Shopping with Something Shiny Syndrome

Our spouses, friends and children hate to go grocery shopping with us. Why? Because we have the ultimate case of Something Shiny Syndrome. You might not be acquainted with SS Syndrome. Let us explain.

I walk down the aisles of my local grocery store, shopping list in hand. Repeating over and over, eggs, milk, tomatoes – eggs, milk, tomatoes – when the flash of yellow at the end of an aisle catches my eye – wait, did Triscuits just do a redesign? Off I am to check out how the new design handles flavor differentiation, photography and appetite appeal. What brand equities did they hold on to? What changed? And most importantly – how does it all reflect a new direction in the brand voice?

See, this is where our shopping partners roll their eyes and grab the list from our hands. We get lost in the intricacies of a box of crackers and they finish making sure that we have something to eat in the house! But we can’t help it!

We look at this space differently because we have to. A grocery store is a brand’s ultimate stage and its here that we pay homage to the effort of creating unique selling propositions, brand differentiation, emotional cues, clever callouts, and captivating design… its strategy brought to life. And there’s a treasure trove of great thinking here.

As package designers, we have a limited amount of space and time to capture the attention of a shopper – 3 seconds some say.

And every once in a while, we’ll see another person who looks at the store the same way. We’ll catch them sneaking pictures of the shelves and knowingly give them a nod as we pass.

Design geeks with SS Syndrome unite!

For other thoughts and musings, head to or visit us on Facebook – Seedhouse Design.

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