I have frequently been struck by how so many consumer brands fall at the last fence of marketing: the packaging.

Especially when you consider how many brands are chosen in the semi-fog of the supermarket environment.

You’re standing there trying to discern which brand of smoke salmon, for example, is the best choice.

You know in your heart that they all taste the same.

It’s just a question of which brand speaks best to you at this critical moment.

I chose this brand of smoked salmon recently simply based on the packaging.

I was at Whole Foods Market (le yum!) and needed some smoked salmon for my pescatarian daughter.

And it being WFM, there were about 12 different types of sustainably caught smoked salmon.

I saw this one and went “Norway is good for fish…huge coastline!” and then I noticed that cool map of Norway created by the fish within. And I went “Cool!”.

And that was it. Game over.

Simply because of the appealing presentation.

And, quite simply because i don’t have room in my head for smoked salmon preferences.

There are lots of brands like that.

Brands whose fate is decided in a foggy millisecond, but who don’t capitalize on this opportunity.


  1. You’re absolutely right. I would have made the same choice. The mountain photo doesn’t hurt either. Now, tell me what “pescatarian” means!

    • Pescetarian is a vegetarian who eats fish. hence my interest in smoked salmon. it was right next to the slabs of red meat.

  2. Better to go to the counter and have them slice it fresh or as fresh as smoked fish can be….just say “very thin” about five times and smile……………..
    As for pescatarian………it does sound better than fishetarian….but not as facile as vegetarian……………………….
    bumble bee makes a decent canned salmon….

  3. Pescatarian’s Choice.

    Bam. New fish brand bound to grow because of all the teenage girls growing up and soon in control of all family shopping. Buy shares while they are cheap.

  4. Do you know packaging is 50% of the last yard. The second is price. We often switch just over packaging in the aisle or a better deal for a replaceable product. But guess what? Your packaging could over come both 50%’s.

    My marketing professor ran marketing for Kimberly Clark in the 70’s and early 80’s. We had a whole class dedicated to great product bad packaging and vice versa. I guess when Pringles was launched they lost millions because it turned out people preferred a greasy bag to a tube. They had to redo the whole campaign to convince people the tube is cool.

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