Briggs, Craig

When Craig Briggs walks through a store, he sees things differently than most people.

As the head of the agency Passionfruit Asia, and a marketing lecturer at Regis University, Briggs has spent a career fixated on the power of packaging.

“Most people don’t understand what goes into it,” he said. “Or how important it is.”

Briggs’ agency recently won a silver Vertex Award for its brand creation for derma365, a skin care products line. The Vertex Awards recognize the best in private brand packaging design from across the world.

This is the fifth Vertex award Passionfruit has won in collaboration with Mannings, Hong Kong’s preeminent health and beauty products store.

The derma365 brand allows Mannings to have their own competitive entry in the lucrative sensitive skin care category against some of the largest international brands.

That’s something that Briggs takes pride in. Stores like Mannings have moved toward creating their own brands, such as derma365, to compete with the bigger brands, Briggs said.

“It’s like where Target creates its own brands to compete with others,” he said. “Previously, store brands were known as the cheap, somewhat inferior alternative. But increasingly these new venture brands challenge this perception by being a quality product that is also good value. The packaging design lifts them up to be competitive with the international brands, but priced at anywhere from 15-30 percent cheaper.”

Briggs began his career in the United States at McCann-Erickson, a large multi-national agency, but was transferred from Atlanta to Hong Kong in 1993. In 2000, he joined French branding firm Desgrippes-Gobé to lead its Asia operations from Tokyo. It was there that he developed his passion for brands and brand packaging. In 2013 he started his own company, with Mannings as his first client.

Wanting to get back to the United States, he was offered a teaching position at Regis.

“It just fit,” he said.

Briggs teaches graduate and undergraduate classes at Regis, bringing an expertise in brand strategy, marketing, communications, product design and packaging. He hopes his experience and passion for design can help Colorado companies market their products successfully in Asia-Pacific.

“Packaging as a discipline is undervalued,” he said. “If you look at design, or TV or print ads or a viral social media campaign, those are fleeting and often lack connection. Dynamic packaging is connective. It is a personal moment of truth. It answers a need and if done well, creates desire that you touch and take home with you.”