has been extremely smooth, with West Essex Graphics acting like a seamless extension of its team. Together, the companies have completed about 20 redesigns per week, spanning product categories of all shapes and sizes.
Jackson noted that although WEG often closely coordinates jobs with outside printers, Piggly Wiggly’s decision to have WEG manage the print process for this project helped ensure the finished products’ high quality and prompt delivery.
Added Yarosevich: “Considering the time constraints and the number of SKUs involved over 1,300 items over the past year, we couldn’t be happier with the speed and precision with which West Essex Graphics made this entire project happen.”
Don Alldian is the owner of West Essex Graphics, a full-service design, prepress and flexographic image carrier provider dedicated to serving customers throughout the entire packaging process. Founded in 1949, the company offers an extensive array of prepress services, including design concepts, production artwork, 3D rendering, photography, color management, electronic imaging, image carriers, and seamless sleeves. The company has facilities in Fairfield, NJ, and Columbus, IN.