Top 10 Packaging Trends for 2016

According to a 2013 publication by EY, the global consumer packaging market is valued at approximately $400 billion. That figure balloons to $500 billion when industrial end markets are included. [1]

 

Packaging is clearly a big business, but it’s not just about the materials that cover a product or protect it prior to purchase. First and foremost packaging must grab the attention of its primary audience, stand out from the competition and create a compelling reason to buy.

 

Packaging must sell the brand proposition and how it can enhance the purchaser’s life, present the product or contents to best effect, fulfill statutory and mandatory requirements, protect contents, help the purchaser use and store the contents appropriately.[2] People buy with emotion first and justify with rational afterwards, regardless of gender or cultural background, so your packaging must touch the heart if you want to move the mind.

 

Below, we’ll look at combination of 10 emerging and continuing packaging trends for 2016.

 

1. Packaging with Hand-Drawn Labels

 

Last month I wrote about ‘What Customers Want: Top 16 Branding Trends for 2016’ and in that article I touched on key trends in the brand arena for the year ahead; personalized, authentic, humanized, interactive, transparency, engaging, and mobile. Packaging is in effect at the sharp edge of these trends too.

 

Shoppers are gravitating towards brands that convey authenticity and that’s often very effectively conveyed with ‘hand done’ or ‘hand finished’ details. With that in mind, some companies have redesigned their brand packaging to feature carefully hand-drawn labels. The High Weald Brewery is one example. Made in Sussex, England, these artisan brews feature packaging that commands attention [3] and complements the upscale beverages inside, plus conveys warmth that implies the distinctive labels weren’t just hastily made or mass produced as an afterthought.

    

   High Weald Brewery 600px

Image via www.highwealdbrewery.co.uk

  

 

2. Personalized Packaging

 

Although this trend emerged in 2014, it shows no signs of slowing down. Coca-Cola led the way with bottles that read, “Share a Coke with…” and featured a person’s name. As the trend gained popularity, the labels became more generic and featured names such as “Mom” and “a Friend”. Now, Coca-Cola has a designated website where people can buy personalized Coke bottles.

 

Nutella, a brand of popular hazelnut spread, has also followed suit by creating packaging with names.  As of October 2015, customers in the UK can request free personalized labels after purchasing Nutella. 

 

 

3. Metal Packaging You Can Microwave

 

Dutch students helped create premium packaging for Emmi, a Swiss dairy brand. Available as part of a ready-to-use fondue kit, the package consists of a metal bowl that can be microwaved or placed in a traditional oven, thanks to a special food-safe lacquer. [4]

 

 

 Emmi Fondu Tulip Karton 400g Usa 600px

Image via www.packworld.com

 

 

Emmi wanted to keep its brand strong with packaging that encouraged differentiation, and has received critical acclaim for this innovation. It may encourage other companies to develop similarly forward-thinking packages in 2016.

 

 

4. Packaging Gets Increasingly Convenient for Customers and Consuming Food

 

Since consumers increasingly lack free time, many large companies have endeavoured to help them cook dinner as easily as possible. Some smaller establishments are also meeting that growing need.  One such venture is The Black Farmer, also based in the UK.

 

Case Study: The Black Farmer

 

Run by Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, The Black Farmer offers premium meats, including gluten-free options — another growing food trend. It recently announced a pork loin roast that cooks in the package and includes a special blend of spices. [5]

 

 

 The Black Farmer Pork Loin Roast In The Bag 600px

Image via www.theblackfarmer.com

 

 

Jones says research has shown consumers are not confident enough cooking pork at home because they’re not sure how to do it well. The roast-in-the-bag design cooks the pork in less than an hour, and most importantly does not require preparation.

  

 

 

 

This convenience is commonly offered for chicken, but The Black Farmer is the first brand to enter the pork market with such packaging. Translucent material makes it easy to see the contents, while this concept appeals to people who want quick dinners but won’t sacrifice high quality for convenience.

 

 

5. Materials and Structure Are More Than What They Seem

 

Global Closure Systems has engineered a new type of plastic material that mimics the look and feel of glass. These shatterproof containers have two layers and are more efficient to produce than previous kinds of containers made by GCS.[6] Not only is the packaging more pleasing to the eye compared to plastic, but it’s also safer for consumers since it’s less vulnerable to breakage.

  

  

 Global Closure Systems1112

Image via www.packagingeurope.com

 

 

Additionally, Sonoco has developed a package with a metal top and an easy-to-open pull tab, plus clear plastic sides so consumers can see inside.  Called the TrueVue Can, the BPA-free product has a customizable height and wall thickness, so manufacturers can request packaging that shows off their products effectively.

 

 

Tru Vue Plastic Can 600px 

Image via www.sonoco.com

 

  

 

6. Snack Packaging On-The-Go Becomes Handier

 

Last summer, the Hormel Foods Corporation expanded its brand of Skippy peanut butter by offering peanut butter-inspired snacks featuring a crunchy center with a soft peanut butter coating. They’re sold in clear plastic containers that not only make the snacks easy to consumer on the go, but enable customers to view them before purchasing.  However, it’s not the only product appealing to snack lovers who crave convenience.

 

Case Study: Walgreens

 

Walgreens followed Hormel Food Corporation’s lead by upgrading its private-label packages of premium nuts. Specifically, a section of the container is removable to allow consumers to use it as a single-serving bowl. The portability and versatility of the new packaging saw sales grow by 23 percent, and helped it earn a gold medal at the National Association of Container Distributors (NACD) Packaging Awards last year. [7]

  

  

 Walgreensnuts 500px

Image via www.chiefpackagingofficer.com

 

  

7. Increasing Prevalence of Recyclable – Coffee Pods

 

Last spring, Keurig began making recyclable coffee pods, much to the delight of eco-friendly consumers. [8]  In November, news broke that Wolfgang Puck would do the same. [9]  

 

 

  

 

 

These more sustainable forms of packaging follow a growing trend, not only amongst consumer preferences but are also at a statutory and industry level in response to the even more pressing environmental issues associated with excessive packaging, pollution and landfill. By introducing this Earth-conscious functionality, brands are signaling consumers can still enjoy preferred products without being wasteful.

 

 

 Wolfgang Puck 500px

Image via www.packagingdigest.com

 

 

It also potentially becomes a more transparent and honest part of their CSR brand strategy, a factor which has a huge impact on Millennials’ decisions to purchase a brand. In fact it’s worth noting that six out of ten Millennials feel personally responsible for making a difference — all of which impacts their brand choices. 90 percent of Millennials actively purchase brands associated with a cause and half of Millennial consumers will abandon a brand if they disagree with the company’s ethics.

  

 

8. Packaging That Makes It Clear How Consumers Can Give Back – CSR

 

Expect to see a larger amount of packaging that spells out how consumers can make a difference by buying a particular product. Piggy Bank Wines, for example, gives 25 cents from every bottle sold to one of three charities.

  

   Piggy Bank Wines Home Pg 600px

Image via www.piggybankwine.com

 

  

The packaging features a QR code consumers can scan so they can vote for their favorite of the three organizations. Once the charitable fund reaches $5,000, voting ceases and the money is distributed accordingly.

 

 

Case Study: SoapBox

 

In a similar CSR-related vein, the SoapBox company features a “Hope Code” on its packaging that users can use to find out where the profits from that product are going. [10] Every code is unique, meaning people can theoretically support a different charitable cause with each purchase.

 

   Soap Box Soaps 600px

Image via www.soapboxsoaps.com

 

  

Fittingly, all the company’s charitable efforts focus on sanitation needs and clean water. This outreach matches the brand’s focus and is an inherent part of it’s brand values, all of which helps encourage its primary customers to embrace the cause and the brand.

  

  

  

  

  

9. Packaging That Makes Product Dispensing Simpler

 

The makers of Daisy Sour Cream have released a new package for its product that allows consumers to dispense the ingredient without a spoon. Fitted with a flexible valve, the package makes it easy to dispense the right portion size. Also, the foil package fits in a refrigerator door, ensuring it maintains front of sight visibility for consumer and encouraging consumption before the expiration date.  [11]

 

 

 Daisy Sour Cream

Image via www.daisybrand.com

 

 

In 2016, it’s more likely brand owners will increasingly use packaging more imaginatively and in new ways to give them a more competitive edge to ultimately increase profitability.

 

  

10. More Beer Packaging May Include Nutrition Facts

 

In the United States, it’s voluntary for beer manufacturers to include nutrition facts on packaging. As you may expect, nutritional content is most often highlighted on brews touted as low calorie.

 

The concern with calories has also attracted attention in the United Kingdom. [12] The Local Government Association (LGA) is a lobbying group representing more than 350 councils. It argues alcohol is contributing to the obesity crisis, and consumers generally don’t realize how many calories alcohol contains. It remains to be seen what’ll happen with alcohol packaging in the UK.

   

It’s clear from the trends above that packaging does much more than just protect merchandise before it’s sold, or inform people about the products inside. It assists customers in making the right choice, it makes it easier for consumers to use the product, which may inspire greater loyalty, helps buyers do good by giving back and even make us admire how far science has come through new, high-tech packaging solutions.

  

Key Takeaways

 

  • Ideally, successful packaging must be visually pleasing, communicate the brand’s key message effectively and be user friendly — done well, it’s multi-purpose in its design both functionally and aesthetically

 

  • Appealing to consumers’ desire for convenience is a worthwhile strategy, if that packaging intent doesn’t undermine the perceived value of the brand

 

  • Societal trends, such as increased giving with active CSR brand strategies or recycling, will increasingly influence packaging trends

 

  • Simplicity, both in the way a package looks and functions in terms of ease of use, is a growing trend with consumers looking for brands with a sense of the more authentic, transparent and ‘responsible’ commitments to society

 

   

Questions to Consider

 

  • What are the technical and operational needs required for your brand’s future packaging? Have you adequately invested in those areas or conducted a brand audit to evaluate your changing market requirements?

  

  • Have you sought feedback from your primary customer to find out about the kind of improvements they’d like to see in your brand and its packaging, and how they feel about those planned changes if your considering rebranding?

 

  • Recyclable coffee pods are examples of how well-known brands adapted to societal trends. Have you considered how your brand could do the same?

 

  • SoapBox judiciously combines its CSR strategy with innovative packaging design. How might your brand follow suit?

 

  • Personalization is an increasingly important brand trend but for packaging it can be prohibitively expensive. Are there ways you could tap into this growing trend and leverage it in a way that’s more cost effective?

 

 

You may also like:

  

• What Customers Want: Top 16 Branding Trends in 2016

  

• Packaging Design: Top 16 Tips for Great Eye-Catching Packaging Design

    

• Packaging Design: How to Make it into an Irresistible Customer Brand Magnet

  

• Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

   

• Limited Edition Packaging: How to Use it as Part of Your Brand Strategy

  

• Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

    

• Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

  

• Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success  

  

• Colour Psychology: Cracking the Colour Code for Profitable Branding

  

• Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

 

[1] http://www.ey.com, “Unwrapping the Packing Industry: Seven Factors for Success”, 2013.

[2] Simon Preece, http://www.forbes.com, “The Five Things Product Packaging Must Do”, July 2014.

[3] http://www.thedieline.com, “High Weald Brewery”, November 2015.

[4] Anne Marie Mohan, http://www.packworld.com, “Microwavable Metal Bowl Developed for Ready to (H)eat Fondue”, December 2015.

[5]  http://www.foodbev.com, “The Black Farmer Launches Roast-in-the-Bag Pork Loin Joints”, December 2015.

[6] http://www.packagingeurope.com, “Global Closure Systems Provides ‘Glass-Like’ Plastic Jar,” November 2015.

[7] http://www.chiefpackagingofficer.com, “New Nut Container Upgrades Walgreens Private Label Snack Packaging,” December 2015.

[8]  http://www.businesswire.com, Keurig Makes Coffee-To-Go Easier with Launch of K-Mug Pods,” March 2015.

[9] Kate Bertrand Connolly, http://www.packagingdigest.com, Wolfgang Puck Switches to Recyclable Pods,” November 2015.

[10] Kate Bertrand Connolly, http://www.packagingdigest.com “SoapBox’s HopeCode Shows Consumers How Their Purchases Are Helping,” June 2015.

[11] Dave Johnson, http://www.packagingstrategies.com, “Daisy Turns Sour Cream Upside Down with New Flexible Package,” December 2015.

[12] Seb Joseph, http://www.thedrum.com, “Alcohol Packaging Should Sport Calorie Labels, Warn LGA”, January 2016.

  

  

Top 10 Branding Articles in 2015

Are you curious which Persona Branding and Design articles have been the most popular over the past year?

 

We’re always interested to see which of our posts resonate most with you, our reader. Even though we do lots of research and planning, there are no guarantees which topics will trigger the most interest.

 

Here you’ll find an insider’s peek into our top ten most popular branding articles of 2015, some of which you might have missed.

 

I’m sure you’ll find at least one that will be very useful to your business in the year ahead.

Wishing you growing success in 2016!

   

  

Top 10 Branding Articles In 2015 600px

  

   

1. Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

 

The differences between a tired, old, has-been of a brand and a fresh, lithe and provocative one can be boiled down to a singular concept: storytelling. The art of telling a story, and telling it well, is integral to grabbing every potential customer’s attention, and a key part of your brand strategy.

 

The secret to success in the elegant art of storytelling lies in understanding its fundamental components. Though by no means comprehensive, what follows is a breakdown of some major elements that any good story should include. These are in fact some of the key ingredients we incorporate in our Story Selling System™ used when developing our clients’ brand stories:

 

The Top 5 Components of a Great Brand Story are as follows…

    

  

 Open Book 600px

   

  

2. Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success  

 

Launching a new brand is both exciting and challenging. The excitement comes in the promise of something fresh and new that could be wildly successful, be it for your well established, emerging or new start-up company — and the challenge comes in getting it right the first time.

  

Evaluating, articulating, developing and documenting your new brand’s position and purpose is crucial to building a strong successful brand.

