The season is upon us. It’s time to prepare for an avalanche of snowflakes and snowmen, rivers of red and green, and more twinkling lights than you can shake a candy cane at. It’s also time to prepare for the inevitable backlash against all this commercialized holiday cheer. But take heart! Holidays and other special occasions provide brands with a license to put aside their typical constraints and innovate. It’s also an opportunity to drive incredible sales performance. Icons like Coke and Starbucks have been capitalizing on holiday cheer and holiday spending habits for decades, and you can too. Here are some best practices for staying above the holiday fray and showing consumers a new side of your brand.
1) Don’t put an expiration date on your design:
Design packaging that has a shelf-life beyond December. Consider forms, materials and visuals that can withstand the season and weather the holiday shopping hangover.
Example: Instead of focusing just on holidays, Widmer Brothers, Redhook, and Kona Brewing Co. create brews and packaging that evoke the tone and spirit of the season all winter long.
2) ‘Tis the Season of Gifts and Traditions:
Add value beyond your product, but in a way that is contextual to your product. Help consumers create a ritual around your brand.
Example: Ballantine’s packaged their product with a unique and festive ice tray.
3) Create collectables:
Packages that are part of a set or able to be repurposed in an innovative way help make your brand part of some of the strongest traditions families have.
Example: Pangea Organics created an easily wrapable and “easily plantable” holiday gift box for their bodycare products that will actually grow a spruce tree.
4) Make Shopping Easy:
Promote “gifting” through fancy or unique or personalized packaging that is beautiful enough to be a gift itself.
Example: Johnny Walker allows you to personally engrave their coveted Blue Label bottles for the holidays.
5) Create a Campaign: Build “fanfare” around your product launch.
Tie your Special Edition Package into a campaign or topical event. Create a story around the specialness of the product that plays on the brand’s core attributes.
Example: M&M’s does a great job of using their quirky candy characters to build seasonal or holiday specific awareness by tying packaging to print and TV ads.
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