Mark Oliver Inc. Packages the Echo Falls Brand as a Classic

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Mark Oliver Inc. creates a contemporary brand and package steeped in history and tradtition; sales are booming.

Tradition is a powerful tool in marketing. Shoppers often reach for products mom and pop brought home to them, so how does a fledgling brand break this cycle? Illusion. Crafty Positioning. Branding. And Packaging can create a history - just ask Mark Oliver. Before Ocean Beauty Seafoods' “Echo Falls” salmon products hit market shelves, Mark Oliver, Inc. had fashioned them a “classic”. Consumers everywhere can’t seem to get enough.    

“It is tricky launching a new product straight to the top tier of a long-established category when it has no background or history, especially when the competition has both,” shares Mark Oliver. This in mind, Oliver and his team threw out the concept of “new” during development, instead molding an authentic-looking, faux heritage spanning three centuries.

It was decided a place name would best suit the brand, and no focus group was needed to establish “Echo Falls” had the classic tone they sought, invoking images of a verdant landscape rich with the world’s finest salmon. To authenticate this perception, Mark Oliver explored visual vocabularies of bygone eras, alighting on the liquor shelves of late nineteenth century Scotland.    

Scotch labels of that period boasted elaborate steel plate engravings that, when translated to modern packaging, alluded to age, elegance, and tradition. Such visual cues also linked the product with the Scottish heritage of providing the World’s finest smoked salmon products. Pen and ink artist Harry Bates created the Echo Falls illustration, penning an antique gold emblem of the falls with a banner. Borrowing from the Victorian Era, the design was further embellished with leaves above the emblem, an ornamental trim around the banner, and elaborate lettering of the “E” and “F” of Echo Falls. Adding “Brand” and “Trademark” further tailored the image Echo Falls was celebrating their centennial, not inception. “Essentially we created a twenty-first century brand from the nineteenth. We didn’t bother to stop in the twentieth, “ muses Oliver, "Although everything we did was quite modern."

The first SKU, Scottish Smoked Salmon (printed rotogravure on a film bag), emphasized its heritage by utilizing a traditional Scottish tartan to frame a cream overlay printed with the brand and product details. The ornamental trim from the Echo Falls banner was incorporated into a second frame between the tartan and cream, and again to frame the product window. Fine details included classic fonts with wood cut accents, and a nineteenth century woodcut inlaid with a written “story” on the back to link with the visual cues of the brand on the front.

Wild Alaskan Salmon and Scandinavian Grav Lax launched with the Scottish Salmon. Subsequently, Echo Falls has released fourteen additional SKUs, all of which have been well received in markets nationwide.

Mark Oliver Incorporated is a brand consultancy, specializing in value-added graphic package design for consumer packaged goods. Clients include Pepsi-Cola, Sara Lee, Lipton, Campbell Soup, Hain Celestial, and Kashi.

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Mark Oliver or Jennifer Davies


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Jennifer Davies