How does this happen? Here are some of the most common real life reasons that packaging starts to falter:
• An "extension template" doesn't quite work for one or two SKU's, so Marketing instructs the production team to do the best it can ... if the items are successful, they will revisit the template in the future.
• Products/brands that your consumer is purchasing in other categories have undergone redesigns, changing their approach to messaging/graphics/structure. How does this influence their expectation for your brand/category?
• The "80/20" rule. Most packaging decisions are made for the entire line. However, the "cash cows" are often considered and "tweaked" separately, resulting in a disjointed line that may not make sense to the consumer.
• Research discovered opportunities/key advantages for your brand. Rather than a complete redesign, changes are made to the messaging and/or graphics. Most of these were add-ons rather than replacements, which seemed less risky — but now the package is a mess.
• Feel lucky to have a heritage brand? You are! But the classics can be the most challenging to update and improve. Does your pack impression keep pace with consumers' impressions of your brand, and retain the emotional connection to your brand's heritage?
• Victim of success. How wonderful that one SKU wildly outperformed all expectations! Next, that SKU was tweaked to respond to buyer/consumer input ... now it is looking even better, but different from the original line. You are now faced with segmentation and messaging challenges that need to be sorted out.
• And the most common reason: there wasn't enough time to do it right the first time.
Scheduling an annual review will not only prevent missteps, but it can lead to a stronger brand in-store that secures your brand's leadership position. Advantages include:
• Discover insights and opportunities that reveal themselves during the review, which become action items for improvement.
• Helps you establish a sound packaging plan for the brand.
• Determines the need and/or goal for consumer pack research.