12th of December 2023

By Dr William Caruso Senior Marketing Scientist Ehrenberg-Bass Institute
Published by Marketing Week See original article

Does your Xmas packaging make the naughty or nice list of building a brand identity?

Adoring packaging with festive touches could result in brands disguising what makes them distinctive, says Ehrenberg-Bass’s Will Caruso.

In the marketing world, the holiday season presents a golden opportunity for brands to infuse a touch of festivity into their packaging. While many businesses eagerly embrace the spirit by adorning their products with Christmas-themed elements, a delicate balance must be struck to avoid potential pitfalls that could compromise a brand’s identity.

The temptation to dive into the sea of reds, greens and snowflakes is strong. However, an overindulgence in holiday designs can inadvertently lead to the dilution of a brand’s identity. When a brand’s packaging blends seamlessly into the festive backdrop on store shelves, the risk of consumers overlooking a brand escalates as it becomes just one more face in the holiday crowd.

During the festive season, stores transform into winter wonderlands, and consumers are drawn to displays that exude holiday cheer. Brands can maximise their impact by strategically placing products in high-traffic areas and creating visually appealing Christmas displays.

Collaboration with retailers is essential during this time. Establishing partnerships to secure prominent placement on endcap displays or within themed sections of the store can significantly enhance a brand’s visibility. Moreover, aligning with retailer promotions and coordinating packaging to complement in-store decorations fosters a cohesive and immersive consumer experience.

The key is to seamlessly integrate the brand into the holiday narrative of the store without losing its individual identity. This involves creating packaging that harmonises with the festive atmosphere while ensuring the brand’s unique elements remain prominent. The goal is to capture the consumer’s attention and provide a compelling reason to choose a particular product over the myriad options available.

Distinctive assets

Every brand possesses a set of distinctive assets that make it instantly recognisable to consumers. These assets can include logos, colour schemes, and unique design elements. Knowing the strength of these assets is crucial, especially during the holiday season. Instead of diluting the brand’s identity with an overload of Christmas-themed elements, brands should strategically incorporate festive touches that complement, rather than overshadow, their distinctive assets. This approach ensures consumers can still easily identify the brand amid the holiday array, reinforcing brand recall and loyalty.

Understanding the visual equity of distinctive assets involves analysing consumer responses and performing market research. Managers are often surprised at the relative strength of certain packaging elements, and they often do not link up with their expectations.

Read the full article in Marketing Week.


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