How Updating Your Beverage Packaging Can Improve Sales
You’ve been down this road before, and of course, back when you first designed your initial beverage packaging. But packaging isn’t a one-and-done situation. Customers’ tastes change and grow, and so do brands and their businesses. What worked yesterday just isn’t guaranteed to work tomorrow. Updating the look and other elements of your bottles, cans, and their packaging is something you need to think about, today.
Let’s take a closer look at why.
Every Package Is a Pitch
Of course, you want to make the best possible beverage. You’re not going to be in business long if your drinks suck. But if your packaging fails to spark the fancy of your ideal consumer, what’s the point? No matter what kind of shelf life your products have, wallowing all alone and lonely on the shelf is not a good look.
Every piece of your beverage packaging is an opportunity to:
Yeah, sure, there’s brand recognition, which builds trust and loyalty, etc. But what about the “Hey, look at what they’ve got” factor? People buy stuff for all sorts of reasons, and recommendations or reviews from friends and family is a big one. Called word of mouth marketing, some studies have shown that up to 90% of consumers trust the reviews of people they know.
Ask yourself, “Will our customers think this packaging looks cool? Will customers want to post this on social media?” And remember that your packaging can become a status symbol, something buyers show off to their friends or even a date. A product and package others will see them carrying and think, I gotta try that beverage.
Inform and Persuade
A cool design still needs to be practical and give relevant information, like ingredients or expiration dates. Think about what else might your ideal customer want to know. What makes your product the best fit for their needs, their wants, their personality? If you’re focused on farm-to-glass freshness and sustainability, for example, how can your beverage packaging convey that?
Remember to evaluate and play with colors, graphics, and fonts as well as text! All of these play an important part in creating the vibe you want people to associate with your brand and your products.
To Get It There in One Piece
So, you want to look good and also make people feel good about their purchase. You also need to make sure your packaging is sturdy enough to keep your beverage safe on the journey from your facility to distributors to ultimately in someone’s glass.
Without a doubt, beverage manufacturers and distributors have to keep more than breakage in mind. You also need to protect your drinks from excess light and heat, as well as prevent potential contamination every step of the way.
Not enough to worry about? Don’t forget to factor in who your product is for, and how they’ll buy, carry, and use it. Is this an on-the-go product? Portability will be key. Is it for a cozy evening in or a special occasion dinner? Then you need something chic and just the thing for a fancy candle-lit tablescape.
Rebrand, Redesign, Renew
Packaging drives sales. It’s a fact: We eat with our eyes. Need proof? The beverage packaging industry is expected to be worth $192 billion by 2027. Billion, not million. That’s a lot of competition. That’s a whole lot of people trying to sell products sometimes remarkably similar to yours. How can you hope to stand out from the crowd?
Use your packaging as a way to bend and flex in your market, to see what works and what doesn’t. Experimenting with packaging, can and bottle size, label colors and graphics are all great ways to hone in on your brand’s home space.
When redesigning your beverage packaging, keep these key elements in mind:
- Color and graphics: Find the freshest ways to present your brand and your style graphically. Your packaging aesthetic has to blend into your other marketing efforts. Color is its own vocabulary of moods, and graphics add depth and texture to your brand. Take advantage of that!
- Shape and size: Who is this product for? Picnickers and tailgaters? Then you want bottles and cans easy to hold in your hand. Date night? Something that looks high-end might be the goal. Purchasing decisions rely heavily on the look and feel of a product. How does yours present itself on a shelf?
- Brand: Are you the flashy new guy? Bold colors and graphics, an interesting shape or size may be the way to go. If you’re more traditional, if you’re organic and handcrafted, if you’re off the wall and kooky, your beverage packaging must match that vibe. What makes you special?
What Not to Do: Redesign Has Gone Awry
No business is perfect. Even the big guys make mistakes. One of the most well-known oopsies in beverage redesign history is the infamous Tropicana label modernization fiasco. It was a big old swing and a miss that cost them 30 million dollars. Yikes!
Why? Because people didn’t like it. Simple as that. The modern design veered sharply from the previous simple orange with a straw stuck in it, and - to the majority of shoppers - the new design looked less fresh and more, well, cheap. Tropicana lost a whole lot of money on this venture, with sales dropping steeply in the 30 days after the release before they just dropped the rebranded design altogether.
But they’re not alone. There was the Sierra Mist infamously-unreadable label redesign failure, Monopoly’s redesign that took it so far away from its classic look that no one even recognized it, the Gap’s logo redesign that was so disliked the brand changed it within a week.
The lesson? Think long and hard before major rebranding redesign efforts – and maybe do a little market testing before jumping into the deep end.
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- Marketing Team