  

It provides the roadmap and rationale to get you out of the starting blocks and heading in the right direction towards your ultimate success. And similar to your business plan, it’s also a key foundation to any successful business, be it product or service.

 

The question here is, do you know the key ingredients required for building a new brand?

 

To help you move in the right direction with your branding here are some of the elements we typically include in our branding process every time we’re working with a client to help them build their brand, whether it’s revitalizing an existing brand or launching a totally new brand to market.

 

These are actionable points which you should reference and evaluate before you launch your new brand, product or service, to market.

   

   

 Top 10 Branding Tips For Success 600px 


  

3. What Customers Want: Top 16 Branding Trends in 2016

 

More than a half century ago, the customer-centric branding pioneer Walter Landor said, “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.” [1] In 2016, the path to that consumer experience is a two-way street, and guess who’s in the driver’s seat? Brands with strong personality are the winners, because consumers equate experiences with brands.

  

Branding keywords for 2016 include: personalized, authentic, humanized, interactive, engaging, and mobile.

 

We take a closer look at some outstanding examples from brands that illustrate key 2016 on-trend pointers to successfully target today’s customers.

  

 

  Edelman Slide1 600px

Image via www.edelman.com

 

 

4. Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality  

 

Your brand is much more than merely a product or service, or a logo. Brands are an experience—the relationship between your business and your customers—and to create an exceptional customer experience, your brand must have an irresistible personality.

 

To quote Martyn Newman PhD “In the information age and globalised economy where values and meaning matter more in the market place, the value of emotional capital increases. This creates brand value and goodwill and results in repeat sales through customer loyalty, lifetime relationships and referrals. In other words, the brand is more than a name or a logo; it creates trust and recognition and is a promise and an emotional contract with each customer.”

 

Brand profiling is the systematic process of creating, developing and implementing your brand character and personality through shaping its brand promise, values, the do’s and don’ts of its behaviours, story, emotional benefits, its culture and what it stands for and so forth.

 

It’s this humanized entity that gets your brand message out into the market, cuts through the noise and gets the attention of your primary customers in a way that matters to them.

 

When creating and developing the profiles for our clients’ brands we use our bespoke Personality Profile Performer™, a systematic approach which underpins the commercial, rational, and holistic aspects of successful brand profile building.

 

The following six key elements are representative of some of the core ingredients included within this branding process, used to create and deploy a compelling personality for your brand.

  

  

 Martyn Newman Brands And Emotion

Image via www.eqsummit.com

 

 

5. Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships 

 

Co-branding is defined as a partnership between brands. It typically works best when Brand A partners with Brand B, each with a different set of customers and brand associations of their own.

 

As in the expression, “the whole is bigger than the parts,” co-branding can add value when synergy exists between the brands; it creates an emotional energy, starts conversations and creates buzz around both partners and can delivery significantly increased financial returns for all involved when done right.

  

In addition to brand revitalization, co-branding objectives may include getting more bang for your buck, growing market share, building audience reach and altering perceived positioning. Co-branding is primarily used an alliance of two brand partners, although there’s no rule against bringing three or more to the party.

 

Checkout here:

• The Top 7 Benefits of Co-Branding

• 5 Co-Branding Risk Management Guidelines

• The Top 6 Tips for Co-Branding Success

with case studies and examples of who’s done it really well.

  

 

 Co Branding Multiple Examples 600px

Infographic via www.missvinc.om

 

 

6. Colour Psychology: Cracking the Colour Code for Profitable Branding

 

Colour increases brand recognition by 80%. 93% of shoppers consider visual appearance over all other factors while shopping. It adds huge power to communications, opinions, recall and emotive influence. In fact when used correctly, colour is a pivotal tool to substantially influence purchasing decisions, service or product.

  

Since colour choices impact every aspect of a commercial enterprise, brand owners should aggressively re-evaluate that choice throughout their brand strategy.

  

The question is, has your brand’s colour palette been selected with the right intent and applied to best possible effect throughout all your brand communications and touch points to ensure your brand grow and increased profitability?

  

Find out more about why colour matters and how you can use it more effectively within your business.

 

  

 Colour Infographic Cropped 600px

Infographic via Blueberry Labs

  

 

7. Packaging Design: How to Make it into an Irresistible Customer Brand Magnet

 

The growing proliferation of multiple different brands in the market place has made customers spoilt for choice, but often at the expense of easy decision-making.

 

When presented with an assortment of packaging options in which nothing decisively stands out, with a compellingly clear message that speaks to a customer succinctly, analysis paralysis sets in. It’s when faced with this situation that a confused shopper will typically default to making decisions based on price alone.

 

The question here is, where does your brand sit in the mix?

 

Leading brands cut through the visual and cognitive noise created by an oversaturated market full of aggressive competitors and hook their ideal customers by meeting their needs both emotionally and rationally.

 

Here’s how…  

 

 

 Marmite Limited Editions 600px

Image via www.marmite.co.uk

 

 

8. Luxury Branding: How to Establish or Re-Position Your High-End Brand   

  

The combined value of the various luxury goods markets in 2014 was an estimated 865 billion euros, with luxury cars, personal luxury goods and luxury hospitality taking the top three places, with values of 351 billion, 223 billion and 150 billion respectively.

 

You might think those statistics make luxury branding a very interesting sector, however if you want to reposition or establish your brand targeted at a high-end customer then there are six keys factors you need to consider within your brand strategy.

 

Firstly there are four main characteristics by which the luxury customer defines a luxury brand. However the way in which someone perceives luxury will depend on factors ranging from their socio-economic status to their geographical location.

 

Here are the four main characteristics by which luxury brands are defined together with the six key brand strategies for building a winning luxury brand. 

  

  

Super Rich Shopping Habits Infographic 600px 

Infographic via Raconteur.net

 

 

9. Millennial Branding: 6 Ways Your Brand Can Appeal to Millennial Customers

 

Millennials, the newest generation of influential consumers (also known as Generation Y or Gen Y), spend more than $600 billion dollars annually with spending power expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, (or 30% of US sales) according to Accenture 2013 research.

 

While these statistics sounds like ‘gold bullion’ for many brands, in our experience often smaller companies and organisations struggle to develop their brand strategy in a way that relates relevantly to this fast changing group of buyers.

 

Millennial consumers are a very fluid constantly moving target with multiple devices overflowing with content clamouring for their attention 24/7. However once you really understand this discerning consumer properly and tailor your brand to really meet their needs, you can, like many others tap into this incredibly lucrative market.

 

Here are our top 6 key brand attributes you need to consider when developing your brand strategy to attract your Millennial customer.

   

   

 Millennial Entrepreneur 600px

 

 

10. Video Brand Strategy: Top 11 Tips for How and Why You Need to Use Video

 

The average consumer spends 88% more time on content with video and video is shared 1200% more times than links and text combined. A landing page with video gets 800% more conversion than the same page without video.

   

If you ever thought using video to promote your brand was too difficult or beyond your reach these statistics might make you think again.

 

Find out exactly how you can use video to grow your brand here.

 

You can even find out how one small start up brand used video to achieve worldwide distribution and now has more online viewers than its competing massive global brands combined!

  

  

 You Tube 360 600px

Image via Google / YouTube

 

 

Did your favourite post feature in one these top 10 branding articles of 2015? If there was an alternative that was your first preference, drop us a line and let us know. 

 

Meantime I’d love to keep you up to date with what’s happening in the world of branding and make this blog really useful to you. If there’s anything branding related you would like to read about in this blog or if you have any questions or comments, suggestions for a blog post, feedback or even just to say Hi, just send me a short note, I’m here to help!

E: brand@personadesign.ie

or give me a call at Tel: +353 1 8322724

 

Wishing you increasing success in the year ahead!

  

  

   

Luxury Branding: How to Establish or Re-Position Your High-End Brand

The combined value of the various luxury goods markets in 2014 was an estimated 865 billion euros, with luxury cars, personal luxury goods and luxury hospitality taking the top three places, with values of 351 billion, 223 billion and 150 billion respectively. [1]

 

In order to understand the branding strategies developed and utilized by the top luxury brands, those who have maintained their reputation for over several decades, as well as those that have successfully re-positioned themselves as high-end brands, we must first look at the very definition of luxury.

 

There are four main characteristics by which the luxury customer defines a luxury brand:

  • Quality
  • Craftsmanship
  • Exclusivity
  • Elegance

 

However, the way in which someone perceives luxury will depend on factors ranging from their socio-economic status to their geographical location. According to latest Albatross Global Solutions and Numberly study, “The Journey of a Luxury Consumer”, people from different parts of the world prioritize the order of importance of these key factors differently when defining luxury goods. For example, an overwhelming majority of luxury consumers worldwide value quality above all else, however, UK luxury consumers place more importance on craftsmanship, while elegance plays a more vital role when it comes the global luxury market.

 

Since customer preferences and definitions can vary from one jurisdiction to another, luxury brands need to tailor their brand communications strategy for each of the relevant market segments they are targeting, while remaining true to their core brand values, brand DNA and brand story. It can be challenging but with the right brand strategy it can be hugely rewarding, as evidenced by Louis Vuitton and their distinctly different approach to marketing their luxury brand in Japan.

 

The brand collaborated with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami in the early 2000’s to create a more colourful version of their classic monogram, and even reduced prices slightly during the economic crisis, to retain its position on the Japanese luxury market. However, it performed best when focusing on the quality and craftsmanship aspects of luxury brand on the Japanese market, as opposed to the allure of exclusivity and elegance — that had a greater impact with their customers in Western countries.

   

    

Luxury is About Exclusivity

In order to thrive, a luxury brand needs to secure its own unique corner of the market. Premiumisation strategies or high price points are designed to attract a particular kind of customer while alienating others – the high quality, and the unique experience that a luxury brand provides will not be right for everyone, nor should it be. To quote the head of Lexus Europe, Alain Uyttenhoven: “Our cars won’t please everyone.”

 

The brand strategy developed and deployed in different jurisdictions often varies because the definition of luxury changes amongst consumers as we move around the world and up the socio-economic ladder. Also, some of the top luxury brands strategically choose to stay out of the most obvious limelight. Very subtle marketing and the fact that the general public isn’t necessarily aware of their existence creates a unique aura of mystique and exclusivity. It also alludes to the fact that high-quality craftsmanship and aesthetics are amongst luxury brands’ highest priorities, values which are not compromised by things such as price sensitivities.

 

The brands at the very top of the luxury spectrum are not necessarily bound by the same constrictions of the more mainstream ‘accessible’ luxury or premium sector. Indeed, more exceptionally wealthy clientele might perceive price tags or ostentatious displays of affluence as lacking in taste in certain markets. In fact, there is a wise old saying in the luxury yacht industry: “If you have to ask about the price, you probably can’t afford it.”

     

     Super Rich Shopping Habits Infographic 600px

Infographic via Raconteur.net

 

 

The French purveyor of personalized luggage, Goyard, is a fine example of a luxury fashion brand that has retained its high-end status for over a century, continually prospering without engaging in many of the strategies that are considered to be the cornerstones of effective mainstream marketing.

  

The brand favours direct sales and word of mouth marketing over media hype, large-scale advertising and online sales, even though Goyard has thousands of followers on several social media platforms, including the luxury brand’s newly launched YouTube channel.

 

   

   

  

This extreme level of exclusivity amongst long established luxury brands, e.g. specialising in a single product category to the point of elevating a brand to the level of art or supreme craftsmanship, can be used as one element of a brand strategy to create distinction and separate it from the rest of the market, but it can also be a more challenging route for newer entrants to the luxury market.

 

The luxury landscape is changing, and a brand can quickly become irrelevant if it lacks online exposure. Millennials are close to outspending Baby Boomers, according to a Berglass + Associates and Women’s Wear Daily study that explored the retail industry, which means that a brand has to account for the values that drive Millennials when developing their brand strategy.

 

For Millennials the bigger purpose of a brand, its big why, has a significant impact on their purchasing decisions which means that CSR and so forth has a bigger role to play in brand strategy than every before — for this growing audience.

  

The smartphone is an essential component of the Millennial lifestyle because it allows easy access to multiple online platforms and immediate connectivity – 85% of Millennials in the 18-25 age bracket and 86% of those in the 25-34 age bracket own a smartphone[2], while 88% of Millennials use Facebook as their primary news source.[3] For more traditional brands this means embracing new fully integrated brand strategies that wouldn’t have seemed relevant eight to ten years ago.

 

Even luxury brands that are primarily focused on in-store purchases, e.g. Goyard, are investing in social media and reaching out to affluent Millennials. The way that younger generations perceive luxury is markedly different from the way Baby Boomers perceive it, and luxury brands have a challenging task ahead of them – educating Millennials on luxury goods and adapting their brand strategy to fit the Millennial lifestyle.   

 

 

Develop Trademark Brand Symbols and Assets Beyond Just Your Brand Logo

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé has been virtually unchanged for years, and the silhouette itself is just as recognizable as the logo, brand name and the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot attached to the bonnet.

 

It’s the Rolls-Royce uncompromising commitment to quality craftsmanship and attention to detail that has the brand where it is today. When we work with clients to develop a distinct brand identity that reflects their core brand values, personality, story and communicates their brand message it requires a similar level of focus from everyone working on the project coupled with a deep understanding of the brand’s primary target audience in order to achieve successful results.

  

   

 

  

  

Burberry’s trademark black, tan and red check pattern and Channel No. 5 perfume’s simple, yet elegant bottle design are both instantly recognised by the average consumer. These are distinct, different and memorable brand assets that are as important as the brand names themselves.

  

Founded 150 years ago Burberry is a particularly interesting case study because not long ago it was struggling to maintain a consistent brand identity leading to the brand falling off its luxury positioning, despite its admirable provenance. Inconsistencies in product variants, pricing and communication strategies all combined to undermine the brand. In fact this brand, now worn by Emma Watson and Kate Moss to mention a few high profile names, was once at risk of being considered frumpy before its very successful luxury revitalization strategy was implemented so successfully.

