The holidays are here, and you can see evidence of the holiday season in stores everywhere—and not just in the Christmas decorations. Many brands both big and small celebrate the holidays by introducing special limited edition seasonal packaging that will stay on the shelves for just a few weeks of the year. In spite of its festive charm, such a short shelf life for seasonal product packaging leads an entrepreneur to wonder: is holiday packaging really cost effective and ROI driven? Will investing in seasonal packaging really lead to an increase in profits?
Holiday Packaging: Does it Always Work?
In 2014, 42% of new product launches were seasonal, so companies that invest the time and effort into the design, production and distribution of seasonally packaged products must be on to something, right? You might think that products with special holiday packaging sell better than products in regular packaging, but seasonal packaging campaigns are much more difficult to implement than they initially seem. Grimes Product Packaging Services in Florida created the following infographic to demonstrate some of the most memorable hits and misses of seasonal packaging in the 2010s.
Seasonal Packaging: Understanding Customer Demand
Seasonal product packaging is not always a slam dunk. According to the infographic, accurately grasping customer demand should be your key concern when creating a holiday packaging campaign. In 2011, Coke had to end their seasonal “white can” campaign early because customers preferred the traditional red Coke can. Hershey’s also took a hit that year when they overestimated the demand for candy with Halloween packaging. Loads of leftover product is the ultimate sign of a failed seasonal packaging campaign. If you’re going to run a seasonal marketing campaign, take a page out of Hershey’s book and don’t tie your packaging to a specific holiday. Instead, use seasonal colors and themes so you can get the most out of your packaging and extend your product’s shelf life.
Good Seasonal Packaging = New Customers
If leftover stock is the sign of failure, new customers are the sign of a successful seasonal packaging campaign. While most seasonal packaging focuses on the Christmas holiday, Kleenex took a chance and launched a seasonal campaign during their slow season: summer, when Kleenex sales usually drop off by 60%. Designing their boxes to look like summer fruit, Kleenex achieved “close to 100% incrementality,” or in other words, brand new customers that bought their product solely because they liked the packaging.
Are you thinking about launching a seasonal product packaging campaign this holiday season? If so, keep in mind some key packaging trends to add an extra kick. Personalized packaging has been very popular in the last couple years, with Johnnie Walker and even Coke jumping on the bandwagon. Interactive packaging has also become a recent trend, with craft breweries like Shiner integrating pop-out coasters into their packaging as a fun and festive keepsake. Tapping into key trends may just be what you need to make customers choose your product over the big brands.
By Katie Shabi
Katie Shabi is a marketing professional based in Jacksonville, FL. Her work has been featured on Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Indie Wire and Elite Daily. She currently works for the Grimes Companies, a 3PL logistics company in Florida.