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Does Seasonal Packaging Really Increase Your Profits?

Tomorrow marks the official start of the Christmas season with advent calendars being opened, and the Black Friday orders having been delivered (which are hopefully Christmas presents rather than people treating themselves). And while it’s an exciting time in everyone’s personal lives, what about the world of business?

Well, it’s categorically an exciting time there too. Retail sees a significant spike as customers shop for gifts and no industry is exempt from marketing their product or service as “the perfect Christmas present”. But a lot of brands don’t stop there with the festive cheer; they introduce limited edition product packaging full of festive charm. But with a short shelf life, is Christmas packaging cost effective and driven by ROI? Or is it a gimmick that your business should skip this year?

Well, it’s certainly more difficult than you may think. With design, production and distribution to consider in such a short time frame, it can be a difficult campaign to get off the ground. But when done cleverly, Christmas (or seasonal) packaging has been proven to boost profits.

The first thing you need to do is to grasp customer demand. For a product that has a short shelf life (thanks to the design), you need to accurately work out how many to produce. If you over-order, you could damage your profit margins through left over stock or having to sell it at a drastically slashed price after the fact.

Another important thing to remember is that your packaging still needs to be in line with your branding and recognisable to your customer. Coca Cola had a famous faux pas in 2011 when they released some seasonal cans, in a white and silver polar bear design. However, the stock had to be pulled early because customers were complaining that it looked too much like Diet Coke and there was a lot of confusion. In designing Christmas packaging, you need to make sure that you don’t just focus on the festive theme at hand, but also on your brand identity.

A good way to test the water with this marketing technique is to toy with the festive packaging idea without committing too much and risking leftover stock. Instead of designing your limited edition packaging with a Christmas design, opt for seasonal colours or wintery designs instead, to elongate the shelf life of your products and hopefully still boost sales.

It has been proven though that packaging is a clever marketing tool, with things like the personalised Coke bottles becoming a roaring success. Whether or not you go for Christmas packaging this year, consider how you can think outside the box and grab your customers’ attention.

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By Dave Hughes

Dave is a front end web developer and graphic designer, with experience in e-commerce and digital marketing.

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