A New Life Through Redesign


by Greg Kishbaugh

     An economic downturn affects companies in different ways, as it also affects individuals in different ways. In analyzing the current global market conditions, it’s clear that one group of professionals is being taxed more than ever to perform their jobs in an increasingly demanding environment. Packaging designers are being tasked with so much more than simply contributing to how a package looks, they are being asked to pump life into lagging brands, to turn around long-evolving market forces. In today’s economy, CPCs are turning to the designers to create new packaging that will not only stop downward trending sales but to reverse them.
     Several huge brands have gone through recent re-branding efforts that have proven large successes. Kraft redesigned its Macaroni and Cheese line two years ago and has reported strong growth in sales. Similarly, Heinz Beanz (which has remained a market leader for decades) still saw a need for a revamp of its packaging and immediately experienced a 12 percent growth in sales.
     The latest powerhouse consumer brand to announce a redesign of its packaging is Pepsi. A representative from brand consulting and design firm Landor and Associates believes that the new Pepsi design (which should hit stores in North America beginning next month) has followed the proper steps in a redesign. First and foremost, the package structure should come first, followed by graphics. By focusing on structure, a new package can help further the brand identity. For instance, when Evian underwent a recent relaunch the bottles were actually designed to give the physical appearance of the French Alps, a key component of the brand’s identity.
     Redesigning a package’s structure can also have more utilitarian benefits, such as the ability to further complicate the efforts of counterfeiters. Or, in the case of Nestle’s Cerelac baby cereal, a newly launched hexagonal package had the dual benefit of reducing the package’s weight while also making the package appear larger to consumers.
     In the case of Pepsi, the company has created what the Landor rep feels is a differentiated structural design that has the power to attract attention and encourage consumers to pause and take a look. Additionally, the bottle’s label earned high marks for not just visual appeal but for its aesthetic simplicity and the way in which it highlights the product inside, creating a greater appetite for the consumer.
     Understanding that the retail environment is the only sure way to test a new package’s appeal, Pepsi will roll out the redesign first in stores to evaluate its point of purchase affect before carrying it over to trucks, coolers and other touch points.
     Should Pepsi’s market share grow in the wake of the new design, look for even more CPCs to turn to their designers and ask, “What can you do to make our product sell more?”

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