Konnect-i-Kut Carabiner Multi-Purpose Tool
This was a branding and packaging design project developed for Sams Club retail warehouse club. The product had been produced in China, and my client was interested in selling it to Sam’s Club. The first step was to develop a brand name for this combination folding pocket-knife and carabiner clip. We worked in teams, and ideated names and logos concurrently.
Logos, Round 1:
Logos, Round 2:
We narrowed our selections to a couple of names, “KeyNife”, and “Konnect-i-Kut” (pronounced like the state, Connecticut), and created color versions of each logo around themes we were finding in similar products on the market:
Logo, Round 3:
The client was interested in seeing a revised version of the “Konnect-i-Kut” logo, so I developed this version by combining elements from rounds 1 & 2:
Packaging mock-ups came next. We had only a few samples of the actual tools at this stage, so we did a photo shoot of stand-alone products, and action shots with us using them for a variety of tasks, as dictated by the client.
Packaging, Round 1:
At this stage, several of the names and logos were still in contention, so mock-ups were created of each with our new photographs:
Packaging, Round 2:
The yellow “Konnect-i-Kut” package was selected as the strongest contender, and developed into what would be the finished clamshell packaging card:
Samples were produced of this concept in three colors, complete with PDQ style trays for the presentation to Sam’s Club:
Packaging, Round 3:
Sam’s Club was very receptive to the concept, and was interested, but because of the nature of Sam’s Club’s typical “bulk item” products, they wanted to see a version of the product with multiple tools. Our client went back to his supplier, and variations on the basic tool were provided. We developed a “Multi-Pak” version of our artwork for the revised packaging, and again samples were produced:
The fate of this product was an interesting one. Sam’s Club, like Walmart, operates on a set mark-up for products they purchase. They buy products for their shelves based on whether or not they believe people will see value in the product at the mark-up price.
During focus group testing with this product, it was determined that the price point should be approximately $25.00 for the “Multi-Pak” set. However, because we had been able to produce the product and packaging for so little, we actually came in significantly below that price point, so Sam’s Club decided not to purchase.
It was a frustrating set back for us and our client at the time, but one we learned a lot from. It ultimately led to a partnership with the client that has been ongoing for eight years, and led to countless other products that we were able to successfully get to market.