 

It wasn’t until Angela Ahrendts took over as CEO that a long-overdue brand repositioning and brand relaunch was set in motion resulting in the iconic and much sought-after luxury brand we see today. The company was restructured and the sourcing of materials and production was centralised in the UK. Burberry stores were modernized and equipped with iPads, digital displays and audio equipment that enabled the brand to showcase its quality craftsmanship through video material, and to provide a more engaging customer experience.

 

However, the true stroke of genius was the decision to focus on a younger demographic, and utilize social media as a powerful promotional tool. To successfully target the affluent Millennial consumer, Burberry had to diversify its product line and make significant stylistic changes, while at the same time retaining the timeless aesthetic that the brand was once known for.

 

The results of the brand relaunch were astonishing – Burberry doubled their revenue and operating income within five years, and successfully repositioned their brand as a luxury brand. Their famous Burberry check is once again associated with premium quality British craftsmanship.

 

 

Provide a Memorable Brand Experience for Your Customers

With a luxury product, the brand packaging, presentation and shopping experience are just as important as the quality and exclusivity of the product itself. Luxury customers are far from average shoppers, they are wealthy and powerful people with refined tastes. A luxury brand has to engage these customers on multiple levels – spark curiosity, engage all the senses, stimulate the mind, and make an emotional connection.

 

The Gentleman Floris, a new line of luxury men’s grooming products launched by the Floris London, a nearly 300-year-old British family perfumers brand since 1730, uses understated heraldic symbolism on the embossed navy blue packaging to reference its noble origins and royal patronage coupled with its renowned to quality, craftsmanship and rich heritage. The brand story is used eloquently to draw its audience in and sell its brand proposition.

 

We have created many different packaging design solutions for clients over the years, both luxury and FMCG, and when you consider that on average you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer through the impact your packaging design has on them, it is critical that your customer gets an immediate sense of your brand story, promise and values if you want to close the sale.

 

  Gentleman Floris Gift Set 600px

Image via www.florislondon.com

 

In luxury branding everything from the customer journey to the brand experience and customer service, not to mention the accessories, has to be carefully considered to ensure that it’s elevated to an exceptional level.

 

The brand experience has to be much more personal, which means that staff, your brand ambassadors, must be chosen to fit with your brand values and culture. They need to be fully inducted and trained in all the details of how your brand is lived and experienced, both internally and externally, and how that unique brand experienced is transferred and cultivated with each the individual customer.

 

Sometimes this training may also require the front line staff to make important judgement calls in the heat of the moment, in order to accommodate the customer’s specific needs. At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, each employee is empowered and trained to anticipate and fulfil their guests needs with an exemplary level of service.[4]

  

 

Ritz Carlton Logo 600px

Image via www.Ritz-Carlton.com

 

 

The Ritz-Carlton is another good example of a luxury brand that successfully maintain its positioning for decades and in fact case studies have been built around its success. The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Centre is now the place where executives from other companies worldwide in many different sectors come to learn The Ritz-Carlton principles of service.

 

The Ritz-Carlton success is due to a number key factors such as they have:

  • A formulated a set of standardized hiring criteria
  • Empowered their front line staff and instituted a standardized brand language
  • A consistent high-end luxury brand experience regardless of location
  • Take note of user feedback, perform regular brand audit health checks
  • Constantly evolved to adapt with the times while staying true to their core brand values

  

The Ritz-Carlton has created an admirable balance between maintaining a consistent brand image and evolving to meet the needs of a new generation of patrons who prefer more authentic interactions with the staff. It’s their uncompromising commitment to excellence which has made them the only brand to win the much sought after US Presidential Baldrige Performance Excellence Award twice, firmly establishing Ritz-Carlton’s positioning as a luxury brand and setting the highest standards for customer service throughout the luxury hotel market.

  

  

Create an Aura of Exclusivity by Limiting Supply

Special limited edition items often become cherished collector’s pieces and dramatically increase in value over the years. In fact, the lack of product availability doesn’t negatively affect a luxury brand they way it might other mainstream brands. Its limited availability to the select few makes it even more appealing to its target customers.

 

Long waiting lists have never deterred Hermès fans, who often wait several months for the privilege of purchasing the brand’s signature Birkin bag. [5] Some of the most popular luxury car brands are the ones with both the highest prices and longest waiting lists. Only the most persistent and loyal customers gain access to these limited items, which enables you as a brand owner or manager to create an elite subgroup within your customer base.

 

The Rolls Royce SG50 Ghost Series II is a prime example of a brand offering a limited edition product to a particular segment of their target demographic, another example of the exclusivity strategy at work, and establish an emotional connection with its customers. In this particular example, Rolls Royce honours the fact that 2015 marks 50 years of Singapore’s independence, helping it increase individualised customer brand relevance and secure an increased market share in one of Asia’s most developed economies, second only to Hong Kong in terms of financial freedom.

 

 

 Rolls Royce Sg50 600px

Image via www.luxuriousmagazine.com   

 

 

The Apple Hermès brand collaboration helped connect the luxury fashion brand connect to a well-developed demographic of tech-savvy affluent Millennials while at the same time opening the horizons of the wealthy Apple users to the allure of a luxurious brand such as Hermès.

 

  

Apple Hermes 600px

Image via www.apple.com

 

 

High-end craftsmanship and a sense of exclusivity have already been associated with both brands, but the halo effect of this collaborative project, the super-luxurious Apple watch, has proved to be quite beneficial in terms of exposing previously unexplored segments of the market to each brand.

  

  

 

  

 

  

Luxury watch aficionados and loyal Hermès customers who are delighted with this new offering will be tempted to explore some of the other Apple devices. On the other hand, the more affluent Apple consumer may easily eschew their previous luxury favourite and make Hermès their alternative preferred choice instead.

 

  

  

 

     

Be Proud of Your Heritage, but Offer Customization to Build an Emotional Connection  

Giving consumers some decision-making power over the production process, even if their contributions are limited to the choice of colour or engraving, accomplishes several things:

  • It turns each product into a personalised more unique item that is to be cherished
  • It creates a more personal connection between the customer and the brand
  • It enhances the overall customer experience

 

Goyard doesn’t offer a diverse product range, but what it does offer is the ability choose from a wide range of colours and styles. A luxury customer can leave the Goyard store safe in the knowledge that the product they have purchased is truly unique, and tailored to their personal tastes.

   

      Goyard Paris 600px

Image via www.Goyard.com

  

  

Luxury brands can also use their geographical location to their advantage. A luxury brand is often associated with its country and region of origin – sparkling wines from the Champagne region have become a key component of many major celebrations, BMW and Mercedes are touted as the epitome of German engineering precision and so on. The brand thus takes on the qualities associated with the local culture. We can use Burberry as a good example once again – its British heritage has been a key component in successfully repositioning the brand as a high-end brand.[6]   

 

  

Create an Epic Brand Story that Mesmerizes Your Customers

A good brand story is instrumental in capturing the imagination of customers, but a luxury brand needs to go beyond mere storytelling and develop a veritable fairy-tale that fully immerses a customer, to the point where he or she wants to become a part of your luxurious world. The brand experience and how that is created lived and experienced is the penultimate test.

  

  

Coco Chanel 600px

  

  

The legend of Coco Chanel and the immense respect consumers still have for the Chanel brand matriarch is a prime example of how effective legends can be in promoting a luxury brand. Her humble beginnings, timeless style and daring persona are woven into a narrative that all ambitious, independent, fashionable and adventurous women around the world find inspiring.

  

    

  

  

  

On the other hand, we have brands with a proud and storied history, such as White’s Gentlemen’s Club in London, which has no intention of expanding or opening its doors to anyone but the most select clientele.

   

     Goyard Paris History 600px

Image via www.Goyard.com

 

 

Much like Goyard, White’s has no need for heavily resourced marketing campaigns, as it relies on its few elite “members” for word of mouth marketing. With patrons like Prince Charles and several British Prime Ministers gracing the bar and gaming rooms with their presence, being a member of White’s Gentlemen’s Club is considered a privilege. Even David Cameron’s vocal critique of men-only clubs and the fact that the British Prime Minister resigned from White’s did little to tarnish the reputation built on several centuries of myth and legend.   

    

Key Takeaways to Consider

In conclusion, here are some key points to keep front of mind when re-evaluating your luxury branding or premiumization brand strategy:

  • Ultra premium luxury brands often use understated branding strategies coupled with word of mouth, but offer unmatched top end quality and exclusivity   
  • Brands that have successfully repositioned themselves have invested in brand audit health checks and embraced the affluent Millennial demographic and use social media to spread brand awareness
  • Luxury brands that have successfully maintained their positioning for decades have used their provenance and leveraged near mythical brand stories to maintain brand distinction, but continued researching the market and changing trends regularly, and encouraged customer feedback to maintain relevance
  • Providing an exceptional customer experience in-store, through empowering frontline staff and developing a consistent brand language, is very important, as a majority of luxury consumers make their purchases in person
  • Involving customers in the production process enables a luxury brand to personalise its offering with a diversified range of unique variations, even if it doesn’t have an extensive reach across multiple categories
  • Collaborating with a brand that has a significantly different customer base and brand associations can produce a halo effect that is highly beneficial for both brands

 

You may also like:

  

• Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships 

 

• Brand Audit: Tips for Determining Your Brand’s Health – Can it be Improved?

 

• Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

 

• Rebranding Strategy: Using Premium Repositioning To Increase Profitability 

 

• Colour in Brand Strategy: Colour Psychology and How it Influences Branding

 

• Video Brand Strategy: Top 11 Tips for How and Why You Need to Use Video

     

• Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success  

   

• Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

 

• Millennial Branding: 6 Ways Your Brand Can Appeal to Millennial Customers 

   

So, what do you think?

• Have you performed a brand audit to identify the holes in your luxury branding strategy?

  

• Is your brand utilising social media to its fullest potential and reaching out to affluent Millennials?

 

• Are you using appropriate brand language?

 

• Have you created a consistent brand image?

 

• Have you considered how you can make your brand more profitable by changing your brand strategy with a premiumization approach to reposition your brand, create an aura of exclusivity and attract luxury consumers?

 

• Do you have an exceptionally engaging brand story that elevates the brand to legendary status and could be leveraged to better effect with a rebranding?

 

[1] Statista.com, Value of various global luxury markets in 2014, by market type (in billion euros)

[2] Nielsen, Mobile Millennials: Over 85% of Generation Y Owns Smartphones, September 2014

[3] Americanpressinstitute.org, How Millennials Use and Control Social Media, March 2015

[4] Forbes.com, Micah Solomon, Your Customer Service Is Your Branding: The Ritz-Carlton Case Study, September 2015

[5] Uché Okonkwo, Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques

[6] The Australian, “Paul Smith, Burberry and Mulberry Revive ‘Made in Britain’”, September 2014

  

Limited Edition Packaging: How to Use it as Part of Your Brand Strategy

Store aisles and eCommerce pages are packed with products sold in limited-edition packages that are intended to drive increased sales. However, industry data publicized by Nielsen indicates that as much as 90 percent of new limited edition packaging designs don’t have the desired effect—and in some cases, may even hurt brand equity.

 

On the other hand, to a faithful collector of a favourite DVD series or dedicated brand loyalist, limited-edition packaging can be a compelling reason to purchase a new or alternative version of a much desired product as soon as possible. Indeed, it could be argued that the entire concept of limited-edition packaging is meant to urge consumers to open their wallets on the spot. Waiting too long could result in disappointment.

  

Below, we’ll look at several case studies, along with the associated benefits and downsides. This information could help you decide whether limited-edition packaging is a great brand strategy decision that will lead to outstanding results—or whether it’s likely to incur more costs than benefits.

 

 

 

Limited Edition Packaging that Promotes the Concept of Scarcity: Special Monopoly Sets Offer Real Money

 

Sometimes indicating that a product is a limited-edition item only available for a short period of time is enough to stimulate sales. Interested buyers can quickly recognize that there’s a relatively small number being made, and that fact makes them want it more.

 

Those items are frequently prized by collectors, and in other cases, people just desire them for the novelty value. Hasbro, manufacturer of the popular game Monopoly, successfully used this concept of scarcity to market the game via a specially packaged limited edition version.

  

    French Monopoly Real Euros

 Image via www.mashable.com, Patrick Hertzog/AFP 

 

 

To celebrate the game’s 80th anniversary, 80 versions of the game that were sold in France came with real money. In most cases, the genuine currency was mixed in with fake bills. However, one of the packages came entirely with spendable real euros. The benefit of this approach is that it appeals to people who might already want to buy the game for nostalgic reasons to reminisce about their childhoods by playing this classic game. Plus, since only 80 game sets of this sort were made, the scarcity factor drives up the perceived brand value.

 

For many hopeful customers, the act of opening a Monopoly box to see if it came stocked with real spendable money was probably something akin to when Charlie Bucket of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory anxiously ripped open the candy bar wrapper to see if it contained the coveted golden ticket that allowed him and a select group of others admittance into Willy Wonka’s magical candy-making site.

 

 

 

Limited Edition Packaging Designed to Leverage Core Brand Messages: Scotch Magic Tape

 

Scotch’s Magic Tape is very popular because of the way it seems to disappear onto paper after applied. The brand has even developed a dispenser so people can only use one hand to put the tape in place.

 

 

 

  

A few years ago, German company Kolle-Rebbe designed packaging that contained mirrored panels inside to create the illusion that the Magic Tape package was empty, even though it was holding five rolls of the adhesive. The special tape package even won a CLIO Award, which is the equivalent of an Academy Award in the film industry, but instead honours design, advertising, and communication professionals.

  

The box design promotes the brand’s “invisibility” benefit, and is an unconventional idea that makes people take notice when surveying available adhesive choices. That’s true even if they are not already familiar with what makes the tape stand out from competitors. The branding message indicates that Magic Tape makes paper tears “disappear”, because it patches them up so clearly. Plus, as already mentioned, the tape’s material is made to blend into the paper after it’s applied.

