Morrisons, one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK, recently unveiled its rebranded entry-level “value” line, now bearing the name “M Savers.” The work was done by brand design agency Coley Porter Bell as part of a strategic assessment aimed at transforming Morrisons’ own label into a more coherent brand. With some 17,000 products and their variants in Morrisons’ own brand, positioning different tiers and categories of products was a daunting task.
Morrisons’ entry-level value line presented its own unique challenges. Stephen Bell, creative director at Coley Porter Bell, said that the term “value” had a negative meaning to some consumers. “Value ranges tend to be somewhat utilitarian, using template designs and basic corporate colors. Research shows that consumers are often ashamed to be seen with them. But with the economy stalled for the foreseeable future, value ranges will be competing on more than just price. We wondered why shouldn’t entry-level products have some charm and engagement?”
Traditionally, house brand packaging tended to communicate “down-market.” It implied cheap, instead of affordable, and no-name generic, instead of proud bearer of the retailer’s own label.
In repositioning Morrisons’ entry-level range of products, Coley Porter Bell sought to inject personality and uniqueness into the package design. Morrisons’ familiar logo — a charcoal gray circle with “M” reversed out in white – remained a part of all packaging, but the word “Savers” was positioned beside it to convey its bargain advantages. Colorful, naively illustrated silhouettes of the product gave the packaging a hand-crafted look and was complemented by simple product descriptors in a hand-written style typeface created by Coley Porter Bell senior designer Craig Barnes. Printed against a plain white background, the understated label still conveyed “entry level,” but looked so fresh and contemporary that consumers perceived it as shopping smart, not shopping cheap. To date some 350 skus have been redesigned, with more to be rolled out over the coming months.