Design

Boost your pre-Christmas sales through seasonal packaging

Ale Paiva

Credit freeimages.com Ale Paiva

Christmas seems to come earlier each year with Christmas cards and mince pies sneaking their way onto the supermarket shelves from September onwards. The Christmas market is a notoriously competitive one and with countless companies all jostling to cash-in on highly lucrative pre-Christmas sales, ensuring that your products stand out from the rest is vital.

If you’re feeling cynical and intend ignoring all the commercialised holiday cheer, you’ll need to think again and try to look on the bright side: Christmas and other special occasions offer brands an unbeatable opportunity to try something new and innovative with their product packaging. Equally importantly it’s also a once-a-year chance to drive sales and reinforce your brand.

But what are the best ways to keep the integrity of your brand intact whilst revealing to consumers a new and more festive side? First and foremost, don’t fall into the trap of putting an ‘expiry date’ on seasonal packaging. Whatever your chosen design, you need to find something that still looks desirable after the fun is over; for example rather than focussing on Christmas itself, why not go for a general winter theme instead?

Free gifts and promotional items work particularly well during the festive season; after all, Christmas is the season of gifts and giving, isn’t it? Adding value that extends beyond your product is always a winner, provided you offer something that is in context or could help consumers start their own ritual or tradition that’s attached to your brand. Limited edition biscuit or sweet tins are great examples of this.

Most people hate Christmas shopping so why not make life a little easier for your loyal customers? Personalised packaging is a great way to do this and one whisky company recently ran a very successful marketing campaign which enabled customers to order personalised engraved bottles of whisky to give as gifts over Christmas.

A complete product change is a radical idea but one which we’re seeing more and more often, especially over Christmas. Creating a product that’s only available for a limited time is a great way to create an urgency to buy, whilst also pushing your product up into a higher premium category in the minds of consumers. For food producers, Christmas presents an unbeatable opportunity to try something new: a limited edition jam, beer or cheese for example? Attracting consumers to your brand at Christmas can help forge a brand loyalty that lasts throughout the year.

Striking the balance between tackiness and packaging that evokes the spirit of Christmas is not easy so tread carefully! Coming up with an idea that’s a new take on the season, rather than Christmas itself, is the safest way to avoid causing offence to individual religions whilst giving consumers something to anticipate and covert.

Getting seasonal packaging right is undeniably tricky: finding a winning formula can prove to be the gift but keeps on giving but getting it wrong can prove a big turn-off for customers; so if you’re in doubt, seeking the advice of a marketing and contract packaging specialist can be well worth the investment.

Product packaging: it’s all in the detail

www.marsdenpackaging.com

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We’ve all been there: struggling to open a packet or carton and then spilling to contents onto the floor or all over your nice clean shirt. There’s nothing more frustrating than bad packaging but get it right, and you could win a whole host of new customers for your product or brand.

At its most basic product packaging is necessary to protect the product inside, keep it fresh or display it consumers. Products have to be packaged to ensure that the products are safe when shipped and distributed to stores and consumers, as well as during their display on the shelves of a shop. Consumers expect to receive their products in undamaged containers and well-packaged products help to create a good impression of a brand. Poorly packaged, damaged products can turn into a public relations nightmare, with consumers perceiving the brand or product to be sub-standard or of poor quality.  Therefore getting your contract packaging right will be money well spent!

Packaging can help attract consumers to your product: well-designed packaging can persuade consumers to pick up your product and take a closer look, helping consumers to decide whether your product is the one they need to improve their lives. All elements of the design are crucial when it comes to influencing consumers: from artwork or images, through to colours and fonts.

Product packaging is also very useful when it comes to communicating information. For example, packaging usually displays an ingredient list and nutritional information, user instructions, benefits and special features. Company contact information can also be displayed which is very useful for gaining feedback – whether positive or negative – and for further product development or marketing.

Companies work extremely hard at branding their products and most product packaging features logos, tag lines and marketing information of one kind or another. Strong branding helps consumers recognise a product quickly and when done well, brands can become something of an icon, such as Coca Cola, Heinz or HP. Regardless of how a product is advertised – whether on the supermarket shelves or in a commercial – the branding that is printed on the packaging has a hugely important role in how that product is marketed.

So packaging really does matter and in this highly competitive age when we seem to be bombarded with advertising and product promotions, the importance of getting your product packing just right is absolutely crucial. Changing the packaging of your product can change consumers’ image of your brand, transforming it from a product that is often overlooked, to the most popular brand in the store.