A packaging redesign is often the first lever that marketers pull when they are either new to a brand or facing a marketing challenge. If all else fails, redesign the packaging and slap a “New Look. Same Great Taste” burst on it.
From my time at method, I learned that packaging design, when done well, can be the best media vehicle a brand has. We thought of cutting steel (for a packaging mold) as a media expense.
But a packaging redesign is not a magic bullet. And the process is often heavy on politics and light on impact. It is easy to get caught up in endless discussions about nuances that ultimately aren’t all that important to consumers.
There is also a fear of more ambitious redesigns, partly due to the “Tropicana hangover”. in 2009, Tropicana changed its label to a design that was universally disliked. They eventually backpedaled to the original design. I’ve talked to many marketers who are wary of any bold design changes because they don’t want to make the same mistake.
I like this insight from Landor: “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 a strategic choice as your brand strategy evolves.”
I like the idea of packaging as an ongoing evolution rather than a short-term fix.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)