 

 

 Scotch Tape Magic 3 M

Image via www.packworld.com and 3M

 

  

Furthermore, it was said that the decision to include green as the primary colour in the box’s design was a nod to a commitment to environmental sustainability. While that may be the case, it can also be strongly argued that the vivid green shade is already well-known to consumers.

 

There are many varieties of Scotch products, but the Magic Tape always has a green packaging design. Choosing to use any other colour when designing the “invisible” box could possibly have caused unnecessary confusion, and perhaps meant shoppers would have mistakenly overlooked the product when visually scanning store shelves.

 

This is a great example of how a limited-edition package can reinforce the brand message in a way which is both aesethetically ‘on brand’ and functional in its delivery, and we’ve had similarly favourable results when helping our clients combine aesthetics with functional benefits and practicality.

 

 

 

Limited Edition Packaging that Relies on Star Power: Michael Jackson Pepsi Cans and “Bad” Album 25th Anniversary Campaign

 

People around the world were devastated when Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop,” passed away. Pepsi had been a long-time partner of Michael Jackson, and that loyalty continued after the pop star’s death.

  

In 2012, the beverage brand launched its first global campaign to honour the artist, releasing limited edition Pepsi cans in over 20 countries. The packaging retained the brand’s usual blue background, but featured Jackson in a range of typically dramatic poses that were highly recognizable, consequently drawing instant attention from consumers.

  

  Pepsi Michael Jackson 600px

Image via www.marketingmagazine.co.uk

 

  

To further stimulate demand, Pepsi also tapped top music stars of today to pay tribute to the artist in relation to the 25th anniversary of the Bad album. That piece of work was the seventh studio release from Jackson, and is repeatedly cited as a major influence on today’s artists. The performances were heavily viewed online and served to reinforce the concept that Jackson is one of the few artists who can boast timeless appeal across generations.

 

This campaign had value to music collectors, and also helped stimulate the desire in diehard fans to buy products relating to the deceased artist. Because Pepsi had to strike a deal with the managers of the late artist’s estate, the campaign undoubtedly required a significant amount of logistics. However, the challenges paid off, especially in terms of brand visibility.

 

 

 

 

  

  

Limited Edition Packaging That Supports a Charity: Bottle Green’s Stylish Drink Bottles to Fight Breast Cancer

 

Bottle Green sells unusual flavours of sparkling water and thereby caters to a niche market. In 2011, it developed a set of limited edition bottles that were available in the UK. The containers supported a charity called Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and featured images of stylish women. The bottles had strong onshelf impact, and were atypical to the category, which undoubtably drew the attention of their primary target audience.

  

  

Bottlegreen Csr

Image via www.packagingoftheworld.com

 

  

More importantly, that effort was part of the brand’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, and reflected a continual effort to support causes that fight breast cancer. Research indicates that when customers are presented with two similar brands in the same category, the one that supports a clear CSR activity, charity or ‘gives back’ in some way for the great good, will typically be the preferred purchase and have higher sales than the one that doesn’t. Similarly the Bottle Green CSR campaign likely helped to strengthen awareness of the brand’s charitable heart. When working with our own clients, we tend to strongly agree that a target audience feels more compelled to buy something if it aligns with a charitable cause.

 

Interestingly enough, unlike some brands that are sold in connection with fighting breast cancer, the range doesn’t feature a dominant pink hue. However, the arresting design of the women’s faces is very powerful. Presumably, it was more than enough to encourage customers to pick up the containers and read them more closely to get the story behind the aesthetics.

 

 

 

Limited Edition Packaging That Leverages Premiumisation

 

Luxury brands often use limited-edition packaging as part of their premiumisation strategy for adding perceived value. Oscar de la Renta is one strong example of a brand that has done this successfully—but in this case, so-called “brand evangelism” is just as important, or even more so, than actual sales numbers.

 

In 2011, Oscar de la Renta launched the first-ever sales initiative that was completely contained within Facebook. The brand offered a solid perfume variety of its scent Esprit d’Oscar, which was packaged inside a wearable ring and sold with a price tag of $65. After a consumer bought a ring, he or she was encouraged to share that news via Facebook. Therefore, in the space of a few seconds, awareness of the product could theoretically spread to thousands of people or more, plus make a person feel special about being among those select few who were able to snag a ring before it was too late.

 

  Oscar De La Renta Facebook

Image via http://wwd.com, www.oscardelarenta.com

 

  

On the day of its release, one extremely eager evangelist found she was not able to access Facebook while at work, and was so concerned that she contacted the brand to inquire about the likelihood that the rings would be sold out before she could get one. Ultimately, a brand representative agreed to put one aside for her.

 

 

Oscar De La Renta Ring 

Image via http://wwd.com, www.oscardelarenta.com

 

 

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this case study is that people were not able to access the purchase page for the limited-edition product without first liking the brand’s Facebook page. Before offering the limited-edition ring, the brand tested that strategy by offering free samples of the perfume to people who liked the Facebook page. In just one week, the number of likes grew by 40 percent. Furthermore, 5,000 people agreed to fill out feedback surveys.

 

The limited-edition ring created a win-win situation: customers got the chance to order something that had built-in exclusivity, and the brand’s marketers built their databases of interested consumers.

  

  

  

Limited Edition Packaging Compromises Product: Halo 3 Video Game

 

Early versions of limited-editions of the Halo 3 had faulty hubs in the packaging that did not consistently hold the discs securely in place. This meant many people opening the packaging with the intention of starting to play the game, found that the discs had become loose during shipping and consequently were scratched, resulting in the brand owner Microsoft having to offer replacements to its customers.

  

  

 Halo3 Packaging

Image via http://www.dailytech.com

 

   

Despite this initial issue, Halo 3 ended up being the top-selling title of its time. It sold a total of $170 million on release day, and more than 1.7 fans decided to splurge on the $70 limited-edition version.

 

  

 

 

This is a good example of how limited-edition packaging must be properly tested to ensure they are fully functional as well as aesthetically eye-catching. The brand’s reputation didn’t really suffer as a result of the packaging problem, and neither did early sales. However, it’s important to remember that many brands don’t have the built-in advantage of such a large and dedicated fan base.

 

Those players were so eager to become immersed in the latest Halo release that the faulty packaging might have momentarily frustrated them, but it almost certainly wasn’t enough to cause the consumers to think twice about buying another Halo game or recommending them to friends. In this case study, the other inherent benefits of the game outweigh the issues with the packaging.

  

  

  

Packaging That’s too Bulky, Which Makes Storage or Merchandising Difficult: The Simpsons Box Sets

 

Boxed TV series sets are perpetually popular gifts, and great ways for TV fanatics to indulge themselves by being able to watch favourite episodes at any time. It’s not unusual for boxed sets to have holographic portions, fold-out sections, and other embellishments that aim to add aesthetic brand value. However, in the case of boxed sets for FOX’s animated hit, The Simpsons, the quest to dazzle possibly went a bit too far.

  

  

 Simpsons Packaging 3 D

Image via http://www.tvshowsondvd.com

 

   

The DVDs were packaged in boxes with three-dimensional facial features from popular characters. However, this limited edition packaging feature made the DVDs very hard to store because the more bulky packaging required extra shelf space when stored alongside other DVDs. Eventually, the manufacturer announced it would also be possible to buy a version where the three-dimensional parts could be removed, making the front of the box flat for easier storage.

 

The Simpsons brand has a very strong established fan base so it’s very unlikely that viewers would elect not to buy the DVD sets just because they had a bulky design. However, by making the decision to also offer a version where the three dimensional facial features could be removed, the manufacturers had to incur extra overheads, which potentially cut into increased profits.

 

We frequently caution our own clients that it’s crucial to perform a brand audit or extensive research around the feasibility of a limited-edition packaging strategy from multiple perspectives before proceeding to brand design or production. A lack of research, proper prototype testing or unchallenged assumptions can incurr unexpected costs which eat into a campaigns profitability, or worse, cause it to run at a loss, so please do your homework before your invest in your limited edition packaging!

  

  

  

Limited Editions Packaging Delayed Shipment of Product: Batman: Arkham Knight Game

 

A special YouTube channel was created to stimulate demand for the Batman: Arkham Knight serial superhero game. However early adopters didn’t get entirely what they expected when they enthusiastically purchased the game online following a teaser campaign with video clips from scenes of the game.

  

  


  

  

Gamers who pre-ordered the limited edition of the Batman: Arkham Knight game from Amazon UK received an e-mail saying there was an unspecified problem with the packaging, which meant those shoppers would get their physical goods nearly three weeks later than expected.

 

Because many people specifically pre-order limited-edition goods to get them on or before the official release date, this announcement undoubtedly caused some disappointment. To compensate, Amazon UK said it would provide download codes so people could play the games on the release date, even without having their physical goods.

 

Unlike the above instances of packaging issues, this example probably caused more logistical headaches than financial ones. The availability of download codes meant that even though buyers couldn’t immediately enjoy the tangible goods they were promised when pre-ordering the limited edition, they could at least play the game on time—which was probably a sufficient compromise for many customers.

 

What’s unique about this case study compared to the others we have examined is that the limited-edition packaging not only caused hassles for the manufacturer, but also for a retailer.

 

 

 

What We Can Learn From These Case Studies

 

As the above examples demonstrate, there are many advantages to using special edition packaging as part of your brand strategy. Specifically, it usually works best when:

 

  • The limited-edition package is produced in extremely small quantities. This helps give items exclusivity and inceases desirability as consumers make dedicated efforts to buy them.

 

  • The packaging leverages and enhances the product’s branding, but still has design elements that are familiar to consumers thereby strengthening brand affinity.

 

  • Unusual packaging design details are integrated, but not at the expense of outweighing functional use or practicality or by becoming excessively costly or difficult to ship, store or merchandise.

 

  • Pop culture references and/or celebrities are leveraged through brand collaboration or joint venture to increase the perceived value of a limited edition package.

 

  • The special edition packaging is designed in support of a charitable cause. It’s especially helpful when endeavours like these align with a company’s already-established commitment to corporate social responsibility.

 

  • Items featuring limited edition packages are sold solely through social media, and people can only make purchases after first interacting with the brand’s social media page in a designated way. This approach can theoretically help a brand gain traction on social media, connect with people who might not ordinarily use social media except to buy the products, and assist with building a database that’s populated with customer feedback and contact details.

  

  

 

However, limited-edition packaging can also be very cost- prohibitive, to the point where profitability is undermined if not properly researched and tested. That scenario is more likely if:

 

  • Proper testing is not carried out in advance to ensure the elements of the limited-edition packaging performs well functionally and aesthetically. That should include taking steps to see if the packaging can withstand the rigors of being shipped around the world.

 

  • The limited-edition packaging is too ‘ordinary’, so it doesn’t resonate strongly enough with its primary audience. In some cases, this may mean the packaging only seems valuable to people who have proven that their brand loyalty is so deep that they’ll buy a limited-edition package even if it’s not really all that special or very eye-catching.

  

  • Packaging details are very complex and overly elaborate. Sometimes, focusing too much on the artistry can mean practical and functional needs get overlooked or undermined.

 

  • It becomes evident that the production time for a limited-edition packaging will be longer than expected, meaning the products won’t be distributed on time to meet customer expectations or launch timelines.

  

  

  

The Final Limited Edition Packaging Brand Strategy Takeaway

 

If you decide to use limited edition packaging as part of your own brand strategy then its important to ensure you blend all the functional brand essentials with the brand aesthetics, while remaining true to your core brand values and positioning.

 

You should also ideally conduct research, not only to test your prototype but to ensure there is actually a market for your limited line that will be attracted to your special limited edition packaging, and if you aren’t sure, weigh up the costs of doing a very small batch test of special packages. These precautions can help make your limited-edition packages much more successful instead of turning into marketing decisions that eat up profits, undermine your brand and frustrate customers.

  

  

You may also like:

  

• Packaging Design: How to Make it into an Irresistible Customer Brand Magnet

  

• Brand Differentiation: 30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

 

• Rebranding Strategy: Using Premium Repositioning To Increase Profitability

 

• Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

  

• Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success

 

• Brand Management: Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Brand Reputation

  

• Humanizing Your Brand : Why It is Key to Commercial Success

  

 

  

So what do you think?

 

  • Do you agree with the claim that the Scotch Magic Tape packaging was green to promote environmental sustainability, or was that message just being broadcast to urge eco-minded shoppers to buy the tape?

  

  • Is the approach of offering a limited edition product solely on Facebook, as Oscar de la Renta did, a worthwhile brand strategy, or do you think it might be missing an opportunity with interested customers who’d perhaps like to purchase the items, but don’t use Facebook?

  

  • Do you think it’s more effective to showcase corporate responsibility by using packaging design that’s very obviously made to support a charitable cause, or is the “less is more” tactic used by Green Bottle a clever one?

  

  • In cases where smaller brands want to use pop culture references for broader brand positioning, but don’t have the resources to consider global stars like Michael Jackson, what other possibilities could they explore?

  

  • While developing limited edition packaging, how important is it to get input from consumers about the features they would like to see? What do you think is the best way to acquire that information? Should you reward participants in return for their feedback?

 

Packaging Design: How to Make it into an Irresistible Customer Brand Magnet

The growing proliferation of multiple different brands in the market place has made customers spoilt for choice, but often at the expense of easy decision-making.

  

As most of us know, shopping has become a far more arduous affair where we frequently find ourselves overwhelmed and sometimes confused by the array of products on shelf and amount of decisions we’re required to make.

  

When presented with an assortment of options in which nothing decisively stands out, with a compellingly clear message that speaks to a customer succinctly, analysis paralysis sets in. It’s when faced with this situation that a confused shopper will typically default to making decisions based on price alone.

  

The question here is, where does your brand sit in the mix?

 

Does it stand out from the crowd with a really strong message that attracts its ideal target audience with laser edged efficiency? Or is it guilty of the ultimate sin . . . hybrid mediocrity, blending in with every other competitor and lost in the crowd!

