Product packaging is arguably the most important element to your marketing mix, yet when it comes to updating, it’s usually as a reaction to something bigger. Not because it’s been a proactive strategy aimed and designed specifically to guide the market. Understanding the common reactionary reasons for a packaging design update is the first step to avoiding them.
1. You only update your packaging if the pack hasn’t been touched in years. This is common for big organisations with lots of brands. You only have so much budget to go around, you focus on brands that are the priority.
2. Your major competitor has recently updated. a. They’re pack looks modern, fresh and exciting, they have a claim on there that you don’t, but you could make the same claim. Sound familiar? This is potentially one of the most common reasons we see brands update their packs. It’s the ultimate reactive strategy, it’s FOMO
3. You’re experiencing pressure from your major retailer. a. Australia is a very small market with only a small number of retailers. As a result, this gives them power, power enough to threaten a de-ranging if they don’t think your packaging is up to scratch.
4. Procurement have said you need to cut packaging costs. a. We live in a time where everyone is being forced to do more with less and cutting packaging costs is high on the list of cost reduction strategies.
All of these pressures result in reactionary changes to packaging. They offer short term gains but ultimately start a cycle of continuously thinking short term, of following the market not leading it.
To avoid these – you need to think long term. You need to have a strategy, not a short term one, a long term one that looks at trends, where the market is going, what consumers want and then adapt your packaging for that so you’re not caught when your competitor does come out with something new. You’re prepared and confident in your position because you’ve invested the right amount of time, money and thought into it. We’re talking planning years in advance, not months!