Supermarket chain Tesco has shortlisted 20 design groups for its first own-label packaging roster. The shortlist is part of a move to change the way the company chooses and uses design.
Tesco design manager Richard Murphy says ten consultancies, with another five in support roles, will be notified of their appointment to the roster by the end of the month.
He originally approached a “longlist” of more than 40 packaging groups, seeking written strategy proposals for the own-label packaging. He declines to name any of the shortlisted groups.
“We are seeking to project a more uniform brand image, by deploying our corporate identity locally to different product categories,” says Murphy. Consultancies will be appointed to all own-label products within individual product categories. “We will control from the centre, and work out the initial ‘look and feel’ from here,” he adds.
Rostered consultancies will be expected to form an in-depth understanding of customers in the relevant categories, although there will be “a certain amount of fluidity and movement” of consultancies between categories over time, says Murphy. The roster will be continually reviewed, but appointments are expected to last for at least 18 months, he says.
Tesco has been considering a packaging roster for more than 12 months. Last August Pentagram and Coley Porter Bell were understood to have been shortlisted for a place on the roster. A number of changes in the retailer’s design department, including several redundancies, occurred at the same time as the company attempted to redefine the way it used packaging design groups (DW 1 August 1997).