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How to elevate packaging without a full rebranding

Screenshot_2016-08-08_21.04.48.pngWhen was the last time your packaging changed? Maybe it was recently, or maybe it wasn’t. For some brands, never ever changing their packaging is what makes them stand out, but those are exceptions to the general rule. The general rule is that every now and then, a product’s packaging needs a refresh. Consumers who are used to the product should do a slight double take when they see it because it is different enough to catch their eye and yet still unmistakably remains the product they’ve come to know.

The common misconception

So, if if you haven’t changed your packaging in a while, why? Is there something stopping you? Because what’s stopping a lot of people is that when they think “elevate packaging” they also think “rebrand”. The two aren’t synonymous, yet a lot of people see to think they are. Yes, rebranding is a big job and it isn’t to be taken lightly, but it’s a totally different thing from elevating your packaging. Rebranding means you keep the product but send the entire brand back to the drawing board. You change your image, your tone, your message, and just about any other thing that could be changed. It isn’t change for change’s sake; it’s usually prompted by a lack of success with the existing brand or a need for a more relevant approach. Elevating your packaging is when you work with the equity of the brand you have established to create better packaging for your goods. There are a few simple ways that this can be done.

Make your packaging more functional

For one thing, increasing functionality is a simple but effective way to elevate your packaging. Say you sell perishable fresh vegetables in a plastic bag, and then come out with the same product in a resealable plastic bag. Elevation accomplished! Your customers can now buy the product they know in a bag the conveniently maintains its freshness. The added functionality of the packaging solves a problem for your customers and takes you up a notch in their perception. The logo and packaging design can even stay the same; all that’s required is a different order from the bag manufacturer.

Create visual cues

Another way to elevate your packaging is by enhancing the design on the package. Maybe add more colors or images, or a slogan beneath your logo. While packaging should never be loud for the sake of being loud, it doesn’t hurt to have something sharp that stands out just a little more than it used to. Michael DiFranco, VP of Marketing at JohnByrne Company, says, “You can achieve strong visual cues through deliberate printing and finishing elements… By focusing on these strong visual elements of your packaging, you create a focal point of consumers, making your brand, product and packaging easy to remember” (packagingoftheworld.com). Make changes that have a noticeable visual impact, and you will elevate your packaging.

A simple way to make a difference

So, before you take the easy way out and opt not to elevate your packaging, think about what it actually means. You don’t have to rebrand. Rebranding is a lot of work, and it should only be done if your current brand is failing. If you’ve got a great brand, don’t give up on it. Get together with some design experts and elevate your packaging. It’s easier than you think!

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