Bernafon is a Swiss hearing health company that specializes in developing hearing instruments.
‘Bern’ belongs to the Danish William Demant Holding Group, which is among the largest hearing instrument manufacturers worldwide. Since 1946, they have been passionate about developing and marketing quality hearing systems that enable people with hearing difficulties to enjoy authentic listening experiences.
Phase 1: End User Brochure Design
Bern and CCG have a relationship that dates years back, and we’ve collaborated on many exciting initiatives. With the recent launch of Bern’s new hearing instrument, ‘Zerena’, they identified a need for new sales collateral, including a polished sales brochure to be showcased at Costco Hearing Aid Centers around the world.
Zerena is Bern’s newest premium hearing instrument family that features the outstanding DECS™ technology, a quantum leap in the hearing industry. Dynamic Noise Management™, Dynamic Amplification Control™, and Dynamic Speech Processing™ all operate seamlessly and continuously for high performance in active and fast-changing environments.
So what in the world does that mean? Zerena eliminates fatigue so you no longer have to fight to hear in loud, noisy environments.
Two advantages of Zerena over competing products are its app, as well as is its ability to sync via Bluetooth® to a TV adapter and other supported devices. ‘SEAMLESS AND BOUNDLESS HEARING. ANYTIME, ANYWHERE’.
CCG was tasked with creating a compelling sales collateral design that would highlight the product’s features and benefits in a unique way. Considering a target audience, ages 65-75 with hearing loss, the execution needed to be clean, clear, and concise.
Based on an existing European campaign, we were tasked with leveraging and infusing existing art, photography, and messaging into this new ‘Americanized’ version, while including culturally appropriate imagery.
The European brochure is a 16-page saddle-stitched booklet, so we needed to devise a way to develop sales collateral with a piece sans binding and scale it back to a single folded sheet.
The layout for the sales collateral also had to be flexible for multi-language translation in English and Spanish. For Canada, the product name is ‘Capto’ so this would require a third iteration of the piece.
Some of the Clients goals and limitations were:
- The folded footprint/overall finished size cannot change
- European page count is too large and must be reduced
- Ensure readability and quick brand recognition in a tiered literature rack
- Create sales collateral with a more exciting layout and flow of information and make it less ‘book-like’
- Diversify photography culturally where possible
- Improve upon the ‘DECS™’ messaging and explanations for the layman
- Improve upon receiver/tv photography
- Showcase product shell color options; to-scale
- Showcase a ‘BTE’ as well as ‘RITE’ version of the product
- Highlight the Bern app icon as a major differentiator
In the wake of an initial input meeting, we requested the Bern Corporate Design Manual, European Product Guide, and Sales Flyer for inspiration; then we got crackin’!
It’s important to note that Charles Frey, a Swiss hotelier, became the spokesperson for the Zerena brand in Switzerland. However, in the US, there was a conscious decision to remove him from the branding as there was a feeling that his story and persona wouldn’t resonate well within the US market.
We first addressed the limitation and need for the piece to fit into a standard countertop literature rack for an in-store display. Most often within this type of rack are tri-fold brochures but we’re so over tri-folds at CCG!
So we suggested, instead, something fresh and more accommodating for their sales collateral to provide the real estate we needed to properly showcase this exciting new product. Standard trifolds are ~3.688” wide, and we had a max width of ~ 4.25” so we recommended a 12-panel accordion fold. Flat, it measured 24” x 8.5” and folded down, 4” x 8.5”. This format provided six extra panels – an additional 15.5” in width! Bern loved the idea.
The upgrade in size and format for the sales collateral led to a more interactive experience for the reader while still respecting the constraints of the display. It allowed a more ‘map-like’ or poster style interaction vs a bound booklet feel. It was also less intimidating.
The layout was broken out into eight sections over 12 pages.
It was essential for the sales collateral to capture the essence of how this product makes people feel: accomplished; happy; calm, relaxed – so we selected an image of a couple walking hand in hand with their dog on a lovely Spring day. The product’s slogan required clear placement and rank. We also included a small product shot in the footer for quick recognition. It’s important to note that in a tiered literature rack, the top white band with Bern’s identity are visible to the customer without having to remove the sales collateral from the rack.
One of the ‘hero’ images on the interior needed to communicate one of the largest benefits of the Zerena product, which is the way it handles hearing and ambient sound in a loud environment. To do this, we decided to take more of a graphic approach and created a bar scene that was highly adaptable across all three versions of the brochure as demographics, and cultural diversity was a non-issue. When a custom photoshoot isn’t in the budget, this type of solution is a win for us and the Client as our culturally sensitive society has become one of the largest hurdles for us when sourcing relevant photography that doesn’t look overly ‘stock’. It was also important to capture the product offering in its varying shell and base colors, so the customer had visibility into the vast selection available to them simply from the sales collateral.
In this section above, we wanted to convey the idea of an active lifestyle as well as the fact that the Zerena hearing aids are water resistant. We chose to do that by using this wonderful shot of a couple happily canoeing on a sunny day. We also wanted to illustrate how the two hearing aid styles and accessories relate to one another in size, so we requested the product and accessory dimensions for proper scaling. These shots above are four separate images composited into a single family shot.
