SMA is a long standing brand, with over 90 years of experience in infant formula. From humble beginnings they’ve grown to their position today as one of the leading brands in the category.

SMA: a brand with rich heritage
SMA: a brand with rich heritage

But, facing stiff competition from brands like Cow & Gate and Aptamil, SMA felt it was time to reinforce what the brand stands for in order to keep ahead. So a new positioning, “you’re doing great”, was developed to convey SMA’s supporting role to the everyday successes of real mums. SMA needed to bring this positioning to life on pack through design.

The team approached us to help them inform this process with consumers. We applied a mixed methodology which allowed us to assess both the here-and-now as well as future directions.

We started by getting under the skin of the category with mums to understand what drives them, both as a shopper (though accompanied shopping trips), and as a consumer (through exploratory workshops). Through this we gained an understand of the importance of trust and reassurance in the infant formula category, and the semiotics that support this message.

Moving the focus onto design, we assessed the current range with consumers, and identified its visual equities – in particular, the role of yellow/gold.

This combination of insight and understanding of design codes helped inform an exploration of future range directions, and allowed us to give design direction to guide development.

SMA new range

The outcome is an updated pack range which moves to a masterbrand approach with a strong new graphic architecture. It applies the brand’s key colour equity, which is so important in signalling the brand, in combination with a new looped ribbon device which cues the kind of trust and reassurance needed in the category and to support the positioning.

All in all a successful update, and an update worthy of an old brand in a category for young ones.