This article gives 6 tips that will help decide whether creating seasonal packaging is a good investment or not. The article was featured on the Packaging Strategies website. The article assumes that seasons such as Christmas bring a guaranteed increase in sales, especially for products that reflect the season.
The famous Swiss chocolate brand, Toberlone achieved a 400% increase in sales in 2006 when it replaced the words Toberlone with the words “Ho Ho Ho”.
While Christmas and Halloween may be the obvious times for food (especially confectionery) businesses to create specialty packaging, businesses in other industry sectors may want to focus on other seasons or events.
For example, in the US, Budweiser creates a packaging that is associated with the Super Bowl. In Ireland, it may be possible to create packaging for such seasons/events such as St Patrick’s Day, Easter, summertime, special year, (e.g. the Millenium), special sporting year, etc.
Hetal Pandit, the director of branding and packaging design agency DCP says that seasonal packaging keeps the design fresh and will help to increase sales.
Decide what events or seasons with which you would like your brand to be associated. You may be able to come up with some original seasonal packaging ideas if you think “outside the box.” For example, Skittles created packaging in black and white in order to be associated with and support the Pride movement.
The biscuit manufacturer Oreo created black and white gift packaging that could be personalised by the consumer online or with coloured markers on the carton itself. A personal message could also be included with the gift.
If the season you choose is a present-giving season such as Christmas, then it may be useful to create packaging that is more luxurious and elaborate than your product’s normal packaging. This is because a more luxurious packaging will be attractive to gift buyers as their gift will look more valuable in luxury packaging. See our post here about the effect of luxury versus standard packaging on the perception of quality.
For example, for Christmas 2017 Kylie Cosmetics created seasonal packaging that was extra luxurious and included glitter and special finishes on their packaging. This gave gift buyers the small “extra” they were looking for.
The article reminds businesses to avoid overstocking seasonal/occasion packaging as the product/packaging will most likely need to be discounted after the season has passed or the occasion is over. They give a useful design tip that was employed by Hershey’s Chocolate. To keep their seasonal packaging relevant for longer, Hershey’s included autumn leaves on its seasonal packaging instead of Halloween symbols, to represent the autumn/winter rather than the much shorter Halloween season.
Another way around this is to add some extra element to your normal packaging that will give a seasonal feel but can be removed after the season is over. This could be achieved using a festive ribbon or removable label.
The Toblerone example above is a good example of how the design stayed close to the original design so the product was instantly recognisable while still achieving the benefits of seasonal packaging.
Coca-Cola caused consumer confusion in 2011 after launching 1.4 billion limited-edition white cans to promote its Arctic Home campaign. The cans appeared very similar to the packaging for Diet Coke products which is white also.
Consumers who mistakenly drank the full-fat version complained in such numbers that the company was forced to release alternatives of its special edition packaging in the usual red colour.
This tip is obvious but worth stating because it is important to get the seasonal packaging project off to an early start so that you can use your seasonal packaging from the very start of the season/occasion to get the most benefit out of it.
The cost of creating seasonal packaging is an important factor to weigh against the possible benefits. If you have planned your seasonal packaging well in advance, you may be able to print the seasonal packaging at the same time as you print your non-seasonal packaging. This will reduce print preparation time (known as make-ready time) and therefore reduces the cost of your packaging. You can read more about reducing packaging costs here.
At Dollard Packaging, we are happy to give you quotations on whatever combinations of packaging you require.