I’ve done a lot of work in consumer packaged goods. The biggest challenge is getting consumers to choose your product from all the others on the shelf. Recently, in working with entrepreneurs and mid-sized businesses I have noticed how many of the guiding principles of CPG translate directly to their branding challenges. Here are three:

Shelf Pop: When you are on display, as an individual or business, you have to know what your competition looks like. What shape are they? What colors do they use? Iconography or photography? Bottle or box? You need to differentiate yourself in a way that makes you jump off the shelf when a purchase decision is being made.

Communication Hierarchy: At most, you get 3 levels of communication. Brand, variant and flavor. You have to make hard choices about what you want your customer to know. What motivates them? A functional or an emotional benefit? Are you going to make them look sexier? Make them smarter? Define what your label says. 

Shopper Journey: How do customers shop for you? Impulse buy at checkout? Always right next to the sunglasses? Are you with your competition or are you charting new territory in a different aisle to stand out? Create an intuitive path to help people find you.

These days, the physical and digital worlds are packed with brands to choose from. Your goal is getting picked. Becoming someones favorite. How will you make it from the shelf to the cart?