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THE SALSIFY SMARTER MERCHANDISING BLOG

How To Balance Personalized Packaging and Brand Identity

Posted by Emily Saka on 9:45 AM on October 16, 2013

share_a_coke_640x359The truth is simple: great CPG packaging sells products.

But creating that great packaging is much easier said than done, especially as manufacturers aggressively compete to put the flashiest and most innovative packaging in front of consumers. A recent article in Cosmetic Design offered advice for finding the balance between entertaining a current trend - in this case, personalized packaging - and brand identity. Here are some of the key takeaways:

 

Personalization is the new standard

When it comes to choosing between individual products, consumers are gravitating towards those that offer some customization. As a result, the personalization trend is one of the biggest in CPG packaging.

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Whether that means a consumer actually gets to personalize a product (i.e. put their name on a pair of Nike shoes, as I did above) or simply that the product looks so sophisticated that the consumer feels like part of a targeted upmarket demographic, consumers like the feeling of exclusivity.

And even more importantly for brands to remember, consumers are starting to expect it.

 

However, having a deep understanding of your brand comes first

While it’s important for all companies to be flexible, creating a strong brand involves a certain level of consistency and dedication to a particular image. This means that brands shouldn’t change their packaging strategy every time a new trend hits the market.

For example, as popular as the nautical motif might be right now, it would do very few companies actual benefit to incorporate the aesthetic into a new packaging design concept.

By having a deep understanding of its brand, a company can get a better sense of where it has wiggle room to entertain a new packaging trend without losing sight of its central vision. While brands need to demonstrate a certain level of adaptability, they also need to ensure that they are creating an overarching familiarity with their users.

 

Ultimately, the customer is most important

The inherent paradox in something like a personalization trend is that companies are feeding into the same fad to creating something unique.

In short, everyone is trying to be an individual.

To make sure that a brand is utilizing the most effective packaging design for its image, a company needs to make sure that it is working, first and foremost, to make its consumer base happy. Only then can it effectively push through the flash, innovation, and “individualization” in the market to create packaging that really resonates with its target audience.

 

Conclusion

A product’s packaging plays a pivotal role in communicating both a brand’s image and the benefit a consumer will get from engaging with that product. Increasingly, consumers are expecting this packaging to portray some kind of customized experience tailored to the individual.

But brands must always be aware of their central brand vision and the expectations of their core customer base. Demonstrating a brand’s trendiness is important to an extent, but brands also can’t let the pursuit of what’s popular keep them from building a strong brand loyalty that resonates with their key customers.

The original article can be found here.


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