Why are honey brand marketers missing the basic user experience – that of turning the container upside down when product is past a halfway mark? Ok, this loaded question sounds very much like a sweeping statement already. I shall use my observations from a#HoneyVisualProject to support my statement shortly, and leave you to make up your own mind.
How it all started
The inspiration for the#HoneyVisualProject came about while I was merrily sipping my dose of cappuccino at one of my favourite cappuccino hangouts in and around Johannesburg in February this year, when I realised that the half-full container of honey that I requested was placed on my table upside down. Thing is, I maintain active curiosity everywhere I go as part of my eternal studency (blame the creative licence on the era of the Internet), all with the knowledge that learnings – and thus inspiration – can come from the most unlikely places.
I started observing this upside down honey container practice actively everywhere I went ever since.
The duration of my observation – which I titled #HoneyVisualProject and is represented in the image slider here below, took 5 months.
All the 7 honey container images in this post were taken at different cappuccino hangouts. Thankfully – albeit by coincidence – all of them are different brands.
Reason for turning honey containers upside down
Honey is a thick liquid that settles at the bottom of a container. The increasingly preferred container is a plastic bottle with a nozzle for squeezing the liquid out at the top. However, squeezing the container is not easy when honey inside it is at half-full level and below. Thus, the practice has become that users turn the container upside down so the remaining honey inside it settles at the nozzle end instead, making it easier and convenient to squeeze the liquid out.
To an ordinary eye, there is nothing to a container with an upside down brand name. But to anyone who knows anything about marketing principles, a brand name on labelled container has to be clearly visible and legible in order to register in the memories of consumers. With the upside down container practice that is unique to honey and such thick liquid products, brand legibility is compromised. Interestingly, ALL the recorded brand names in the 7 images above do not seem to have addressed this issue despite this being an entrenched practice.
Tomato sauce brands show the way
While honey brands seem to be lagging behind, major tomato sauce brands have caught on to the upside-down container user experience and did something about it.
Marketers need to take more time listening, observing and learning. This can be done with so much more ease in this age of social Internet, which is where I live. At times, what makes brands successful is the ability to notice and adapt according to basic user experience lessons, and honey brands are not an exception.