  

The question for under performing brands becomes how to differentiate themselves effectively from among their competitors in a way that makes it much easier for them to attract the attention of their ideal customer and convince them to buy, all in the blink of an eye.

   

  

Mc Connells 600px 

  

  

Part of the winning formula of these high performers lies in that fact that those leading brands have absolute clarity over who their ideal customer is. Consequently they’ve developed a really strong brand message, which irresistibly appeals to their particular customer who in turn sees that brand as different, distinctive and memorable in a way that’s totally relevant to their specific preferences.

 

A really distinct brand has a unique brand profile, with a clear position and purpose, which helps it cut through the competing noise so it stands out, head and shoulders above the rest.

  

By not only being perceived to be unique but also solving problems, making life easier, supplying exclusive solutions for a particular kind of customer and communicating this uniqueness through subtle and overt on pack messaging a brand can outperform its competitors.

 

However don’t make the mistake of thinking that packaging design aesthetics alone are going to provide you with repeated lotto wins! Effective design must be underpinned by a well-developed strategic focus, which provides the required creative direction.  It’s when you have those insights, understanding and a fully developed brand profile that a brand can speak directly and distinctly to its ideal customer through great design.

  

Leading brands cut through the visual and cognitive noise created by an oversaturated market full of aggressive competitors and hook their ideal customers by meeting their needs both emotionally and rationally.

  

  

Evaluate Your Market and Define Your Brand Position and Purpose

 

Before any of the above objectives can be met, brands must first define their ideal customer or customers and then develop their brand strategy to reach those customers. Their branding strategy will be guided by how they respond to several key factors that help set brands apart from one another.

   

1. Fit for Purpose

What function does your brand serve? Does it have a deeper purpose beyond the obvious — what’s its ‘big why’? Successful brands dig deeper beyond the superficial and glaringly obviousness of their product category, to something which meets the needs of their customers in more emotionally engaging ways.

A toothbrush might seem rather hum drum and ubiquitousis. It’s certainly used for cleaning your teeth, but is your toothbrush especially effective with its new cutting edge technology making it far more thorough than the competition in removing dental plaque? Is it made with materials which have been chosen to appeal more strongly to your customers with a particular set of values? Define your unique purpose, align them to your brand values and amplify these through your messaging so your brand is separated from the rest in a meaningful way.

  

2. Emotionally Engaging

An emotional connection might be seen as a secondary factor, but in reality, it’s equally important and often more important than functional benefits. Is your toothbrush commanding a more premium position that not only reduces visits to the dentist, but represents the preferred choice of professional dentists and oral hygenists, making the customer feel more confident and happier with their choice? Will your extra-thorough, VIP celebrity endorsed toothbrush, the preferred choice of ‘those in the know,’ help your ideal customer feel better and more assured they have made the right decision?

 

3. Commercially Viable

Your brand’s positioning must be congruent with your budget and marketing strategy. Your pricing strategy, for instance, could fill a gap in between existing competitor prices or command a premium. Perhaps your toothbrush is perceived to be so much more superior compared to its nearest competitor that a higher price point is justified.

 

Remember that pricing can be seen as a direct value-added relationship, but higher price points or margins can also be achieved by altering brand perceptions in relation to the brand’s position to appeal to a more upscale market through premiumisation, also known as premium brand positioning. 

 

4. Translates Regionally, Nationally or Internationally as Required

Brands looking to scale must plan for regional or national differences combined with having absolute clarity of their buyer personas, also known as customer profiles or pen portraits of their primary target audience, if they intend to penetrate other markets. A brand positioning and profile that works well for one region may not translate so well to another, even on an island as small as Ireland or the UK. Will your ultra-premium toothbrush, which appeals to high end Londoners, be seen as irrelevant by customers in Leeds?

 

Combining answers to these factors and questions will help you create an overarching brand profile that matches the needs of your core customer profile. A fully developed brand profile will typically include how your brand communicates its unique:

  • Vision — The way your brand sees the world and consequently stands out
  • Values — What matters to your brand, its aesthetics or the social causes your brand cares about the most
  • Personality — The characteristics of the humanised way in which your brand speaks to your market
  • Experience — The customer’s journey from discovery of your brand to usage, referral and repeat business
  • Promise — A combination of values and experience that you pledge to uphold to your customer
  • Story — Your brand’s purpose explained through both narrative and aesthetic choices

 

The development of your brand profile under all these key headings are what provides the much needed direction and rational for your brand packaging design. It’s one of the most important stages in the branding process and one we engage in with every client we work with before moving on to design or communications strategy, assuming the research or brand audit work as also been completed before hand.

 

Every considered detail in your packaging design from the colour palette to the typography, messaging and copywriting, graphics, photography or illustration references these factors to ensure the design route chosen is relevant and effective — or what’s known in industry jargon as being ‘on brand’.

 

To give you a better idea of how this process informs packaging design, here are some examples of strongly-positioned brands aided by unique package designs in order to establish a compelling shelf presence and wholly original brand position. 

  

 

Three Examples of How Effective Packaging Design Can Influence Customer Brand Perceptions and Buying Decisions

 

Lovechock

Dutch brand Lovechock recently underwent a major rebranding overhaul, pulling off their transition beautifully. Their new package gives them a unique shelf presence, atypical to competitors in their category, through a simple shape and strikingly singular vision. The overall effect of the packaging is one that engenders trust amongst those customers looking for “free from” products of natural origin.

 

 Lovechock Pure 600px

 Image via www.lovechock.com/en/ 

 

Colour

Plain, brown kraft cardboard boxes not only speak to environmental values, they also conjure up the rich tones of the chocolate itself. A band of vibrant and natural-looking colours on the differing product labels ensures each variant is clearly distinguishable from the next while also enticing the palate with colours that excite the senses.

The simplicity of the outer pack hides a wonderful surprise inside. Open the pack to find the beauty of illustrative patterns reminiscent of decorative hardcover book end papers. This subtle design element surprises and delights, connecting to their “happiness inside” tagline whilst broadcasting the brand’s personal value set that something simple and natural can hide a deeper inner beauty.

 

     Lovechock

Image via www.lovechock.com/en/ 

 

 

Typography

Continuing with their “raw” theme, Lovechock uses clean and modern sans-serif fonts but with a “chunky” look that reminds you of the products natural and ostensibly handmade origins. An all-lowercase logo and “happiness inside” tagline are contrasted with the all-uppercase “100% RAW CHOCOLATE” to clearly indicate the product’s difference from the majority of its competitors.

 

Illustration

A simple logo in the style of the hand drawn whimsical feeling typeface continues the product’s handmade, printmaking aesthetic. The little Aztec man speaks to the chocolate’s Central American roots. He holds a “molinillo” which is a two-handed tool for whisking chocolate and blending cocoa beans into an even mixture. The end is covered in chocolate to form a heart, blending “love” and “chocolate” together. Small hearts emanating from this first heart show how positive feelings can emanate from a single, natural source.

 

  

   

  

Structural Packaging Design Details

Lovechock uses a simple shape and an unfolding box to hark back to a time when packaging was of a more handmade aesthetic. The long, blocky shape also reminds customers of the mouthwatering, log-shaped product inside, so that each bar’s box is delicious-looking by association. A tiny visible patch of the inner pattern is also used to tease the mind about the hidden pleasures and secrets the box holds inside.

 

Packaging Digest called this approach “seductive,” and when the ideal customer opens the pack to see the product and beautifully patterned paper lining inside their expectations will have been exceeded, assuming of course the test excels too!

  

The package also uses 100 percent recyclable materials to give back to the earth that produced the chocolate while also helping customers spread the love rather than their love of chocolate hurting the planet in return — all of which is totally congruent with Lovechock’s core brand values, vision, story and brand promise.

 

 

Marmite

Marmite is a brand with a rich historical legacy stretching back to the nineteenth century and yet it’s managed to maintain primary consumer relevance combined with tradition throughout the decades. Admittedly this is a very British brand with an almost a cult like following between consumers who love this spread with its distinctive, powerful, salty flavour and those who don’t — and not much in between. Marmite knows this and plays to its polarising factor to the full in its branding strategy — to great effect.

  

This is a brand with a strong personality, individualistic and singular in its outlook and a clever sense of humour that is very British in its quirkiness and eccentricity. It has a really distinctive brand voice that is unmistakably memorable ensuring it really stands out, indeed proudly shouts out its idiosyncratic and unrivalled specialness!

  

     Marmite History Jars 600px

 Image via www.marmite.co.uk

   

  

Every pack successful expresses this brand’s unique personality. Its’ bulbous shaped jar is a very distinctive shape and it has been sold in this shape since the 1920’s. Even without a visible brand name it’s entirely recognisable and consequently a very definitive unique part of the brand’s identity. An owned asset, which can’t be copied!

 

 

 

   

   

Part of Marmite’s incredible success can be attributed to its limited or special editions brand packaging strategy, which it started in 2002 with its 100th year anniversary. Each limited edition jar has successfully encapsulated more of the brands uniquely British personality through its messaging and choice of language, and personably use of the British vernacular.

 

   Marmite Limited Editions 600px

Image via www.marmite.co.uk

 

  

Since then the brand has released a significant number of limited editions packaging design lines with great success. The brand has also aligned with other iconic brands in its limited editions packaging strategy. A great example is the limited edition Marmite Guinness range produced in just 300,000 250g jars using 30% Guinness yeast in 2007 which elevated the brand in terms of profile and positioning.

 

 

 Marmite Limited Editions2

 Image via www.marmite.co.uk

  

   

The brand’s most recent limited edition packaging is themed around ‘Summer of Love’ and ‘Summer of Hate’ Marmite jars which are only available from July next month until September. Only ninety-four ‘Summer of Hate’ jars will be available across the UK (one for each day of the UK summer). Such scarcity will make them even more appealing as collectibles amongst its fans. Made with a ‘lighter summery blend’, the packaging takes its inspiration from Woodstock and the summer of love in 1967, playing on its nostalgic provenance to the full.

   

 

Marmite Summer Limited Edition 600px

  Image via www.marmite.co.uk

 

 

 

Boss Monster Card Game 

Sometimes, a packaging concept can be so powerful that it stands in as a major selling point of the product unto itself. American card game designer Brotherwise Games struck a chord of nostalgia with Kickstarter funders.

 

  

 Boss Monster Cards 600px

 Image via www.brotherwisegames.com

 

 

Accuracy of design was absolutely crucial to this concept in order to win over the right type of fans. The box containing the card decks looks uncannily identical to a product box for original Nintendo Entertainment System games of the late ‘80s, all the way down to the shape of the illustration border and the placement of badges.

 

Card game enthusiasts were so enthusiastic about the nostalgic element of this packaging design that they funded the game’s initial Kickstarter campaign well beyond all the initial funding goals.

 

  Bossmonster Box Sleeve 600px

 Image via www.brotherwisegames.com 

 

 

Many buyers were adamant about getting the special packaging sleeve that slid over the original package and mimicked Nintendo’s famous first “Legend of Zelda” game box. Products like these create strong emotional connections, develop cult followings and invite “unboxing” videos galore on social media.

 

 

   

  

 

Conclusion: Plot Your Unique Brand Path Then Journey Down It Fearlessly

In an ideal world all agencies, organisations and companies would invest resources into developing their brand strategy to ensure that it is fit for purpose, emotionally engaging and commercially successful in the short and medium term while also ensuring that it translates nationally and internationally as required across all its relevant markets.

 

With so many choices and options available be it at the local supermarket or online, brands cannot afford to be unclear or equivocal about their brand’s positioning, promise, personality or the way in which it communicate its values. Instead, the brand packaging must be like a lightning rod drawing energy and enthusiasm towards the shelved product.

  

Our experience working with many clients over the years has repeatedly brought to the fore that one of the many challenges organisations and businesses face is evaluating and developing the most effective positioning and profile for their brand — the best way in which to engage their primary target audiences and give them a compelling reason to engage and become loyal brand advocates. It’s the uppermost issue that challenenges brand owners and managers all the time, and the reason why we developed the Personality Profile Performer™, a systemized process to provide them with a much needed solution. 

  

People buy with emotion, regardless of gender, and justify with rationale. Consequently, every brand needs to be grounded in emotional appeal by tapping into the emotionally motivating factors that most readily engages their primary audiences. After all, there are very few, if any, truly new-to-the-world ideas anymore. To be perceived as truly distinctive, a brand must convey more compelling, sustaining differentiation, and the best way to do so is through emotion, as evidenced masterfully by Apple. Tying service, product details or even ideas to emotional values and seeking emotional connections with your primary audience cultivates more meaningful, sustained customer relationships.

  

In order to forge this type of relationship, your organisation needs to create an emotionally compelling, humanised brand through a highly-developed brand strategy. Part of this task includes shaping your brand, defining it and articulating what it is “all about” as well as what it stands for in the global scheme. Developing your brand’s profile involves defining: vision, values, personality, experience, promise and story, coupled with hierarchy planning — all focussed around the needs of your primary target audience. This process is accomplished using a system like the Personality Profile Performer™, which we use when working with our clients.

 

Applying a strategic approach in this way provides stronger direction and the essential brand foundations required for positioning, differentiation and directing the creative expression of the brand or design outputs — e.g. brand logo design, brand collateral design, web design, packaging design, etc. All of these elements can only come after the brand foundation work has been completed. The outputs from Personality Profile Performer™ help identify, and amplify differentiating brand messaging which is also used to shape the bespoke nature of integrated marketing communications as well as PR focused around the needs and preferences the primary target audience.

  

In the end, your brand must be able to speak to the world through its packaging in a clear, distinct voice that not only resonates with a clearly identified group but impels them to take action. Successful brands are able to reinforce emotional customer behaviours to the point where repeat business almost becomes a ritual in loyalty. Unsuccessful brands are faceless generic packs gathering dust on a shelf before they disappear forever.

