Are Golden Wonder pushing
When I was a lad (in the seventies), Golden Wonder ruled the crisp universe. I only encountered Walkers when I visited my Grandma in the midlands. A journey there broadened my mind: they really ‘did things differently’ with the idiosyncratic choice of blue packaging for cheese and onion, which Golden Wonder had long schooled me to think was more correctly represented by green.
Perhaps, because of packaging like that above, Golden Wonder lost its crown to the new pretender and now all is Walkers everywhere. Actually, it’s not like Walkers was much better. Evidence below that packaging design was once very much a ‘will this do?’ design disciple.
Anyway, Golden Wonder is very much the challenger brand now and like all good challengers, is punching above its weight with a manufactured ‘cause’ – an amnesty for folk who are mistakenly thinking blue is cheese and onion or green is salt and vinegar, or actually, am I getting confused about what the cause is?
But either way, it’s a done deal. Walkers success has allowed them to transform the category conventions in their own image. All the supermarkets follow their colour coding language. It’s all learned symbolism anyway and we are now educated to see the world their way. No amount of PR is going to change the way we navigate the crisp aisle in fractions of a second.
Proof of the power of colour in packaging was offered up by Coca-Cola not so long ago. The main (red) brand turned white to promote both Christmas and to raise awareness of global warming with the World Wildlife Fund. Trouble was, plenty of consumers mistook it for a Diet Coke pack. Now, given the acknowledged fame and long established look of the Coca-Cola brand mark and how it differs from the Diet Coke design, it’s interesting how even the most famous of branding was not strong enough to avoid confusion with just a simple colour change.
My point is that Golden Wonder are on a hiding to nothing. Because as shoppers, we don’t really care. At all. What we really want to do is find and grab the thing we want to eat, very quickly and not engage in any meaningful ‘relationship’ with the brand in question. Colour rules the navigation process. Walkers rules the category. Hence Walkers’ colours will inevitably win the day. Trying to change this is quixotic (to use a fancy word) don’t you think?