A small change in the packaging can sometimes yield big results

After having worked with numerous brands over a period of time, we at Khurana Branding and Communication have identified instances when change, especially in packaging design becomes imperative for a brand, even a well-established brand. The sooner a category leader responds to these ‘alert signals’ from the market, the higher could be the chances of survival in a dog-eat-dog world, where any upstart can upset your apple cart at any moment!

  1. Stay Alert to the Gaps in the Market: Jerome Conlon was the Director for Marketing Insights & Planning at Nike in 1987, when the shoemaker experienced the first ever drop in sales with the arrival of Reebok. Nike’s core customer was an athlete. But Reebok’s rise made Conlon realise that there could also be a second rung of customers, the non-athletes, with similar (if not the same) needs, albeit unarticulated for a sturdy shoe, and that this market, if tapped could in fact be 150X time in size of the traditional Nike market. The insight went as a brief to Nike’s agency Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) and led to the creation of “Just Do it!” campaign that expanded the ambit of Nike products to the general market and made the brand more inclusive to non-athletes, the same market that Reebok was addressing.
  2. Identify the Trigger Factor: Take the case of #Kinderjoy. Since the targets here are kids, #Kindrerjoy wanted to give them something that would make the kids inquisitive, and they would want to open the pack to find out what was inside and feel instantly rewarded. The outcome of this brain wave was the egg-shaped packaging (which possibly costs more than the cost of the chocolate ball and the toy, put together) with a tine toy inside. The idea disrupted the market for category leader #Cadbury. Cadbury later packed Gems into a similar egg shell but alas did not succeed in weaning away the kids from #Kinderjoy. The first mover advantage went to Kinderjoy.
  3. Has the Material Needs Changed? Just before the Diwali of 2003, the worm crisis hit #Cadbury-India. With 70% market share at stake, this time, #Cadbury immediately shifted gear, oops, packaging, switched from paper to polyethylene film, and Hurray! The gameplan paid off!
  4. Think New: #Paperboat is a fine example how packaging opened a new category of beverages in India. Instead of opting for glass bottle or Tetrapak, they opted for a pillow-shaped packaging, albeit steeper in cost than a normal plastic or glass bottle, became their differentiating factor.
  5. Go Small: Using an adhesive can be messy. #Fevikwik overcame this challenge in 1985 with a small vial for emergency use. The single-use tube was revolutionary, where the speed of adhesion complemented the innovative packaging of the product.

The bottom line is that something even a small twist in the packaging design can do wonders. The brand does not have to go back to the drawing room to re-engineer the product in order to fight competition. It can do so simply and most cost-effectively with the packaging.