The back panel was a bit restrictive as we were required to leave some negative white space for location-specific Costco information that is applied by each respective warehouse in the form of a label. So we decided to push the branding to the footer and move the blurb on benefits to the very top.
On the first interior panel, we wanted to capture the essence of what a high-tech hearing instrument like Zerena could do for its wearer but incorporating imagery that conveyed all of the products key benefits proved tricky. Instead, we used four icons. One to represent each of the unique benefits. Some of the benefits listed on this section of the sales collateral were an ability to hear in challenging situations, fast program switching, noise reduction, and Bluetooth® integration.
We initially requested an image from Bern, of the adapter setup with a TV, but no such image existed. Instead, we built the scene and zoomed in tight on the accessory to provide visibility into the wiring which is merely a simple RCA cable. Zerena quickly syncs to any modern TV for wireless listening; clearly a big selling point for this product.
DECS™ is the science and technology behind the Zerena product, but it needed to speak to the consumer, not the technicians. Pulled directly from the European Product Guide, we took a fresh look at what and how to easily communicate the concept of seamless and boundless performance. With Bern’s assistance, we massaged the copy to find a balance of articulation that wasn’t too high-level.
A concern that we had during this process was that of the fine print as it related to Apple. As it turns out, Apple is quite strict – rightfully so – of how their products and copy are represented in any third party sales collateral. So we made certain to have a dialogue around this and follow the appropriate Guidelines for Apple trademarks and copyrights to avoid any possible repercussions. We also consulted on the legalities regarding the usage of other brands such as Dolby and Bluetooth. We had noticed that Dolby Audio was not followed by the ® in the supplied copy which is a requirement of any registered trademark. We brought this to Bern’s attention and following our discussion, they opted to change it all together to Dolby® Digital which they agreed was more appropriate for their product.
Once all of the fine tuning was behind us and we completed our initial layout, we created a physical mockup to review in-person with the Client so that they would get a better sense of what the finished piece would look like regarding content flow, image reproduction, type scaling and folding. Following the approval of the English version, we sent the file to Bern’s translator.
While we awaited feedback, we laid out two alternate covers that were more appropriate for the markets within the other countries. The image for the Spanish version sales collateral was changed for cultural reasons, while the product name changed only for Canada.
Phase 2: Pocket Card
Following approval of the sales collateral design, we were tasked with developing and producing a pocket-sized product card to be used by audiologists in the Costco Hearing Centers. The card was simple bullet points explaining the features and benefits of the Zerena product as well as DECS™.
The only stipulations were they needed to be small enough to fit into a pocket and withstand long-term use. This was an existing tool that we improved upon by scaling it up in size slightly while upgrading the substrate. The original cards were laminated paper, giving them razor-sharp corners which became a nuisance and safety hazard.
Following Bern’s material sample approval, to solve this by producing this generation directly on 30 Mil Teslin – a waterproof synthetic printing medium (think credit cards) – then added radius corners for safety.
Phase 3: Full-Page Advert for Costco Connection
The final piece of the puzzle was to develop a full page advert for the Costco Connection — a monthly membership magazine mailed to Costco’s best members who have a median household income of $97,000. That’s a 12 million reader reach! We set out to design an advert that accomplished a few key goals:
- Showcase a middle-aged couple having a wonderful time, feeling youthful, and enjoying each other’s company
- Ensure the couple is set in a loud celebratory environment; particularly something festive
- Maintain the Bern brand palette by incorporating their red color cue
We also decided to leverage the same headline configuration from the sales collateral for a more cohesive look and feel.
Then we included a sound wave graphical element that clearly conveyed the concept of sound.
In the end, we believe we succeeded in conveying the idea that people wearing Zerena hearing aids can happily interact with one another without fatigue and have an enjoyable time within a noisy environment.
At the end of the day, our sales collateral design, pocket card, and advert were a success!
Following the product launch in September, we received wonderful feedback from both Bern and Costco. Bern was excited that we were able to differentiate this brochure so much from the other competitors’ sales collateral within the same literature rack.
Costco was delighted that we were able to compress and include as much information as we did, while still keeping the final piece within the required final dimensions. In addition, they liked how we used the information to create more of an infographic-like journey.
And that’s a wrap!
‘Thank you, George and your entire team for the most recent projects that you produced. I appreciate the ease and professionalism in working with you and your team, and having faith that the final product will meet and exceed our creative needs.’
HOW WE CAN HELP
My team and I at Costello Creative Group have been helping businesses solve communication challenges since 2012. Prior to starting my firm, I spent eight years gaining powerful insights as an Art Director supporting global Marketing & Account teams for one of the largest Flavor & Fragrance organizations in the world. CCG’s focus in the F&F sector came naturally, but we continue to work cross-industry to maintain our diversity in both our thinking and creative approach. We partner long-term with clients to support them with everything from ad campaigns, digital marketing, branding and visual identity initiatives, to sales collateral, packaging, sales kits, and trade show materials.