Vice president of North America marketing at Sunsweet Growers Inc.
What should you do before making that first call to a package design agency?
Know your consumer and understand your brand in a way that is reflected in the design.
What are the top three criteria you use to select design firms?
1 Strategic approach
2 Graphic capabilities
3 Innovative ideas
What are your top methods for discovering design agencies?
Researching the top agencies coupled with recommendations from key industry trend setters. Positive past experience with agencies is certainly a good barometer as well.
How strongly should a brand weigh an agency’s client list?
It’s important from the standpoint of showing positive history with other quality brands, but it doesn’t necessarily impact the whole decision.
What are your pet peeves when working with design agencies?
1 Assuming they know everything about the brand
2 Lack of communication on keeping up with market and consumer trends
3 Conforming too often with old ways and templates used in the past
How would you classify your relationship with design agencies?
We feel it’s important that we balance the strategic company direction with outside perspective on the best approach for us. Our agencies would be classified as a junior partner based on our structure and approach to our business. We consider our firms to certainly be partners and have regular strategic meetings to understand our company and brand direction.
What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had with a design firm?
The worst is when you’re in a situation leading direction without getting any market insight from the agency. We definitely battled this with a past agency several years ago, and it really let the brand stagnate.
How do you screen agencies to make sure that they won’t commit these pet peeves?
A good discussion about strategic approach is the best way to avoid potential issues. In addition, starting with a smaller project is a way to get an understanding of a new agency’s process.
What are the top three criteria you use to select structural design firms?
1 Understanding of objectives of a particular project
2 Understanding of packing capabilities
3 Innovative ideas
Please describe your “dream” design agency?
My dream agency’s understanding of Sunsweet Growers’ objectives, competitive marketplace and consumers would lead to innovation and dynamic ideas to help grow our brand.
What are the top three characteristics of great design firms?
1 Strategic understanding of your brand
2 Understanding your packing and manufacturing capabilities
3 Innovation in both design and structure