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Packaging Personalization: A Growing Trend

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The product packaging landscape is ever-changing and with it the ability to keep up with packaging trends could have a major effect on your company’s market share. You may have noticed that in recent years, brands haven’t been able rely on traditional advertising and doing things “the way we’ve always done it” to stay relevant. Recently there has been a growing need to keep a brand’s positioning fresh, innovative, and eye-catching in order to attract new and existing customers. Companies like Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay have started to rely on personalized packaging to set themselves apart from the competition.

For example, consider the tremendous success of Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, where customers would search stores to find their own or a friend’s name on a bottle of Coke. The campaign also became wildly popular online with the presence of shared photos on social media. In reality, Coke printed labels with thousands of popular names, but the personalized touch gave consumers the experience that this campaign was developed especially for them. Another example is Frito-Lay, which has taken recently personalization to the next level with its recent campaign. Frito-Lay announced that it will provide 10,000 personally customized bags of Lay’s potato chips with photos of your own “favorite summer moments.”

Personalized products are perceived as having greater value than non-personalized products. While it may be true that personalized packaging is more expensive to make, the profit margins of personalized products are wider too. Higher production costs are the main reason why so little brands choose to offer personalized products. It may be a big step in terms of production but it can also be a great way to give your products and your brand a leg up in a highly competitive market.

While personalization similar to Coca-Cola & Frito Lay may be costly and difficult for most companies, customization has become a growing trend in many forms across various industries.

If your company does not currently have the capabilities to personalize packaging, the increased need to update a brand’s packaging has created a variety of trends outside of customization. For instance, the push to create “green” packaging recycled materials is still a critical factor for many consumers that want to feel good about their purchases. Unconventional packaging materials are also gaining popularity, as evidenced by Frito-Lay’s UV-activated packaging that changes colors when exposed to sunlight. On the design side, simplicity and authenticity have also grown increasingly popular to help portray a more luxurious or high-end image. More and more, customers are attracted to packaging that provides visibility to the actual product inside, especially for food and beverage products. This is due to the fact that consumers are more comfortable making a purchase if they know exactly what they’re getting. As a general rule of thumb: remember to not alienate consumers with difficult to navigate or complex packaging, because in most cases, less is more.

Overall, it is important to update your packaging to make sure you don't fall behind your competitors, but it is important to do this without losing touch with your brand. As personalization becomes more and more important, don’t let it interfere with the values of your brand. Remember that your new packaging should be a balance between maintaining your market’s familiarity with your brand and driving change to stay relevant in the market.

Contact QPSI for more information about packaging options to support your brand goals.

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