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Trendy vs. Timeless: Brand Longevity Drives Packaging Design

Familiarity Breeds Contentment in Packaging Design

custom labels from Lightning Labels When designing custom labels, give careful thought to timeless versus trendy in packaging design.

Trendy vs. Timeless. Hostess Twinkies, Pepto-Bismol, and Arm & Hammer baking soda are three examples of products whose traditional label look and packaging design continues to draw the marketplace today. They’re well established and readily recognized. It wouldn’t make sense (at this point at least) to “fix what isn’t broken.”

However, if your product or company is a more recent entrant into the marketplace, give careful thought to timeless versus trendy—consider the demographics and psychographics of your marketplace in your effort to design an enduring brand look.

Obviously, this requires some savvy and, typically, investigation of your marketplace(s) to see what might resonate. Here’s the rub: Many products have many audiences, often very different. For example, strong buyers of a particular nutraceutical labels can span myriad age groups, economic strata and the like. While the common bond is the purchase of your product, those who haven’t yet become buyers need to be approached in ways that appeal to their buying preferences.

Younger buyers may want a colorful, trendy brand look that makes a bold statement, while older consumers may seek a more clinical look and feel that imparts professionalism and a no-nonsense approach.

How do you design a label that can adequately address multiple audiences? Or, do you need to create different designs to target each substantive audience?

As a practical matter, the latter can be extremely costly—in terms of resources, time and money. Plus, it can dilute brand recognition. Conversely, the one-size-fits-all approach may not resonate with some would-be buyers.

Given these pragmatic constraints, here are label design tips that can bridge the gap:

1. Survey existing customers (or likely prospects if you’re a start-up) to determine likes and dislikes around graphics and branding. As part of this process, establish why they bought and continue to buy your product line. Try to get answers to such questions as: Do different audiences buy because of reputation first, with label appearance playing a role chiefly as an identifier and supplier of needed information? Do some people buy because of your label look and feel, while others buy for other reasons? What are potential upsides and downsides of changing your branding, including label look? Do they seek information that you’re not currently providing on your label? Do they want that information on the label itself, or is placing a QR code/website address on the label linked to more in-depth information the preference?

2. Conduct Internet research to address consumer buying habits and preferences (both in general and for nutraceuticals specifically) based on a variety of demographic and psychographic data. Then, overlay this general information with your existing buyers to see where the dots connect and where they don’t. It’s probable that, unless you’re willing to create different label looks to market to numerous audiences, you’ll have to prioritize your hierarchy of importance.

3. Test out perceived preferences via focus groups representing different audiences to see how the resulting one-size-fits-all branding and messaging grades out across a range of buying habits, preferences and needs. While formal focus groups can yield a variety of meaningful insights, informal testing through your existing networks of friends, family and colleagues also can be revealing and valuable. Based on the results of your testing—both formal and informal—you can fine-tune your approach for the larger marketplace.

Armed with all this information, you can then design labels that reflect your findings.

Custom Labels Can Make Or Break Product Appeal

What’s in a custom label? A lot of potential profits. Labels are one of the most valuable tools a company has to make its case to the marketplace. So, it’s wise to think long and hard before slapping just any label on your product. We will be happy to help you develop custom label solutions that best meet your needs.