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    6/6/1998
    VAMCOM Designs Packaging System to Introduce Panasonic CompactFlash™ Memory Cards to Digital Camera Market
     
   
Parsippany, NJ, June 1 -- VAMCOM & Partners has been selected by Panasonic Industrial Company’s North America Battery Sales Group to launch an OEM product into the consumer market. Their task: develop a Consumer Packaging Program -- including both labels and the packaging -- for Panasonic’s recently introduced Mega Storage Devices CompactFlash™ digital memory cards.

Depending on their individual memory capacity, the cards, which can be as small as the size of half a matchbook, can safely hold up to hundreds of pictures taken with digital cameras. Individual pictures can be deleted or added at will and the cards can be popped in and out of the camera easily, making it easy to keep a library of digital pictures.

The challenge has been to introduce the cards in a way that makes it easy for the consumer to understand. Most digital cameras come with a minimum capacity memory card already installed and there is little emphasis in explaining how additional storage media can work.

The first part of VAMCOM’s solution was to reposition the product line through boldly designed labels that employ color coding techniques for different card types. In addition, the memory capacity of each card is shown in megabytes clearly on the front.

The consumer packages feature a visual torrent of attractive, "snap-shots" cascading across the front. They represent the large number of digital photographs that the cards can hold in memory. The Panasonic logo with its strong consumer recognition is featured on the front of the package in conjunction with the name of the product -- Mega Storage Devices.

"Packaging for competing memory cards belies their manufacturing antecedents, and for the most part are presented in dry, technical, non-informative style as if the cards were a box of floppy disks," said Vella. "But, because this is essentially a new consumer product category, our research shows that consumers need as much information as possible to understand how the product is used."

To this end, the back of the package presents a short tutorial on other uses for the memory cards – for storing data in personal assistants to notebook PCs. There’s even a graph showing how many photos at different picture fidelity options can be saved with each size card.

According to Mr. Vella, "At this point in time, only a small percentage of consumers are aware of the product and how to use it. Our marketing strategy has targeted four categories of buyers: consumers who are sophisticated regarding digital photography; digitally literate graphics, communications, sales and design professionals within corporate environments; entrepreneurs (professional photographers for instance) who can see immediate productivity gains; and adventurous amateurs and hobbyists seeking out new technologies."

INTEGRATED MARKETING PLAN INTRODUCES CARDS

A totally integrated marketing communications plan was prepared by VAMCOM & Partners which included a media plan targeting (1) the Value-Added Reseller in the vertical market (2) the OEM PC systems design and integrators in the horizontal market.

The agency had also developed a new name -- "Mega Storage Device" -- for the PC Memory Card line, and initiated a series of advertisements to position the line, and reach out to the systems integrators with the theme: "Power Beyond Proportion".

On other fronts, an on-going comprehensive database of target customers was established and maintained by VAMCOM. Tradeshow marketing support was provided to maximize the return on investment from show participants. Plus, the agency was able to heighten visibility and effectively address one of the primary marketing awareness requirements toward winning greater market share through direct mail, promotional programs and editorial contact.

On a key decision-maker level, personalized mailings targeted key industry people by: inviting them to tradeshows, making them aware of new product developments, and sending personal thanks for their interest and support of Mega Storage Device products.

In addition, electronic marketing presentations were developed by VAMCOM & Partners -- including CD-ROM and Internet advertising, and a website for Mega Storage Devices.

Sales promotion and literature development in the form of brochures, data sheets and direct mail programs have been produced to accelerate product awareness. Finally, a comprehensive public relations campaign strategy featuring stories, news releases, editorial contact, distribution, and on-going opportunities have been implemented to give Panasonic Mega Storage Devices editorial print exposure in all applicable industry segments.

"The design strategy behind the CompactFlash package reflects our overall marketing plan and strives to educate the customer on several different levels," Mr. Vella explained. "Primarily, it presents the product as highly engineered and highly reliable, taking advantage of existing brand name awareness and support."

Panasonic Industrial Company’s North America Battery Sales Group, in addition to manufacturing Mega Storage Devices, is the world's largest battery manufacturer -- producing a broad range of premium consumer and industrial premium batteries worldwide -- including both Primary and Secondary, i.e. Rechargeable, batteries.

VAMCOM & Partners is a full-service advertising agency specializing in integrated communications and relationship marketing programs that combine traditional and new media.
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