Kudos Collars is manufacturer of customizable and fashionable leather dog collars and leashes for sale in retail stores and online.
From collaboration to curating its product line to developing brand strategy, Exhibit A: Design Group worked with Kudos Collars to conceptualize its entire consumer experience through thoughtful positioning, product line curation and distinct packaging design.
After noticing a lack of customizable, fashionable and well-designed walking products for dogs, the owner of a leather goods company was inspired to manufacture a line of customizable leather collars and leashes. Internet keyword research enabled the owner to predict shifts in current demand and better understand the market potential. The research supported his intuition that the combination of customizable and fashionable was somewhat of an untapped market with enormous online sales potential. The company approached Exhibit A: Design Group to create a brand strategy, develop its packaging to launch its products in retail stores, and design its ecommerce store for sales online.
Exhibit A: Design Group’s early research included studying how consumers experience packaging in a pet retail store setting, and finding products online. Our retail store observations concluded dog collars are traditionally sold hanging on hooks, resulting in no opportunity for shelf appeal or presence. Online sales research revealed that consumers do indeed purchase pet accessories if the product has a high perceived value. Kudos Collars brand platform had to feel distinct and unique. The company’s logo was a solid mark we could build a brand around so we came to the agreement to leave it unchanged, which suited the project’s modest budget and short timeframe.
Our studio set out to devise a retail packaging system that separated the product from its competitors, both physically and emotionally. Additionally, we sought to investigate the packaging’s potential as something more: packaging with a second life or purpose.
Based on the brand statement ‘Walk Your Dog,’ we produced expressive and attractive packaging that coveys the company’s brand story. The brand and packaging centres around an idealized image of fresh green grass and a perfect blue sky day. The verbal and visual image is printed on adhesive labels that are applied to metal keepsake stainless steel tins. The tins can be reused to store dog treats, a favourite toy, or the collar and leash it was sold with.
The result is a packaging system that not only is noticeable on the shelf but also increases the perceived value of the product it holds and complements any retail environment. The packaging can be rotated to feature the company logo or the brand statement ‘Walk Your Dog,’ allowing the retailer to customize their in-store merchandising display.
The distinct packaging compels consumers to engage in the design and ask “what’s inside?” A custom, bone-shaped hangtag attached to the outer package quickly provides an answer with an actual material sample of the product style it contains. The packaging is successful because it not only protects the dog collars and leashes but also reinforces the brand story and relays a new consumer experience.
Exhibit A: Design Group applied Kudos Collars’ brand design to an e-commerce website built and designed for the best possible user experience and high ranking search results ‘custom design fashion dog collars and leashes.’ The interface design is simple, with focused content delivered through six-product templates and few sub-categories. Stylized product photography evolves the brand further by communicating a stylized lifestyle and visually demonstrating the active voice of the brand. Despite the clean appearance, the website features a robust custom-designed ecommerce backend with multiple tax and currency capabilities and multiple product options. This allows consumers the option of choosing between various combinations of customizable fashionable add-ons, furthering the designer brand narrative. To coincide with the website launch, we developed a direct mail campaign to introduce the product line to retailers across North America.
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