surefire retail packaging

SureFire is an incredible brand. For those who aren’t familiar, they are an American manufacturer of the absolute finest tactical/outdoor gear around. For people who put themselves in harms way (whether at the top of Mount Everest, deep in a cave, or on the battlefield), SureFire is a trusted brand. They came to frog in 2008 with a strategic design challenge: to take a look at their brand from a packaging and logo mark perspective, and envision what the future could look like.

I led a team of strategists and designers who took a deep dive into the essence of their brand. This meant witnessing firsthand how their target customers interact with their products in the field. Our team went through low-light tactical training, even went into the Marine’s training facility at Camp Pendleton to witness room clearing exercises. I personally got my ear tweaked by an aggressive drill instructor (using the SureFire Defender, of course). We visited sample retail sights, from outdoor outfitters, to cop shops, to Armed Forces Exchanges. Most importantly, we got to talk to these unique individuals directly to learn just what kind of trust they put into their gear. All in all, an incredible learning opportunity.

One of the unique challenges: SureFire products cost 3-4 times their competitors. When you hold one in your hand, you understand why. Yet in retail environments, theft is a real problem for them, and so SureFire products are usually locked behind glass cases. Holding in the hand, and making that value connection with a potential customer,  then becomes more challenging.

Our packaging concepts explored ways to allow the user to touch and feel the device without the risk of theft. We explored several themes, using innovative new architectures and materials, which all informed the final packaging design.

We were also tasked with refreshing the SureFire logo. My team explored a range of possibilities from mild to wild, ultimately selecting a new mark that evolved the iconic color and gesture of the original, while amping up the boldness and mass.

Team: Andy Logan, Karen Little, Fez Janssen, Mike Shay