5 signs you should be investing in packaging in 2017

No one knows better than a brand manager that marketing budgets are tight and getting tighter.  There are many places to invest time, resources and money for ROI.

Marketing Plan


Here are 5 signs you should be investing in product packaging this coming year:

  1. Regulatory changes are coming –  Health Canada is in the process of updating Nutrition Fact Table and ingredient list requirements. Updates are underway and announcements are coming soon. The FDA has already published changes to NFT’s effective July 2018 and if sales are less than $10 million, a year later. Sync the regulatory updates with a design refresh.
  1. The Internet of Things is happening NOW – Connected packages are all the rage. Engage, authenticate or simply tell a story by connecting packaging with a device! Whatever your gig, entertain and keep it simple. Suggestions include augmented reality, NFC or brand protection.
  1. Product improvements underway? – Re-designing with a well-crafted hierarchy of information that balances information with impactful graphics on packaging is a must! Now more than ever, consumers are reading and scanning. Be clear and simple in your approach. Work with your designer to map out product claim and symbol positions that balance with look and feel. Make your claims stand out and of course always ensure they comply with regulatory (as in #1).
  1. Packaging no longer stands out at shelf (ugh!) – 5 line extensions later,  your brand family is looking a little fragmented at shelf! Colour variations, lack of blocking, shelf position and competitive distractions are all starting take a toll on revenue and category share. Start with a Visual Brand Analysis (refer to my blog on VBA). Following the VBA, write a refresh brief and you are off to the races!
  1. Structural packaging changes drive efficiency– If you take a look at retail packages made by global companies you can learn a lot about how they optimize their packaging for efficiency. Efficiency means cost savings. Recessed closures and recycled content are just 2 examples of how you can optimize a folding carton structure. Flexible bags are becoming the rage in snack categories. Where possible use flexibles that are composed of fewer materials. The more layers, the more difficult to recycle.

That’s a wrap of the 5 signs: Regulatory, IoT, Product, Shelf appeal and Structure. Convinced? I hope so. Packaging is a powerful touch point for brands and is your silent salesman.

If your brand does not have a big advertising budget and relies almost completely on consumer packaging and in-store merchandising for brand awareness among target consumers, I encourage you to read more of my blogs. I am writing them with you in mind and hope to inspire you with new ideas.

Need help? I’m a packaging pro! Please reach out to me, leave a comment here or send me a tweet @karenblumel. I’m also on linkedin! linkedin.com/in/karenblumel


Are you planning to redesign your packaging in 2017? What is the driving force behind decision to re-design?

Thanks for reading my blog!



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