Why brands should implement a unified packaging strategy

03 March 2021
unified packaging

In the expanding world of multi-channel marketing, a consistent brand message is more important than ever. Current and potential customers alike should be confident in the tone, message and values of your brand. Whilst many brands focus on the outward appearance of their marketing one of the most important tools that you have at your disposal is the packaging of the product itself. Fortunately, packaging unification strategies can help you leverage this opportunity to help keep consistency and high-standards in your brand’s messaging. Keep reading to discover more. 

Why brands need a unified packaging strategy. 

Brands need a unified strategy because packaging is the touchpoint where your customers interact most with your business, both when choosing a product from a store, or an online shelf. That’s not all either, as packaging also matters and can continue to have an impact when customers store, use, and display your product in their home. Packaging is one of the key factors in the relationship between your brand and the customer. 

What this means is, stylistically, your packaging needs to slot into the same universe as all the other branding that you are using. Therefore creating a consistent and coherent look across all of your products. One that customers will be able to recognize over and over again. 

Consistency is critical 

Consistency, the watchword here. The reason being that it allows you to appeal to and connect with your customers across different products, locations, and even points in time. Your core message needs to run through all these elements to reinforce your brand and its values

By demonstrating consistent branding in your packaging, your company can leverage a valuable symbol to your customers of what they can expect inside the pack. Something that can help confirm to the person buying the product that they can rely on and trust the product inside. 

A great example of this in play is Coca-Cola’s red unified packaging strategy across their brand. Indeed, their latest redesign to red across all lines including sugar-free, means that any of their products are recognisable as part of the same Coca-Cola family. 

Essentially, with this branding Coca -Cola is saying that no matter which variant the customer chooses, they can expect the same great taste and quality. A message that is comforting to the customer, while helping the brand to sell more units across its lows and no sugar variants. (The variants that because of the recent sugar tax, are the most profitable. )

How does packaging unification help in brand development and brand cohesion? 

Packaging unification helps with brand consistency because it means customers will always be able to identify your product, and what they can anticipate from it. 

A smart example of this is the high-end, cut-price beauty subscription service Beauty Pie. They use an on-trend baby pink, pastel, and white colour scheme in their packing that is both minimal and classic.

In particular, their product containers are white with a clear simple font. This minimalism and use of white echo their ethos, and one of their most important USPs. That is, they charge such a low price for luxe ‘white label’ beauty products because they keep the packaging to a minimum. 

In essence Beauty Pies’ packaging not only recognisably represents their brand, but also encapsulates their business model too. You really can’t get any more ‘on brand’ than that, and while some customers may not be consciously aware of the parallels, the undeniable truth that product packing from the brand remains consistent and impressive is hard to deny. 

Of course, this consistently only serves to build customer loyalty, because it sends the message that they can expect consistent, high quality from what is inside the packaging, as well as the packaging itself. 

Things to consider when switching to packaging unification strategy 

The first issue that you will need to consider is how to ensure that your branding is represented and replicated on every piece of packaging. One way you can do this is to draw up brand guidelines on issues such as colour pallets to be used, fonts, font size, style, and alignments. Indeed, by doing this you can ensure your brand always remains consistent, while also ensuring your message is never diluted, even when you need to outsource various aspects of your packaging design and production.  

Another point to consider is that it is important to note that the process of unification can take a significant amount of time to complete across all your ranges. Indeed, some companies can find it can take years from start to finish. Although they often find it pays dividends over the long term.  

An excellent example of this is the make-up brand Avon that rolled out a unified rebrand of their flagship Avon Color brand in 2005. The long term results they saw were a more upmarket position for their brand, but it did take them some serious research and development, especially concerning creating the right shade of ‘jaguar blue’ to get to this point. 

It is also worth noting that Avon chose this particular shade of blue because it represented their line, and the needs and wants of their target demographic. This goes against a popular trend in the beauty industry where colours tend to be used to differentiate between different products in the same line. 

This highlights another consideration that brands looking to unify their packaging must address – establishing an effective balance between variant differentiation and unification. Something that will be different for each company and the goals they are trying to achieve.

Final thoughts 

There is much value to be gained by brands in unifying their packaging. In particular, it helps to forge a crystal clear and coherent message across all products that customers find trustworthy and reliable. 

If you need help implementing a unified packaging strategy then we can help.


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