Creative marketers use a clever little tool called fusion. Fusion links a product to a message in a creative way that communicates the value inherent in the product. Fusion creates a visual connection between the product and a symbol representing the value. When a customer sees that connection, they instantly understand the message and appreciate the value delivered by the product in a more powerful and subtle way.
The packaging of the product is a great, but often overlooked way to do this. Here are examples from a website called Pulpplastic.com. The one above is for a cereal called Beehive Honey Squares. The see through window of the cereal box nicely demonstrates what the product looks like. But the added touch of having the product inside the mouth of a bear is an excellent fusion to the brand message – our cereal has honey so good even bears love it.
Here’s another great packaging example for NYC Spaghetti. What symbol represents the city better than any? The Empire State Building, of course. By fusing the product to this symbol, the visual connection is complete and clever.
Packaging isn’t the only way to use fusion. Any element within the retail shopping experience can be candidate for fusion. The trick is to select an element and force it to take on some attributes of the symbol that represents your brand value. Here is an example from a grocery store called City Harvest. They used shopping bags to convey the value of nutritious food they provide by simply cutting out a viewing window in the shape of your stomach. Clear and compelling!
Check out all the examples of fusion and see if you can see the visual link between the product, packaging, or other elements to the brand message.
For an amazing example of fusion to the brand message using just about every element of packaging possible, check out this Coca Cola ad:
To learn more about fusion and other creativity tools used in advertising and marketing, read “Cracking the Ad Code” by Dr. Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues.