"Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story"
- Steve Jobs
When you go to a supermarket, how convenient is it for you to find a bottle of Coca-cola from the beverages section? Pretty convenient we believe. Well, that’s the level of importance packaging colors hold in establishing a brand identity and loyalty.
Colors are an integral and important part of branding. They help your product to stand out from the rest when kept together on a store shelf. Even when unpacking a box, color is the first thing that the buyer notices of the product.
A product's packaging is meant to communicate a purpose – what the brand stands for and what it means to the customer.
So, if you have been planning to change the colors of your product packaging, there’s a lot for you to contemplate on before making a final decision.
Changing your packaging colors can prove to be highly rewarding for your brand. However, if not done correctly, it may also work the other way around and sabotage your brand’s position in the market. It won’t matter if the change in the color scheme is a minor one.
Been offering graphic design services for a long time, we understand the nuances of the part a color scheme plays for a brand. And, thus, we have tried to make the process of changing the packaging color simpler for you. Simply follow these suggestions before making a decision.
The first thing which you need to do while planning to change the color of your product packaging is to ask yourself some really important questions. The first one is, “Why do you need a new packaging color?”
In order to find the answer to this question, you should answer these questions first:
- Are you launching a new range of your product?
- Do you want to tap into a new segment with a new brand association?
- Have you merged with another company?
- Are you thinking of altering your brand’s personality?
- Do you feel lacking in what’s trending?
When you answer these questions, you will get clarity over why you really need a change in your product packaging color.
Now, that you have got your answer it’s time to understand the pros and cons of changing your packaging colors.
Attracts new audience
In one of our earlier articles on choosing a color scheme for a website, we had explained why it is important to select the color shade keeping in mind the target audience (You can read the complete article here).
You need to understand what your potential audience would connect with and accordingly use the color for your product packaging.
For example, the color green will associate your product with the ecosystem, and connect your brand with the audience that is inclined towards the environment and its sustainability. People who like to know what goes in the manufacturing of the product and the overall packaging material as well.
Helps in rebranding
Let’s be honest! Colors have their own set of connotations. As explained in the previous point, a product packed in green would shout out being eco-friendly. Similarly, every color positions your brand in a different segment altogether.
So, let’s say you started out with Women’s only products with all those softer and warmer shades of color. However, now that you want to expand into Men’s range as well, you can’t keep your product’s packaging in the same color shade.
You are in the position now where neither can you stick with all pink or yellow shades, nor can you switch to bold red or black color schemes.
What you need is a packaging color that is gender-neutral.
Try to mix and match the shades and see what looks best for your packaging. Maybe you can work around with Orange or Purple to reflect an exciting and playful brand personality.
In line with the latest trends
In order to keep your brand alive, it is important to stay in sync with what’s trending. Look at any of the major brands that exist for decades, and you’ll see that keeping up with the trends have helped them survive the tides.
Take Apple for example. The brand took off with a vibrant, multi-colored logo but, eventually switched to a single shade of grey and black.
Changing your packaging colors is part of reinventing your brand to stay relevant as times and tastes evolve.
You may convince yourself with the thought that trends come back around, as an excuse not to update your packaging. But that will not help your brand survive as you have no idea which trends will come back, when they’ll come back, or how they’ll be back.
You also don’t have the luxury of letting your brand become bland in the interim. So, find a way to mesh your branding goals with the latest color palette.
Imagine if Starbucks coffee decides to change the color of its logo from green to bold red overnight. How would that go with the loyal fans of the brand? Not well we assume.
As explained earlier, colors provide an instant connection with the brand. Yes, the logo would still be there on the packaging but, it’s the color that makes your product instantly recognizable.
Consumers find random changes to their loyal brands to be confusing which can potentially hurt the brand’s image.
You need to find a middle point and take a gradual shift. Retain hints of your previous colors while recoloring your product packaging.
Similarity with competitors
Brands that are new in the market tend to fall for copying the established brands in order to lure customers. However, not only is that a wrong method to create your customer base, it is not a good long-term strategy as well. Doing this will only create a negative image for the brand.
Even if you are not new in the market, but have decided to change your product’s packaging colors, you must ensure that the new color palette is not similar to any of your competitors’.
Yes, if you find a color scheme working successfully for a brand that is a niche and is from a different industry segment, you can definitely try that out for your new packaging. But, if the colors you want are an iconic part of a national brand, choose a different palette so you don’t look like you’re copying them or trying to be that brand.
Let’s face it! Rebranding has a cost attached to it, and that cost is not cheap. Sure, that shouldn’t demoralize you to not make the required changes in your product packaging. However, it is always good to do your math properly before making any grand decisions.
You should do thorough research to find out how much impact changing the color of your packaging would create. If the results show lower returns, it is probably a good thing to hold back the idea for a while.
Alternatively, you can plan to do minor changes in the packaging colors rather than going for a complete makeover.
Remember that rebranding is an expensive and risky affair and, therefore, the risk and expense should be calculated.
A product's packaging is meant to communicate a purpose. What your brand stands for and what it means for your customer? Don't miss this opportunity to create a lasting impression on the shelf and in the minds of your customers.
You should go ahead with changing your packaging colors only when you think that it is unavoidable and the only way to upgrade your brand position.
GraphicsZoo offers affordable packaging designs created by a team of experienced and professional designers. We can help you find the right balance for your new packaging colors. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org