A brand design should not only look good but also work well

Shashwat Das interview

Shaswat Das, founder-director of Almond Branding

A brand design should not only look good but also work well. That is the philosophy that drives Almond Branding, a brand and design agency based in Mumbai. Almond Branding has worked with multiple brands, both start-ups and established ones, and chalked out many success stories.

“A brand design should have a positive impact on the balance sheet otherwise it does not make much sense,” says Shashwat Das, founder-director of Almond Branding. To achieve this Almond Branding works on the philosophy of brand nourishment.

Das argues that every brand needs nourishment at a certain point of time. However, the way the nourishment happens will differ in case of start-ups and established brands. A start-up requires brand nourishment to strengthen the foundations of the brand so that a flourishing and successful brand can be built on top of that. An established brand too needs brand nourishment from time to time to rejuvenate and to remain relevant to the ever-changing consumer sensibilities.

“Brand nourishment works at the core of the brand, defining what the brand will stand for or revamping the brand’s physique in line with the brand’s DNA,” he says.

Das has been working with this approach since the last decade or so when he founded Wow Design, which for all practical purposes was the predecessor of Almond Branding.

“Wow Design as an entity does not exist anymore but the ship is the same; just the brand has changed,” Das says.

Clear focus on start-ups

Although Almond Branding works with both start-ups and well-established legacy brands, its clear focus is on start-ups.

“They are not big players, are not very well recognized and are not big payers. But we like the passion, grit and determination that they show. We help them in brand identity, brand positioning, communication and content strategy. We also create brand names for them,” Das says.

Citing a recent example of Kolkata-based dairy start-up ProVedic, Das says Almond Branding helped the brand launch ghee under the ProVedic brand name. Almond Branding championed the idea of ‘Traditional Vedic Recipes for Today’s India’ – drawing on ProVedic’s expertise to tell the ‘Taste of Purity’ story that highlighted the product’s holistic health benefits making it an essential for saatvik living in a modern, active world.

However, all this focus on start-ups does not mean Almond Branding is not seriously engaging with legacy brands. It has some of the biggest brands such as Amul, ITC and Dabur, among others as its clients.

Almond Branding recently helped Amul launch its line of fruit juices under the brand name Amul Tru. Amul and Almond Branding collaborated for end-to-end brand building, packaging design and communication design.

Since Amul Tru has been priced at Rs 10, Almond Branding designed the packaging in such a way that even a common person could associate with it, says Das. Almond Branding recommended Amul to have transparent labels to the PET bottles where the fruit beverage inside can be flaunted. Also, the design language was kept simple to attract the attention of consumers.

Consumers now want greater brand engagement

Indian consumer tastes have evolved significantly over the last decade and so have packaging designs. The role of packaging back then was more of protecting and promoting. Das believes this has now changed.

“The role of packaging is now not restricted to just promote and protect. Packaging now means something extra, that is to captivate, delight and engage. Customer expectation from packaging is increasing. The unboxing is now an experience,” he says.

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are grown similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1


Subscribe to our Newsletter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here