New Packaging Can Be A Weapon

Private labels have a competitive advantage in this economic recession, because many consumers are relinquishing their brand loyalties in search of values. Private-label products are lower-priced, and stores are giving them prime shelf space and eye-grabbing displays. Not only that, but they're getting smarter, too. Recent packaging makeovers give them another advantage: they're starting to look like brands.

Retailers like Duane Reade, Safeway and Target have all repackaged their private labels, and have seen an uptick in sales. What does it mean? It demonstrates clearly that consumers respond to appealing package design, which on some level validates their purchase, even when they are on a tight budget. New packaging is giving private-label brands a critical advantage that goes beyond their value proposition.

Private labels finally realize that purchase decisions are based on something other than just "low, low prices." These days, consumers expect good design. They want to feel both savvy and stylish, and they are looking to stores to give them the cues they need to make purchase decisions they can feel good about having in their carts and their homes.



So what does this mean for consumer packaged goods brands?

Even in a bad economy, it's not all about price. It's about raising your product's profile and standing out on the shelf. It's about considering all the ways your brand can resonate. People now want design as much as they want satisfaction, sustainability and value. Brands can no longer afford to treat package design as a commodity; it needs to be a critical element of any marketing strategy and a primary communication medium.

Quite simply, today's consumers are open to changing their purchase habits. They want to know how one brand stacks up against another. They are willing to explore new products. They are driven by the hunt and the satisfaction of the discovery.

So why aren't more brands changing up their package design to meet new demands?

Unlike other retailers, CPG marketers often have little control over the environment in which their product is placed. They can't design layouts, lighting, soundtrack and signs that are conducive to driving sales at the point of purchase. And now that private labels have new skin in the game, brands need to measure up when they are placed side by side on the shelves, where they can only boast the promises of their labels and their price tags.

Package design is a critical weapon in the battle between established brands and private labels. Design can bring your brand a sensibility -- whether it's chic or smart or both -- that can drive a purchase decision. A fresh look can be a reward for consumers, a highlight of their shopping experience. New packaging can be a weapon -- and give your brand an advantage -- now, when the competition is greater than ever.

1 comment about "New Packaging Can Be A Weapon ".
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  1. Doug Pruden from Customer Experience Partners, December 24, 2009 at 2:17 p.m.

    A great new package design can help to break buying inertia, gain additional awareness, and get consumers to try a product a first or second time. But we contend that over time packaged-goods consumers continue to buy based on what is largely a subconscious calculation of the total value being provided by the total product experience. The package design, image presented through advertising and promotion, quality of product, belief that the corporation will stand behind the product, etc. are all part of the numerator. The denominator is not simply price, but factors such as difficulty in finding the product, risk of switching from a know brand, and similar cost factors (some factors of course more important than others). In a bad economy or following a new package design consumers re-calcualte and provide a great opportunity for private label offerings.

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