The arrival of 7-Up Summer last week, is the latest sign that more
brands are adopting seasonal pack redesigns to maximise their impact at
key times of the year.
While the addition of seasonal elements to fmcg brand packaging is
widespread in the UK, major changes in appearance are uncommon.
But the recognition that many consumers do not decide which particular
brand they will purchase until the last minute has spurred producers
into bringing their products back to life on the shelf.
Pepsi-Cola International is using the ‘summer’ design, which was created
by Claydon Heeley International, as a way of re-presenting 7-Up during
the key summer sales period. The strategy has been imported from the US,
where the company regularly redesigns product packaging to suit the time
Further limited-edition redesigns called ‘cool cans’, are expected from
Pepsi in the UK. Soren Mills, marketing manager for flavours at PepsiCo
says: ‘This is about bringing news and excitement to the fruit market.
We’ve found that using ‘cool cans’ or special promotion cans for
different seasons can remind people why they buy the product.’
Jean-Louis Dumeu, managing director of the Paris office of Landor
Associates, the company behind Pepsi’s blue redesign, says it is
essential for companies to stimulate the consumer’s interest in a
product through dynamic branding. He cites research which has shown 50%
of consumers make a choice over brands when they see them on the shelf.
‘It stimulates sales, brings in new buyers and builds a relationship
with consumers which is quite different. There is a strong need to
innovate in presentation,’ he says.
Landor’s Paris office has been involved in a number of initiatives to
redesign international brands, such as Kronenbourg 1664, on a seasonal
Kronenbourg traditionally produces two seasonal beer variants for the
French market, at Christmas and in March, but has only recently begun to
emphasise the difference in the product with a communication emphasising
‘The March product, called Biere de Mars, reflects the values of spring.
The aim is to enrich the product with specific signals to offer added
value to the Kronenbourg brand. We believe, in the seasons, there is an
opportunity for brands to regain the attention of the consumer and build
that relationship,’ says Dumeu.
The special-edition beer concept has also been used by Fuller’s, in the
UK, which has launched a series of seasonal beers, available for a
limited period, such as Summer Ale and Old Winter Ale.
Sporting and other calender events are also proving a great hook for
brands to gain shelf-edge attention. Coca-Cola is selling multi-packs of
Coke with Olympic imagery linked to its pounds 650m sponsorship of the
Stu Cross, vice-president and director of worldwide sports at Coke, says
that any promotions must be relevant to the product and tie in with a
general marketing campaign. ‘It needs to be relevant to consumers. You
can’t just slap the rings on and hope people think it’s great and buy
more of the product.’
Tim Corvin, business development manager at Design Bridge Structure,
which has produced variants of Toblerone and Terry’s Chocolate Orange,
says from a design point of view, getting a temporary product redesign
right is a balancing act with the potential to damage the brand if not
‘If it is seen to have integrity and doesn’t look like a promotion it
doesn’t damage the brand at all, but I think you have to be careful to
ensure the recognition values are retained.’
He adds that companies are beginning to realise brands are not rigid
entities, and are there to be manipulated to suit the context in which
they are being sold.
‘It’s an opportunity to have some fun with the brand as well. These days
people realise brands are far more flexible and the values of a brand
are no longer set in stone.’