The answer is, as always, “it depends.”
First off, you need to do some homework. And it is not pass / fail grading.
In today’s fast moving, dynamic and competitive market, it doesn’t take long to get behind the curve.
So here are some questions for you and your team to think through.
1. What has changed, and don’t be glib and say “well, everything.”
a. Most importantly, take a close look at your competitive set. Step back and consider all the available substitutes for your Brand.
i. Any new product or packaging innovations that are getting the attention of consumers and retailers? Are such innovations shifting demand such that your sales have been negatively impacted? Is it a meaningful value addition that makes you go “why didn’t we think of that?” Might be time to get after it, and quickly!
ii. Any new market entrants, new brands that might be soon or already are a risk to your franchise? Let’s face it, Brand loyalty just isn’t what it used to be, and switching costs are low. And if the new guy has a flavor, or assortment, or ingredient or other important point of difference, time’s a wasting!
iii. How about those pesky Private Label brands that your retailer customers often prefer? The quality gap has closed compared with most Brands. And many Private Label brands are now going organic or are moving up in other ways (including packaging materials or design). Don’t stand still!
iv. Any sizing or pricing actions from competitors of note? True, most consumers think about the price per container, bottle, or package. Few folks actually compute the cost per ounce. But, in uncertain economic times, a better value is a better value. This might be of particular concern in your assortment for Big Box stores, where dollars and gross profit per ring is a bigger deal.
b. Are your core consumers the same as in prior years, or have you experienced more younger buyers becoming your future? If so, is your packaging and your product as compelling and relevant to that audience? Their preferences and priorities might also be a catalyst for change.
i. Healthy eating, active living, fewer traditional meal occasions, always on devices, always on the go. And it is not just calories, or grams of fat. No GMO or bio-engineered ingredients. Organically sourced, full circle ecosystem friendly, renewable, reusable, recyclable, zero carbon impact – they want it all. And many are vegan or gluten free households. How do you measure up? Can you keep those younger, well-informed consumers in your camp? Can you grow and move market share by attracting more of them? And get specific and dig deep when it comes to your core consumer, as there are meaningful differences between Gen X and Gen Z. The more you know, the better you understand them and their preferences and behavior, the better the chance that you can adapt to serve them – especially if they have shifted purchases to online channels. Your package design can be a liability in ecommerce settings.
2. Do you have some new tricks up your sleeve, some new product(s) to launch and shake up the status quo?
a. New product launches are critical to Brand health. They justifiably get attention, especially if it is something that is truly new and different! The challenge of course is that the time allowed for judging success or failure is short. Retailers are awash in new items, and stores are not getting bigger, so shelf space is at a premium. Slotting fees, distribution bounties, pay to play. Oh and the marketing investment to generate consumer awareness and trial and repeat purchase.
i. Lots of C suite executive teams want to see a return on investment, or at least a positive contribution to revenue and profit growth for the product category. And the timetable for that assessment is often shorter than it once was – 12 months is not uncommon. And results in the early going often get special inspection.
b. Most importantly, can you relate, and are you relevant, to your target audience?
3. What is the same, if anything?
a. Well-known, well-established Brands often have logos that have been around for years. Yes, that helps with rapid recognition at the retail shelf. And it also contributes to that visceral, emotional connection between consumers and the Brands that they love.
b. “If it ain’t broke” is a risky place to be as logos need care and feeding if they are to stay interesting, evocative and relevant. Often just a minor modernization is all that is required. But if it has been a few years, take the plunge and consider more major surgery to the design.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of issues to consider, with risk if you get it wrong. Even doing the homework can benefit from an outside perspective, if that partner has the strategy and design chops to earn your confidence.
At Damen Jackson, package refreshes that are informed by the latest consumer trends and linked to your Brand strategy are a core competency.
Take the first step to a more successful business today.
1. Hit “LET’S TALK” to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
2. We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
3. If we’re a fit, we finalize details and get started!