   

You may also like:

  

Colour in Brand Strategy: Colour Psychology and How it Influences Branding

 

Rebranding: How to Make it Through a Rebrand and Emerge Stronger

 

• Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

 

Packaging Design: How it Can Make or Break Your Brand

  

Humanizing Your Brand: Why it’s Key to Commercial Success 

  

 

So what do you think?

• What promises does your brand strategy make to your primary customers?

 

• Does your product packaging design accurately distil your brand’s promises and the values they hold dear?

 

• Are the colours, graphics, typefaces, illustration or photography style used in your packaging design conveying the right brand messages?

 

• Are you doing everything you can to reduce your packaging’s carbon footprint or impact on the environment?

 

• Are there elements of your current packaging design that no longer serve your brand appropriately, or no longer fit with current trends within branding or packaging and would be best eliminated as part of your rebranding strategy?

  

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you! 

Packaging Design: Top 16 Tips for Great Eye-Catching Packaging Design

    

Today’s retail environment is highly competitive place.

         • 70% of purchase decisions are made in store

         • 10% of shoppers switch brand inside a store

 

The most effective and profitable brands are those that stand out distinctively—and packaging design is a critical element for effective brand standout. Whether you’re developing a new brand for launch to market or rebranding an existing brand, the right packaging design can give your brand crucial visibility, helping your products stand out on retail shelves in markets where there is more competition than ever before, and attract more customers who will buy and remain loyal to your brand. Make no mistake, great packaging design is a critical part of any successful brand strategy if you want to grow your business and increase your profitability.

 

 

Top 16 Brand Packaging Design Tips

 

Effective and eye-catching pack design is more than simply being different, because poor packaging design can torpedo your branding efforts and sink your profits. These sixteen tips will help keep you on trend and help you develop strong brand packaging design that catches the attention of your customers, so your products can fly off the shelves.

  

  

 

  

1. Packaging Design is an Investment

Many brands fail to ascribe enough significance to packaging design, and this is a mistake that will ultimately cost you in multiple ways. An investment in high quality package design signifies to customers that your brand has value. When you increase the perceived value of your brand through distinctive, creative, carefully evaluated and well-executed packaging design, you’re able to compete with other products in your range and charge a premium price.

 

 

2. Packaging Packed with Personality

Zig when others zag! If you do things differently and develop a really compelling personality for your brand, using a system like our Personality Profile Performer™, and then bring it to life visually through all your brand collateral, in this case your brand packaging, it can have massive shelf impact.

 

Assuming you’ve thoroughly developed your brand’s personality and what it stands for etc. you should pick out key characteristics of your brand’s character, tone of voice, story, humour, language and leverage them to maximum effect in your packaging design in a way that’s relevant to your primary customer. It’s these kinds of details that capture attention, create distinction, engender engagement, provoke emotional engagement and help build a long term loyal and profitable customer base.

 

 

3. Study the Competition

While it’s definitely important for your packaging to stand apart, you also need to consider the known “lingo” of product category packaging—the aspects that signify what the product is, in a way your customers are already familiar with. Look to successful brands in your space and consider what their package design has in common. This does not necessarily refer just to packaging colours, but also the physical or structural design, materials used, on pack messaging and so forth. Your packaging must be distinctively different but your customers must still be able to relate to it in a way that’s relevant to them and their needs within that product category.

 

 

4. Opt for Clarity and Simplicity

The most successful brand packaging is iconic and easily recognizable—and when it comes to package design, usually less is more. Your product packaging should convey your brand at a glance, and instantly tell the customer what your product is for. Developing a clear and simple package design will go a long way toward giving your brand increased visibility on store shelves.

  

  

5. Keep it Honest

Packaging design should make your product look attractive, but not at the expense of honesty. A misleading package design that promises something not contained in the package will damage your reputation and your brand—for example, depicting a chocolate-drenched dessert on a tin of simple chocolate-flavoured biscuits is not an accurate representation of the product inside!

  

   

6. Be Authentic

Authenticity can be a difficult characteristic to define, but your customers know it when they see it. Strive to develop packaging that is authentic to your brand’s values, promise, story, alignments, platforms, and positioning statements etc. A sense of character and originality infused with your pack design can help you build a memorable brand that engages customers while also enhance brand perceptions in terms of being seen as a brand that is real and authentic – true to its purpose.

   

   

7. Differentiate Visually

A twist on the standard design styles for your product categories can help your brand enjoy increased visibility, allowing you to stand out from a sea of similar products. For instance, if most of your competitors use a horizontal layout, design along the vertical in your packaging. If the majority of similar items feature product photography, consider type-based designs, icons, or illustrations.

 

The choice of signature brand colours is another great way to differentiate. One striking example is Rachel’s Organic products, which use primarily black packaging for products such as butter and yogurt to jump out on retail shelves or O’Egg which uses pink on its white egg packaging.

   

  

O Egg Pink Ribbon

  

   

8. Pay Attention to Typography

The words used on your package design matter—not just what they are, but how they look and what they say. Stunning typography is an eye-catching differentiator for your packaging. Choose distinctive, premium fonts with high readability, and pay attention to spacing (kerning), the size of the text, and the colour in comparison to the rest of the package design.

 

The naming conventions used, together with language style chosen and messaging conveyed in the creative copywriting on your packaging design can add immensely to enhancing your brand’s personality and connecting emotionally with your primary audience. Remember, people buy with emotion and justify with rationale—male or female.

 

 

 Hema Tea 600px

Image via www.hema.nl

 

 

Dutch private label brand HEMA is a striking example of the effect of great typography. The company’s line of ready-to-eat lunch items features a handwritten-style design of labels with a very distinctive font, and simple colour bands that help to quickly categorize items in a visual nature.

  

  

Hema Juice Range 600px 

 Image via www.hema.nl

 

 

 

9. Embrace Green

With more customers increasingly conscious of environmental issues, investing in eco-friendly, sustainable packaging design is a smart move for any brand, not too mention helping improve your brand’s carbon footprint. Whether the packaging is limited to reduce the amount of waste, or made from recycled, biodegradable, or reusable materials, going green with your packaging can make your products more attractive and premium to customers. Sustainability is an increasingly important issue to customers and ‘responsible’ or ‘caring’ brands are seen to be more desirable.

  

 

10. Design for Durability

Depending on the supply chain process and the shelf life of your products, your packaging may require extended durability. Long-lasting packaging is especially important for slower moving, high value, consumer goods, but FMCG products will also require a high degree of durability. Damaged packaging at the point of sale or post-sale can have a very negative effect on your brand, as customers will view it as “cheap” or substandard quality.

 

 

11. Production and Manufacturing Constraints

It’s important to consider production line requirements, how your product will fill the packaging – is it hand packed or on an automated production line? What are the specific packing needs of both those environments?

 

When designing a pack, it’s also really important to take into account the final appearance of the product inside the package, to ensure an attractive overall presentation. Make sure the packaging is not too loose or too tight, and that it displays the product in an appealing way and that the colours or textures and so forth of the actual product are enhanced through the design of your packaging.

 

If something tastes incredible but visually doesn’t look too appealing then maybe you should not make it visible within your packaging design. On the other hand if yours is the kind of product that visually sells very well, particularly when enhanced with great packaging—like a lot of bakery goods or confectionery—or consumers really need to see it to make their purchasing decision such as with certain perishables like meat, fish or vegetables then you need to take this into account within your packaging design.

  

    

12. Choose an Unusual Shape

Package design with an unusual shape can be a very challenging process, but very worthwhile for the right idea. A uniquely shaped package truly stands out on retail shelves and can become a trademark protectable and uniquely valuable asset of your brand. Other important design choices here include display considerations, such as allowing the package to stand or stack on shelves appropriately too.

 

  Gloji Bottle 600px

Image via www.gloji.com

 

 

Gloji uses a unique package design to fantastic effect with its light bulb-shaped juice bottles, which are meant to represent the healthy properties of the beverage that “light you up” from the inside.

 

  

  

  

13. Think Beyond the Shelf

Your package design should continue to work effectively even after purchase. Making a package that’s too difficult to open will turn off customers, making them less likely to stay loyal to your brand. Another consideration is product use. If all of the product won’t be used immediately, you’ll need a way for customers to reclose the package and store unused contents or portions. It also needs to ‘look attractive’ in the home or out of the retail environment so it continues to sell itself and reaffirm important, asset building brand values.

 

 

14. Choose Special Materials

Giving your package design a luxurious detail or two can help your brand stand out. Consider invoking the customer’s sense of touch through materials like velvet, wood veneer, or higher quality paper. Embossing, wax seals, hot foil stamping, and letterpress seals can also add a premium touch to your pack design.

   

  

15. Add The Personal Touch

Handmade, hand-crafted, or otherwise personal details can deliver a stand-out appearance to your brand packaging. Details that appear handwritten, handcrafted, hand-tied, or individually applied can add to a really premium sense of personalization for your products. You can even create an overall handmade look for your products with creative use of production techniques—UK based organic food company Kallo uses illustrations and traditional lino printing to give their product packaging handmade appeal.

 

 

   Kallo Range 600px

Image via www.kallo.com

 

 

16. Focus on Shelf Impact

Shelf impact is a retail term that describes the way a product actually looks on store shelves—whether it blends in, or stands out. Even the most unique and distinctive package designs may not be effective if they don’t have shelf impact. This is a really important aspect of your packaging design to test before launching a product or package redesign.

 

Physically arrange your products on shelves, next to competitors’ items in the same product category—just as they would appear in stores. The more distinctive your product appears from the surrounding items, the better it will sell. Achieving shelf impact can take some experimentation, but it’s critically important and worth all the effort.

 

In fact you may be surprised to find that often overly elaborate designs tend to vanish or blend in on shelves, while simpler designs “pop” and stand out in amongst the visual barrage.

    

   

You may also like:

 

• Colour in Brand Strategy: Colour Psychology and How it Influences Branding

     

• Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

     

   

 So, what do you think?

 

• Is your current brand packaging design category appropriate yet distinctive, different and memorable?

 

• What are the distinctive elements of your packaging designs and are they on trend?

 

• Is your use of colour similar to, or distinctive from, your direct competitors? Have you developed your own signature brand colour palette?

 

• How could you use non-traditional shapes or materials in your packaging?

 

• Does your packaging design integrate appropriate environmental factors? Is it eco friendly?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Packaging Design: Top 10 Brand Packaging Design Trends for 2015

Great package design is crucial for a successful consumer brand. Whilst packaging is only one element of a comprehensive brand strategy, it is among the most important—in fact for many retail customers, your packaging is the first impression they have of your brand and it’s personality. The job of your pack design is to stand out and create an emotional connection with customers, building brand coherence and loyalty.

  

Packaging can be timeless and iconic, but even the most successful brands need to ensure that their packaging designs remain relevant to their target audiences. This means having an awareness of the latest trends in both branding and product packaging, so you can meet the evolving preferences and expectations of your customers.

  

Top 10 Brand Packaging Design Trends for 2015

  

1. The Evolution Towards Simplicity

In recent years, there’s been a general trend towards a more minimalist approach in many areas. Websites are moving towards cleaner, more open designs, technology is becoming easier and more user-friendly and packaging design has also moved towards simpler, clearer brand communications. This trend will continue strongly into 2015, as customers who are overwhelmed by information overload look for more simplistic, easily and quickly understood options.

  

Simple, minimalist design stands out on retail shelves. For example, the UK-based Ashridge Drinks recently redesigned their product labels to embrace a simple, colourful look with a fun font and abstract fruit shapes to instantly signify flavour choices.

 

 Ashridge Drinks 600px

 Image via www.ashridgecider.co.uk

 

The trend for simplicity in packaging involves not only visual design, but also labelling and package functionality. Convenience is a powerful draw for brand loyalty.

 

 

2. Paper as Primary Packaging Materials

In keeping with the trend of simplicity, a number of brands are turning to a type of packaging that is simple, sustainable, and versatile. Paper packaging, specifically using various thicknesses of Kraft paper, is a rising trend in pack design.

 

Traditionally used for years to package postage items, Kraft paper is highly elastic and tear resistant. It can also be recycled widely, making it both convenient and eco-friendly. Using paper in packaging adds to the simplicity and authentic feel of a design, while conveying a brand’s commitment to the environment.

 

The California based Paperboy Wine Company has incorporated paper packaging in an innovative new way, with wine bottles made out of recycled paper that contain a plastic liner. Expect to see more versatile paper packaging trends like this in 2015.

 

  Paperboy Wine 600px

Image via www.paperboywines.com

  

 

3. Hyper-functional Packaging

The basic requirements for packaging are that it contains, protects and transports products from the store to customers’ homes. However recent trends sees package design that goes beyond just the basics mentioned by delivering added value and functionality once customers bring the products home. This is called hyper-functional or multi-purpose packaging, and it’s a trend more brands will turn to in 2015.

  

Wine brand Aquilegia provides a stunning example of hyper-functional packaging with a wooden display box that transforms into a reusable wine stand.

 

 Aquilegia Wine Wooden Packaging Design

 

 

4. Bespoke Technology

Combining basic technology with product packaging is nothing new, many brands have used things like QR codes or printed campaign hashtags to offer enhanced value to customers. However as technology continues to advance in 2015 we can expect to see more elaborate, customised packaging tech that bridge offline and online brand marketing, or delivers value to the product itself.

 

“Intelligent” packaging is one example of this. For example, food packaging may use technology that opens the pack at the optimal temperature, changes colour when the sell-by date is reached, or automatically syncs with digital health tools.

 

Bespoke technology can also extend to value-added digital content. FMCG brand Nabisco did this in 2013 by offering unique video content from pop stars One Direction that could be accessed from packages of Oreo, Ritz Bits, Cheese Nips, and Chips Ahoy.

 

 

  

  

5. Hand Drawn Logos & Labelling

Authenticity and the human touch is one of the most powerful forces in branding. As social media allows brands to be more accessible and approachable, delivering this type of emotional connection can be extended from digital media to offline components of your brand through great packaging design. The trend toward a more hand-drawn feel for pack labels and brand logos reflects this.

