You may have noticed that brands are refreshing their packs more frequently than ever before. Most noticeably in the past four or five years, speed to market with a pack refresh appears to play a larger role in overall brand activity.
Make the most of your brand through packaging
By Landor, August 2012
Advances in technology and social networking expose consumers to new things at a rapid pace—people expect some level of change all the time. Rather than keeping the same package around for years, or even decades, many brands are acting more nimbly, balancing the need to maintain familiarity with the need to remain relevant by driving change.
This increased frequency of package refreshes brings the return on investment (ROI) into question. While ROI is difficult to measure as it relates to branding on pack, the cost of not refreshing over time can easily be more than the cost of redoing your packaging. Below are a few ideas that can help you get the most out of your brand package design: Packaging shouldn’t be a one-off project.
Packaging plays a key role in defining your brand and driving relevance in this fast-paced market. Revitalizing a brand’s packaging presents opportunities for new and established brands to break out of the clutter and let their identity shine. Many companies evaluate packaging only when their brand is languishing or when a new variant is about to launch. Don’t think of refreshing your packaging as a project with an end date; instead, the “evolution of packaging” should be a regular conversation and strategic choice as your brand strategy evolves. Ground your brand in its core
. Redesigning a package requires brands to be very clear about their ownable equities (and those they wish to own) so they can remain consistent at the core and drive consumer relevance at the same time. Packaging structure and graphics go hand in hand and sometimes offer the only points of differentiation for a brand. Getting help from a branding or packaging firm can help identify and strengthen ownable equities. Whether this includes evolving your brandmark or just those equities that bring your products’ benefits to life, partners can help you stay true to your brand’s core while injecting fresh elements into it. Keep it simple.
Consumers are overloaded and don’t have time to figure out your brand. If your package is too complicated, the consumer will move on in mere seconds. Simple ideas are best understood by consumers when you don’t have lots of marketing dollars to explain your big idea or the meaning behind your nomenclature. Start with crafting efficient and effective priorities of communication (POC). Brand teams often create briefs listing seven to ten (or more!) POCs for a tiny front label. Consumers get lost after three, so make sure you prioritize the most important aspects of your brand. You can share all of the other information on side or back labels—or better yet, in other media sources. Make time for inspiration.
Trends in the market play a key role in assisting designers to mine what is relevant today. It’s important to look at what’s happening outside your category for inspiration. For example, if you are a consumer packaged goods brand, look to the automotive or architecture industries for ideas on how structure might bring a package to life; and fashion could inspire patterns, textures, and color palettes. Layering trends with your core equities is a way to help keep a brand relevant.
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