Packaging Branding & Re-branding

Packaging is your brand's last touchpoint before the sale. It's the last link in your branding and marketing chain with the potential to either sell your product or seed to a competitor. Despite all your marketing and advertising efforts, the final decision is made by a customer when they see your product on a shelf in the context of your competition. That's why your packaging is of paramount importance to your business’s prosperity.


The packaging is qualified for re-branding when it follows the brand's evolution and its rebranding is a logical step towards a new brand experience. Or when it needs to reflect a shift in consumers' minds and/or behavior: e.g., values change towards health, sustainability, ecological awareness, etc.


If your goal is to widen your audience, packaging rebranding would also be on your to-do list.


For the successful packaging redesign the below needs to be taken into account:


  • your packaging new design has to stand out,

  • the packaging has to attract the right audience,

  • it has to drive more sales compared to the previous packaging,

  • it has to focus on repeat sales.


To stand out and attract the right audiences, the packaging has to clearly communicate the product’s unique values proposition and be designed specifically for your chosen audience.


The unique value proposition is communicated with the help of the right language, your best offer, new packaging shape, color, and typography. If the packaging is designed for a bilingual audience, it has to have a balance between communicating the value, and not overwhelming the public.


Packaging effectiveness will always be subjective before the research is done to evaluate the new packaging sales performance. It’s advised to first rebrand packaging for a small quantity of the products to see the public perception and brand recognition before going all steam ahead. Underestimating test research can hurt sales if the public does not perceive the redesigned packaging as planned.


Learning from mistakes is an unfortunate consequence of Tropicana’s packaging rebranding. Without testing the new packaging first, the company ended up losing 50 MLN USD before going back to the original packaging. What was not taken into account is the consumers’ emotional bond with the brand: the original packaging displayed a straw going straight into an orange communicating the unique value proposition. Both the brand essence was compromised and many packaging elements were redesigned which resulted in consumers’ not recognizing the brand. 


When designed with the functionality in mind (e.g., hard enough plastic for a water bottle, no spillage, resealing qualities, etc.), packaging affects repeat sales positively.

‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.’ Steve Jobs

Summary

Packaging is a silent salesman that you have to treat with respect. When planning a rebrand, testing and iterating your concept will benefit your business by minimum not losing your market section. Keeping your brand essence and brand recognition is critical in any re-design project.