headline press information

Date 27th October 2011 / www.procarton.com
Title The Origin of Brands
Text Under the title "The History of Brands," Hans-Georg Böcher has undertaken in an opulently designed volume an excursion into the history of brand packaging. He shows that the development of brands is hardly conceivable without cartons. Even today it is the most important carrier of the brand message. For download in print quality, please click on the photo.

The idea of using a symbol to send a message to foster customer trust and stimulate future sales emerged at the beginning of the 20th Century. Food retail was still very unstructured. It was common place to slightly manipulate the products being sold and controlled pricing did not yet exist. For this reason, the first seals of origin were introduced around 1900.

For example, the brand "Lipton's" placed seals of genuineness on their packages of valuable teas imported from India to explicitly warn customers should retailers try to mix their teas with other less expensive teas. At that time, long before the modern "brand piracy" of our day, the packaging was an essential guarantee for customer trust. To ensure customer satisfaction and to gain customer trust, the manufacturer had to reinforce the bond with their customers. This bond was the packaging.


Small Package, Big Change

A typical example is a brand that through its early mass marketing has become an unprecedented engine for the use of packaging around the globe. We are talking of course about the famous brand "Dr. Oetker". In 1891, Dr. August Oetker began to fill his baking powder into paper bags, which were soon replaced by folding cartons: In 1906, he had already sold 50 million little packages of "Backin".

Two years later, Bahlsen had one million packages made for his famous "Leibniz-Cakes". The famous "TET" package from 1904 with the blue pearled edge turned the modern product of shortbread into a truly classic brand.

The use of the first individual packages changed both the retail logistics as well as consumer habits in the long run. "It was not until the large development and general introduction of the original and small retail packages that unlimited manufacturing, shipping, and sales opportunities were created, driving out 'nameless goods' and allowing the concept of quality to prevail", it read in 1921 in the contemporary publication "Verkaufskraft" (Sales Force).


Cartons as a Brand Carrier
Cartons, which could be printed on multiple sides, were stackable and also user-friendly, achieved their final triumph around 1920. The logistical, functional, but also emotional properties of the new packaging were to increase the possibilities of the first "small packages" in such a way that was hardly thought possible before.

At that time, the printing agencies, who also called themselves "art institutions", were completely responsible for the brand management, a service that today is offered by a marketing agency or brand consultancy. After World War II, a new way of thinking was established that gave the agency "teams" more responsibility than the packaging manufacturer itself. Today, the trend is moving more in the opposite direction: Companies are once again turning to carton manufacturers for comprehensive brand design.


Source: Hans-Georg Böcher, Der Weg zur Marke. Wie aus Produkten Marken werden (The History of Brands. How Products Become Brands), Frankfurt am Main 2011.

Sahar Hashemi

Oetker 1901.
© The Boecher Collection

ECMA Congress Podium

Bahlsen Leibniz 1904.
© Bahlsen

ECMA Congress

Gillette 1932.
© rlc packaging group




Suzanne McEwen +43 1 218 6918 mcewen@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.