 

Many brands are achieving the hand-created look through unique designs and handwritten fonts that extend across all brand collateral and touch points, including labelling. As an accent to this trend, package design is trending away from glossy and 3D looks that previously defined high-end brands to matte and solid flat colour splashes which are becoming representative of the new premium look.

 

 Morrisons Love In A Cup Teabags

 Image via www. morrisons.com 

 

UK supermarket brand Morrisons’ brings an example of the power of handwritten, hand-drawn labelling with their whimsical tea bag package design, which delivers a more personable yet premium feel to this private label brand.

 

  Morrisons Love In A Cup Tea

 Image via www. morrisons.com

 

6. Designing for Range Differentiation

For brands with multiple product lines, differentiating between them may be as simple as a few lines of text—but recent trends have more brands moving toward at-a-glance differentiation that does more than, for example, place the words “sugar free” somewhere on the packaging.

 

Coding various products in a brand’s line by things like bold strong colour or clean imagery—while remaining within the overall brand look—helps to deliver a convenient customer experience, strong shelf standout, and encourages brand loyalty. Indian brand Flossy’s Flavoured Candy Floss provides an example of this type of instant differentiation.

 

  

Flossy Flavoured Candy Floss  

  

  

7. Innovative Perceptions

The perceived value of a brand can be just as powerful as the actual value—and packaging can help you elevate perceived value. Innovative pack design is one way for brands to stand out, and in 2015 expect more brands to come up with unique twists on packaging conventions.

 

Packaging trends in the craft beer industry illustrate this type of innovation. In order to counter the perceived negative experience of drinking from a can, U.S. brewer Sly Fox created a can with a top that opens fully to deliver the feel of drinking from a glass. Samuel Adams, another popular craft beer brewer, recently introduced “raised lip” beer cans that enhance the experience and diminish the negative beer can perceptions.

    Helles Topless Beer Can

 Image via www.slyfoxbeer.com

  

  

8. “Clean” Labels Made “Clear”

As a response to growing customer concerns for transparency and environmental awareness from brands, the “clean label” movement has been gaining increased popularity. Clean labelling serves to emphasise a brand’s use of wholesome, organic ingredients, a lack of artificial ingredients and common allergens, and the absence of harsh or damaging processing that results in a more natural product. The processing aspect also refers to environmentally responsible sourcing, such as following the Fair Trade Agreement.

 

Method Cleaning Products 

 Image via www.methodhome.com 

  

However, the eco-friendly market lacks true definitions of what constitutes terms such as organic, natural, and minimally processed. This has led to a push from customers for greater clarity—especially among Millennials, who have embraced environmental responsibility and actively seek brands that are making a real difference. Thus, “clear” product labelling is a top trend in packaging—which includes labels that display certified, third-party assurances about the use of responsibly managed resources, natural ingredients, and the organic qualities of the product.

   

9. Personalised Labelling

As technology advances and the costs of sophisticated technologies become more affordable, more brands are able to take advantage of packaging design methods that deliver greater versatility and flexibility—such as variable and short-run digital printing. With this technology more accessible, in 2015 expect to see a trend towards more personalised labels and packaging.

 

Label personalisation includes strategies such as creating separate designs for flavour differentiation, regionalizing your labelling, or releasing limited or special-edition packaging to enhance the perceived value of your products. The ability to remain flexible in pack design can help you build your brand more effectively by precisely targeting various segments of your audience.

  

10. Packaging as the Focal Point

In 2015, expect to see more brands turning to exceptional packaging as the start of customer conversation. Truly standout packaging that goes against conventions and WOWS shoppers is becoming much more popular, not to mention a commercial impetus—not just among brands, but also among the people who consume them, as evidenced by the “unboxing” trend.

  

The volume of “unboxing videos” has boomed in recent years with enthusiastic consumers videoing footage of themselves unwrapping and opening the packaging of their new purchases. Since 2010, the number of YouTube clips with “unboxing” in the headline has increased 871%. Last year alone, 2,370 days, or 6.5 years, worth of unboxing footage was uploaded to the site. (Source CNN)

   

   

  

  

In fact “unboxing videos” has become a lucrative little corner of the internet for people who film them. Originally the output of enthusiastic consumers capturing the moment of opening the packaging of their latest new purchase, these home made videos of “unwrapping packaging” have become such a massive trend its prompted brand owners to upload their own “unboxing” videos birthed from their high-end packaging.

 

In fact if you can buy it, there’s probably an unboxing video of it so make sure your brand packaging is worthy of an “unboxing video”. And in case you doubt me this “unboxing video” showing toys inside Disney themed Kinder Eggs has attracted more than 40 million views!

   

 

  

 

Exciting, innovative, and disruptive packaging can get people talking about your brand on the strength of the pack design alone. When you deliver with a top quality product that exceeds expectations, customers will want to continue using it and referring your brand, and then you’ll have a recipe for incredible brand success.

  

So, what do you think?

• Is your current package design relevant to the latest market demands or does it need rebranding?

 

• Could your packing design benefit from a more simplistic or handmade feel if this is appropriate to your brand’s personality?

 

• How are your various product lines and other supporting brand collateral differentiated through your package design?

 

• Are you using any sustainable elements for your packaging? How are they emphasised in your product labelling?

 

• Can you innovate or personalise your packaging designs?

 

• What do you see as trending in the packaging design arena and have your incorporated this into your brand strategy?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Top 10 Branding Articles in 2014

Have you ever wondered which Persona Branding and Design articles are the most popular with readers?

We’re always interested to see which of our posts resonate most with you. Even though we do lots of research and planning, there are no guarantees which topics will get the most attention.

Today we’re giving you an exclusive peek into our top ten most popular posts of 2014, some of which you might have missed.

I know you’ll find at least one that will be very useful to your business.

Enjoy!

 

  Top 10 Branding Articles 2014

  

 

1: Top 20 Branding Trends for 2015

As 2014 draws to an end, now is the time to review, revamp, and update your branding strategies for the year to come. Successful branding is the key to driving business growth and profitability – and in 2015, it will be more important than ever to have a strong, thriving brand.

 

2: 30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

Building a strong brand is the undisputed key to success in today’s business world, and robust differentiation is an absolute must to build a powerful and compelling brand. There are many ways you can differentiate your brand. The skill lies is developing and applying the most effective brand differentiation strategy in a way that appropriately reflects your brand’s personality, values, promise, way of doing things and key characteristics.

 

3: Rebranding: How to Make It Through a Rebrand and Emerge Stronger

Brands are not static, unchanging identities – the most successful brands live and breathe, evolving along with changing shifts in market tastes, trends and demands. Rebranding or brand revitalisation, when properly planned and implemented, can be a powerfully effective strategy for rescuing or reinventing a failing brand, jump-starting a stagnant brand, expanding your markets, or initiating substantial business growth. A rebrand may be subtle or evolutionary in nature, or it may involve radically transforming a product, service, or entire brand.

 

4: Brand Audit: Tips for Determining Your Brand’s Health – Can It Be Improved?

Have your sales hit a slump? Are hot new brands drawing your customers away? If your brand seems to have lost its shine, it may be time for a brand audit or brand health check. Brand audits are effectively a health check for your brand. These comprehensive, honest evaluations look at the overall effectiveness of a brand and its current position in the market compared with the competition, as well as pinpointing inconsistencies and weakness, and identifying potential areas for improvement.

 

5: Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

Research shows that you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer and close the sale. In a fast-paced and highly competitive world, packaging design has become one of the most crucial elements for communicating your brand and standing out from the competition. Your brand might be the best in its category, but without packaging that grabs your target audience, customers won’t investigate your product to find out more or see what’s inside.

 

6: Brand Naming: Top Ten Methods for Brand Name Creation

Brand Naming is all about strategic rationale, not emotion and not politics. It’s your first impression so it’s critical you get it right. A good name is a compact easy-to-communicate piece of information. It grabs peoples’ attention and makes them want to know more and it carries a hugely significant portion of your brand recognition all on its own. 

 

7: Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

Creating a brand with an authentically strong character is central to your branding strategy success. Just as people can be larger than life, a brand’s personality can take on a life of its own. Creating a brand with an authentically strong character is central to your branding strategy success and effectively the decider between just another average price fighter or a truly magnetic and profitable brand.

 

8: Brand Promises: Are You Consistently Delivering Yours?

A brand promise is what your company or brand commits to delivering for everyone who interacts with you. A strong brand promise describes how people should feel when they interact with your brand, how your company delivers its products or services, and what sort of character your company embodies. Is your brand promise authentically ‘walking the walk’?

 

 

9. Branding Amazon: 3 Lessons to Learn For Your Brand Success

Amazon is one of the most recognizable companies in the world, occupying and serving more global regions than any other organization. While your company may not have the reach and capabilities of Amazon just yet, there are still several branding lessons you can take away from the mega-store’s strategies, positioning and brand management.

 

 Ceo Leaders Logos

 

10: CEO Brand Leadership: How Does Your Leadership Impact Your Brand?

The company leader is the single most powerful influencer on branding, the visionary and voice behind the brand, particularly in a small, medium or large businesses (SMEs). Phil Knight, Sir Richard Branson, Maxine Clark and Johnny Earle are all very different visionary leaders behind their brands but they have shared characteristics – the secrets to their incredible brands success.

 

 

Which is your favourite?

• Do you have a preferred article from Persona Branding and Design that didn’t make the top 10 list?

• Which of these top 10 posts did you find most useful?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! We love to hear from you!

 

 

Brand Trends: Top 20 Branding Trends for 2015

As 2014 draws to an end, now is the time to review, revamp, and update your branding strategies for the year to come. Successful branding is the key to driving business growth and profitability – and in 2015, it will be more important than ever to have a strong, thriving brand.

 

In the coming year, to be successful branding will need to be even more customer-centric. Honesty, transparency, personalisation, and social responsibility will hold center stage, and the technologies that drive an effective brand strategy will be mobile, responsive, and real-time. Here’s a look at the top 20 branding trends your business can expect for 2015.

 

Top 20 Branding Trends for 2015

  

1. Authenticity Drives Success

More than ever, your customers want to feel connected to your brand. Being authentic enables this type of connection, so make this a key strategy for 2015. Use valuable content and brand collateral to engage your target market and give your customers the opportunity to participate in your brand story. You can see more about what we mean by this in our recent blog about ‘Millennial Branding’ with particular reference to how Marriott International is making its customers feel authentically connected and participatory in their brand. With authenticity, you can create an audience of powerful brand ambassadors and harness the single most effective marketing force: word of mouth.

 

    

2. Mobile Matters More

While mobile markets have been growing continually, expect 2015 to be the year they explode. More of your customers will be using mobile than ever before – and you’ll need a brand strategy that responds to their needs.

Recent research from eMarketer shows that:

  • 50% of shoppers who conducted local searches on smartphones visited the store within one day

 

  • 18% of local smartphone queries led to a purchase

 

When it comes to marketing brands online, mobile inclusion is headed into mobile-first. Make sure you’re prepared with responsive design and increased mobile spends for your brand campaigns.

 

    

3. Metrics Turn Toward Revenue

Technology continues its rapid advancement, and in 2015 brand analytics will be more focused on revenue. This is made possible through automated marketing tools that measure brand performance in real time, allowing brand strategies to adapt quickly to suit emerging trends and changing customer tastes. Real-time brand analytics will also be critical to gain a competitive advantage for your brand.

 

 

4. Segmentation is Key

Many brands have the capability of appealing to different market segments, but not all are taking the opportunity to segment and diversify their brand campaigns. But in 2015, increasingly savvy customers will know exactly what they’re looking for – and your brand needs to deliver. This includes diverse sets of brand messaging, brand channels, and marketing approaches customised to each of your target demographics. A brand needs a well developed brand profile, using a system like our Personality Profile Performer™ which is used to create its story, values, promise, mission, personality, positioning and so forth in order to achieve cohesive brand messaging and effective segmentation successfully.

 

 

5. Brand Targets are Ultra-Personalized

Closely related to segmentation, 2015 will be the year of the customer, with individualised brand campaigns to match. Advanced customer data capture and innovative manufacturing techniques have made it possible for brands to deliver unique customisations, shifting the brand target from the masses to the individual. For example, Holiday Inn is moving its branding strategy toward customised holiday experiences that meet the personal needs of the traveller – from families to business travellers, young couples to adventurous singles.

  

   

6. Packaging Goes 3D

Brand packaging is a crucial component of your brand’s success, and the arrival of 3D printing technology has made it possible for brands to create innovative, customised packaging designs that draw in customers and stand out on retail shelves. In 2015, consider giving your brand packaging a boost using the latest technologies.

 

 

7. Streamlined Naming Conventions

The market is incredibly crowded, and customers’ attention spans are shorter than ever. To boost brand recognition and foster brand consistency, more brands will re-engage fundamentals and use clear, relevant names for products, services, and the overall brand itself. These short and simple names pair well with quick descriptors, creating easy-to-grasp concepts – think Google Wallet, Google Glass, and Google Play or Apple Watch and Apple TV.

 

 

8. Brand Stories Take Centre Stage

A compelling brand story will be an even more vital part of heart and mind capture to drive your brand sales strategy in 2015. Powerful and authentic stories that are worked into every element of your branding strategy can lift your brand, and provide the connection your customers are looking for. A great brand story evokes an emotional response, and most importantly, reinforces the brand experience for your customers. Creating irresistible brand stories is a key part of our brand profiling service when working with clients to help them create and build the personality of their brands, using our Brand Story Selling System™.

  

 

9. The TMI Line Blurs

For branding in 2015, there will be no such thing as too much information. Today’s customers crave transparency and want to know everything they can about a brand, often before they decide to make a purchase. Much of this transparency will be provided with updated brand packaging that clearly and efficiently conveys a wealth of information, including the brand story. As an example, Stone Creek Coffee’s Lab Series prints detailed coffee bean information on each package, including the elevation the beans were grown, the harvest date, and the name of the farmer who grew them.

