BELOW-THE-LINE: Seasonal redesigns set up timely sales

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.

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

of year.



Fruity experience



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

basis.



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 season.



‘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

games.



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.’



Balanced view



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

executed correctly.



‘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.’



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