In Response…..

At the Biondo Group we submit quite a few RFP responses to active and prospective clients.

Proposals can be mind numbing to write, we’ve all been there. After a few hours hammering away, writing and rereading the same document, it gets tough to stay sharp and focused. Thinking through the many steps and phases of a project can get fatiguing.

One of the reasons why so many proposals read like boilerplate cut and paste jobs is that for the most part, they are. Writing a proposal is considered anything but creative, in fact they are seen as the adult version of homework. As such no one wants to dig in – and when proposals do get done, it is usually last minute – and reluctantly. This rarely benefits any of the parties involved.

Proposals at design firms are usually written by: an Agency Principal, a New Business liaison, Account Supervisor or Account Executive.

Agency principals tend to be bigger picture oriented people, busy working on a raft of things at once and so, generally don’t have the time and attention to focus on crafting a detailed project plan or proposal.

Account folk or Project Managers wind up boiler plating as much as is possible.These folks generally have to get their work approved and so using boilerplate makes the job that much easier. Not only is boiler plating considered “safe”, it’s a commonly acknowledged practice for getting it done. For the most part these people are busy with other work, so a Proposal is looked at as an odious task.

But at the Biondo Group a proposal presents a wonderful opportunity. The New Business team treats new client opportunities as precious nuggets to be handled with great care. As such, they put their all into crafting a plan that makes the most sense to both client and internal team

Because the Biondo New Business team is staffed with skilled listeners, who can write and deeply understand process, they find themselves helping the Account team with Organic growth, leading the preparation of detailed proposals.

Listening in proposal writing terms is not simply a nice to have skill, it’s a necessity when crafting a solid, actionable plan that a prospective client can say “yes” to.

So know when The Biondo Group is invited to respond to a RFP, we’ve dedicated our best, most experienced, expert listeners to manage the response. You will never get boilerplate thinking (or prose) from us – from the initial contact, to the detailed proposal we will prepare for you – we treat each opportunity importantly – and preciously.

Tiger Traps & Packaging Redesign

Packaging Redesign programs are sensitive endeavors on a good day, but on a bad day they can be fraught with tension, as well as “tiger traps” for both the Client as well as Designer. Getting it wrong can be a costly, embarrassing and wholly avoidable mistake.

Sensitivity to packaging design is very important to the success of a program. There is a sensitivity and subtlety that is required to be successful, and its why the best packaging design firms have an ultra- narrow focus and are deep divers. When other creative service companies, such as ad agencies get involved in packaging design programs, they often go awry – an example of that is Tropicana.

In our experience packaging design programs are initiated due to the fact that Brand or Product Management has identified that change is needed. That change can range from radical to incremental and its important to have figured out the right graphic strategy before launching into design.

What we refer to as a Refresh is probably one of the most challenging redesign strategies, because as our leader Charlie says, its “design without change”. Refresh’s are generally very strategic, and nuance is the order of the day.

Typically, the mitigating circumstances driving a redesign:

  • Brand or product has gotten a little musty from a graphic standpoint
  • Competitive pressures – new entrants to the category
  • Growth in varieties, or addition of new segments, requiring a packaging graphic system that’s able to grow with the product line
  • Expansion of the Brand offering, requiring a new graphic strategy that accommodates “going wide”
  • Inconsistencies in brand and packaging graphic presentations globally
  • Changing shopper behavior

Spectrum Essentials® Vinegars The Biondo Group works extensively within the Spectrum Brand and has redesigned packaging graphic systems, as well as graphically repositioned select product lines. In this instance we worked with the Essentials® Vinegars product line.

Our design objectives were to:
– Contemporize the look and feel of the packaging graphics
– Communicate a superior quality of ingredients
– Clearly differentiate the varieties
– Simplify the architecture of the primary display panel

Our design solution featured:
– Simplified front panel
– Clean and clear architecture
– Ingredient focused photography
– Stronger, more legible typography
– A new, simpler Brand Identity