  

   Stone Creek Coffee Ethiopia Chelba Cupping Notes

  Image via www.stonecreekcoffee.com

  

   

10. Cross-Channel Integration is Crucial

Brand consistency has always been one of the most important factors in the success of a brand. With more brand channels and customer paths than ever before, integration across channels is a must. Your brand design, messaging, and metrics should be presented uniformly at every touch point – from website and social media platforms to packaging, retail locations, and traditional media channels.

  

 

11. Customers will Not be Sold to

The marketing noise level is reaching critical mass. Brands that continue to “pitch” their products or services in 2015 will find themselves ignored. Customers are no longer interested in the salesy, hard-sell approach, and they’re savvy enough to know when your brand message is all buy and no bargain. Look to value-added brand strategies that highlight perception, inclusion, and the customer experience to help your brand sell itself.

 

 

12. Brands as a Consolidated Experience

Once again in the vein of brand consistency, the most successful brands of 2015 will present a singular customer experience – no matter where your customers interact with your brand. Your customers’ experience should not vary from PC to mobile to social. Look for ways to streamline your brand collateral and exceed customer expectations, delivering on your brand promise through a seamless presentation on all fronts.

 

 

13. The Video Explosion

Online video will continue to expand rapidly in 2015, and video should be an integral part of any branding strategy. Video is a popular, powerful, and engaging medium that helps brands strengthen their messaging and increase profits.

Some of the most recent statistics for online video include:

  • 100 million Internet users watch online video every day

 

  • 90% of online shoppers find video helpful

 

  • 64% of online shoppers are more likely to buy after watching a video

 

  • 80% of Internet users recall a video ad they’ve watched online in the past 30 days – and 46% took some action after watching the video ad, from visiting the company’s website to making a purchase

 

  • Video increases marketing email click-through rates by 200 to 300 percent

 

 

14. Brand “Smarketing”

The line between sales and marketing is becoming increasingly blurred, and 2015 will see even more integration as online selling converges with internet marketing. Both functions use many of the same techniques for promoting brands, including content creation and real-time engagement, and both have the same goal of revenue generation. Effective brands will combine marketing and sales into a fluid and cohesive set of strategies.

 

 

15. Brands Mobilise with Click-and-Collect

UK marketing research firm Mintel predicts that the popularity of click-and-collect (C&C) services will increase in 2015, and about 17% of all Internet retail sales will be collected by customers at these physical service points.

C&C services currently used across the UK include:

  • Amazon lockers in London Underground railway stations

 

  • Doddle pop-up parcel collection stores

   

  • Asda and Tesco C&C vans

 

  • Waitrose chilled food lockers

 

  • Argos food lockers (coming in 2015)

 

In a survey by Mintel, 35% of UK shoppers have used C&C services in the past year, and 64% say they’ll shop more online because of C&C services.

 

   

  

  

 

16. CSR Packs a Bigger Punch

Look to corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an even bigger brand trend for 2015. Today’s customers are concerned with both human rights, consumer rights and giving back to the community, and will reward brands that engage in visible social responsibility – while punishing brands that violate those rights.

Issues that matter in particular to UK consumers, according to Mintel, are returns policies, ethical treatment of workers, environmental policies, and negative press coverage. And for millennials, many make purchasing decisions based on a company’s ethical or political stance, such as brands that support the LGBT community.

 

 

17. Green Brands

More environmentally conscious consumers mean that brands must be aware of the environmental impact they have, and take steps to mitigate damage and leave a clean footprint. Packaging plays a large role in the battle for environmental friendliness. Brands that emphasize responsibly sourced, recycled, minimized, or biodegradable packaging can expect to be welcomed in 2015. This is a key consideration in all the brand packaging design projects we’re involved in with our clients.

 

 

18. Big Data Delivers Brand Insight

As the use of big data becomes more refined and accessible, brands will use it in 2015 to generate more personalisation and segmented brand approaches. Pretargeting is an emerging market strategy that uses big data to target customers based on their behaviours and preferences by delivering relevant messaging during the buying phase, instead of after it.

This type of advanced analytics can allow brands to predict trends before they’ve actually happened. Unilever partnered with Google in 2013 to do this, using big data to predict and capitalise on a rising trend in hair care. The YouTube channel launched by Unilever in response to this trend forecast, All Things Hair UK, became the number one hair care channel in its markets.

 

 All Things Hair You Tube

 

 

 

19. Social Brand Success is Pay-to-Play

Customers may be spending more time than ever on social media, but they’re spending it being social. The effectiveness of social branding as an organic strategy has diminished but pay-to-play advertising platforms on major social networks have increased in sophistication and effectiveness. Successful social brands will invest strategically in paid social media for smart, segmented campaigns, which will trickle down to increase owned and earned media effectiveness.

  

   

20. Facebook Fades for Millennial Brand Audiences

Speaking of social, in 2015 Facebook may not be the go-to network if your brand is targeting millennials and a younger crowd. While the social network with its own major motion picture is still the dominant channel, it’s far from the only game in town. Young people in particular are drifting away from Facebook – so if your brand targets millennials, it may be in your best interests to grow your presence on up-and-coming social platforms, such as Instagram and Tumblr.

  

  

  

 

At the close of 2014, take the time to thoroughly review your brand strategy. Consider a comprehensive brand audit to gain an accurate picture of your brand performance, and incorporate the trends that will change branding in 2015 with heightened transparency, authenticity, and customer-focused experiences.

 

So, what do you think?

• Is your brand strategy on track for success in 2015?

 

• How consistent is your brand presentation across all platforms?

 

• What is your planned spending for mobile? Video? Social?

 

• Are you targeting the right channels to connect with your target audiences?

 

• Does your brand platform represent timeless appeal? Could it benefit from a refresh for 2015?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

In a fast-paced and highly competitive world, packaging design has become one of the most crucial elements for communicating your brand and standing out from the competition. Your brand might be the best in its category, but without packaging that grabs your target audience, customers won’t investigate your product to find out more or see what’s inside. In fact research shows that you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer and close the sale!

 

  

 

 

What Are The Characteristics of Highly Effective Brand Packaging?

What goes into a fantastic package design? The best packaging engages customers at a multi-sensory level that includes a visual and tactile experience of your brand which communicates your brand promise and evokes a memorable, emotional response.

 

Successful packaging is a combination of powerful shelf impact or standout and a strong visual aesthetic, coupled with other triggers such as additional sensory memorability through its feel, sound, or sometimes smell and taste too.

 

Effective packaging design should deliver the following:

  • An immediate sense of your brand story, promise and core values i.e. ‘What your brand stands for?’ also known as its Brand DNA, Brand Essence or Genetic Code etc.
  • Trigger a positive emotional response through design simplicity, elegance, a sense of fun, mischief, healthiness, honest natural nourishment or whatever sensory experience is appropriate to your brand and what it represents
  • Have a clear, strong call to action with a really significant and compelling point of difference to every other competitor in its category i.e. an incomparable selling proposition backed up with reasons to believe this proposition (note: this must be authentic and honest)
  • Reflect your brand’s primary characterizations and personality whether your products offer luxury, security, environmental awareness, corporate social responsibility, reliability, tradition, or pure unadulterated pleasure etc.
  • Use impactful brand visuals and verbal differentiation that separates your products from competitors on retail shelves or displays, through irresistibly strong brand design that hooks your core target audience immediately

 

  

Elements to Consider in Winning Package Design

Successful branding through packaging design requires more than just reproducing your brand collateral on the container your products come in. Multiple factors must be considered to create a coherent and unified design that conveys your brand message, separates you from the competition, and makes your brand instantly recognizable. Some of these factors include the following:

  

Signature Colours:

Your brands colours should be integrated with your package design in order to maintain brand continuity. Successful FMCG brands make use of carefully chosen colour palettes and colour coding to differentiate their product lines and expedite choice for customers who are often brand or category conditioned by colour application. Colour psychology has a huge bearing on attracting customer attention, pick up and conversion, particularly in the visually chaotic environment of retail. 

  

Logo:

As an iconic representation of your brand, your logo should feature prominently in your packaging design to preserve and promote your brand identity and ensure customer recognition and trust transfer. Conversely if you brand is an iconic one like McDonalds, Marmite or Heinz than your logo on pack may be a less significant requirement because the rest of your brand messaging is so powerful and highly recognizable as an embodiment of the brand the logo is no longer always necessary.

  

 Debranded Packaging 570px

 

Image via www.selfridges.com  

  

Tag Line:

You may have a single strong tag line e.g. Uncle Ben’s Rice – Never Sticks, or multiple tag lines to represent different product lines. Strategic integration of your tag line on your brand packaging can help reinforce your brand messaging and amplify your brand promise.

  

Shape:

The shape of your packaging is a vital consideration. Distinctive or iconic packaging shape designs, such as Coca-Cola’s contoured bottle or Johnny Cupcake’s paint can T-shirt containers, can be powerfully effective as brand assets with instant recognition value which over rides everything else. In fact structural shapes when done well can become valuable intellectual property assets in themselves.

 

Other elements that may be considered in your package design include the materials used, the way the package is opened, the unique rituals around its use or consumption with text to support this message, the on pack messaging and text, and any visual or tactile aspect that will affect a customer’s experience with your product. Each of your package elements should work together to create a cohesive and fully engaging branded experience.

 

The following are some examples of brands that got their packaging right—and one that failed to communicate its brand promise, with damaging results.

 

 

Vivid Water: Differentiation Through Environmental Awareness

Environmental responsibility is a strong selling point for many modern customers. Few products are more environmental than water – a product that generally comes in non-eco-friendly and relatively unhealthy plastic bottles. In 2013, Vivid Water introduced Water In A Box, the first Tetra Pak carton-packaged water product in the UK.

 

 Vivid Water In A Box 600px

 Image via www.waterinabox.co.uk

 

 

Every part of the package design for Water In A Box reinforces the simplicity, purity, and responsibility of the brand, from the clean and uncluttered visual design to the instantly recognized water drop icon. The packaging is made with renewable, responsibly sourced paperboard, and unlike plastic competitors, contains no PET.

 

Water In A Box packaging clearly conveys a brand promise of fresh, pure water that considers environmental impact and promotes health and vitality.

 

 

Toscatti: Simplicity and At-a-Glance Convenience

Toscatti offers premium kitchenware with a very distinctive design and unlike most reusable plastic storage containers, Toscatti is made with food-grade stainless steel. The brand is committed to minimizing its planetary footprint while providing the highest quality food-grade stainless steel containers – independently certified to be free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and lead. The durability, high quality, easy to clean, and aesthetically appealing qualities of this premium brand are reflected in its unique packaging system – which helps reinforce and underpin the brands’ promise.

 

 Toscatti Product Range 600px

 Image via www.toscatti.com 

 

The packaging for this kitchenware product line uses a Pantone™ color scheme, with bright, bold colors to categorize different sizes and capacities of the containers. The minimalist packaging – an easy-to-remove paperboard sleeve, are made memorable with colorful geometric shapes and a rounded typography that appears friendly and approachable.

 

Toscatti Extra Large Container 575 600px 

  Image via www.toscatti.com 

 

This packaging, combined with the unique qualities of the product itself, makes Toscatti stand out on shelves, creating instant recognition and very strong visual impact.

 

 

 

Festina: The Proof is in the Packaging

Packaging can make a bold statement about your brand without saying a word. Such is the case with Festina diving watches. This German company’s brand promise is quality and performance – and their highly unique packaging conveys this promise instantly. Festina diving watches are displayed at the point of sale inside clear bags filled with distilled water, unarguably proving that the watches are indeed waterproof.

 

 Festina Engineered For Water 600px

  Image via www.festina.com

 

The packaging carries only the Festina name and logo, and the brand’s clearly demonstrated promise in a succinct tag line: “engineered for water.” This innovative packaging makes a powerful statement about the quality of the Festina brand while winning high recognition value coupled with instant customer loyalty.

 

 

 

 

  

Tropicana: Fixing What Isn’t Broken

When considering a new package design, rebranding strategy or package redesign, your business can’t afford to ignore your existing brand equity. This was a lesson Tropicana learned the hard way, when a packaging redesign for its Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice line resulted in a 20 percent decline in sales over less than two months, dropping roughly $33 million and sending the company rushing to restore the previous packaging.

 

 Tropicana Before Rebrand Fail

 Image via www.tropicana.com

  

The Tropicana carton design, with its vibrant straw-sporting orange, had become synonymous with the brand for customers. The redesign replaced this iconic image with a juice glass featuring weaker colouring, shrank the bold stripe at the top identifying the juice type to a thin strip, and replaced the conversational product titles No Pulp, Some Pulp, and Lots of Pulp with the starker and less interesting Pulp Free, Low Pulp, and High Pulp.

 

Tropicana Rebrand Fail Reject

 Image via www.tropicana.com

  

The rebranding was an effort to create a more refined contemporary image for the Tropicana brand, but customers clearly demonstrated they weren’t interested in sophisticated orange juice – and further, the complete and abrupt change suggested the contents of the packaging might have changed.

 

  

  

 

Whenever we start work on a new brand packaging design project, or even revitalizing an established brand for our clients, all the key ingredients discussed and various methodologies mentioned are automatically integrated into our brand packaging design process everytime –  to ensure we achieve the best results for our clients.

Effective package design that reflects your brand profile,  brand story and conveys your brand promise collectively helps strengthen your brand, increases customer loyalty, and ultimately supports growing your bottom line.

It’s vitally important that you place as much emphasis and care on your packaging design as you do on your products themselves, to ensure a consistent and memorable brand experience that drives repeat purchase, referability and increased profitability.

 

What do you think?

• Does your current product packaging design accurately reflect your brands’ promise?

  

• How can you reflect the best qualities of your product through your packaging design?

  

• What innovations or brand differentiation does your product packaging convey?

 

• Is your packaging congruent with your overall brand collateral? 

  

• How recognizable are your packaging designs? Do they strongly stand out on shelf from the competition?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!