With the ever-changing landscape that is product packaging, the ability to keep up with packaging trends could have a major effect on your company’s market share. In recent years, brands haven’t been able rely on traditional advertising and “the way we’ve always done it” to stay relevant in their markets. 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-Layhave turned to customized packaging to set themselves apart from their competitors.

We’ve seen the success of Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign in which customers would search their stores to find their own or a friend’s name on a bottle of Coke. The campaign became popular online with the help of shared photos on social media. Despite printing Coke labels with thousands of popular names, Coca-Cola gave the impression that this campaign was personalized. Frito-Lay has taken personalization to a new level with its next campaign. The company has recently announced that it will provide 10,000 personally customized bags of Lay’s potato chips with your own photos of your “favorite summer moments.” This level of customization is likely to be costly and difficult for most companies, but customization has taken many forms in a variety of industries.

For companies that don’t have the means to customize their packaging, the growing need to update a brand’s packaging has created a variety of trends outside of customization. The drive to create “green” packaging using natural and/or recycled materials is still an important value for many customers that want to feel guilt-free about their purchases. Unconventional packaging materials are also trending, as noted by Frito-Lay’s plan to use UV-activated packaging that will change colors in the sunlight. Simplicity and authenticity in design has also become increasingly popular to portray a luxurious or high-end image. Customers are turning to packaging that shows them the actual product, especially for food and drinks, because consumers are more comfortable purchasing something if they know exactly what they’re getting. In general, don’t lose customers with complexity because in many cases, less is more.

Overall, it is important to update your packaging so you don’t fall behind your competitors without losing touch with your brand. It is easy to lose the focal points of your brand’s message when caught up in redesign and innovation. While personalization has become more and more important, don’t let it interfere with the values of your brand. Your new packaging should balance maintaining your market’s familiarity with your brand and driving change to stay relevant in the market.

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