Lawrence Barnett, Wonderland Design: “Getting packaging design to work for new products”

18 January 2023, 12:08 PM
  • Lawrence Barnett, managing director at Wonderland Design, discusses keeping up with evolving consumer needs
Lawrence Barnett, Wonderland Design: “Getting packaging design to work for new products”

In these very challenging times, it is important that brands find meaningful ways to keep themselves relevant and fresh.

Launching new products can add value to the brand and category, as well as help to keep up with evolving consumer needs. Introducing new products help brands grow by maintaining the interest of existing customers and attracting new ones.

The role of packaging design in how new products are presented is vitally important here. Packs too similar to existing product packs in the range may result in new products going unnoticed. Being too different runs other risks.

If you can get past the inevitable jumping through retailer and supplier hoops, there are some considerations that are worth thinking about when it comes to the pack desig for new products.

1 Leverage the power of the brand
Brand recognition is the most crucial element of any pack design. The brand should never be compromised or diluted at the expense of the pack being more geared to communicating the new product, its range name or sub-brand. Brand comes first!

2 Product role
Be clear about the role that any new products will be playing in your portfolio. Is it simply a range extension or do the new products take your brand in a different direction? This is important for the pack design – by understanding the products’ role means that the design can be developed to reflect how you see the products in the context of your overall range.

3 Usage and occasion
How the products will be used is a key consideration. Design and messaging will play a big part in communicating the usage or occasion that the products have been created for. This can also be further helped by the use of distinctive range names or even sub brands to further enhance the usage message. Be sure to create that right balance between brand and product message or range name/sub-brand.

4 New formats
With the launch of new products, there could be the opportunity to use innovative new formats that align well with the usage or occasion. An innovative format can help accentuate the new news, create stand out and difference, particularly if it is sustainable or easily recycled.

5 Dipping a toe in the water
Launching new products can seem daunting. It can be expensive and it is difficult to get new listings. Limited editions can be a good way to test new ideas and bring new news to the brand.

Once again, pack design plays a big role in conveying the limited time only nature of the product. Sometimes, this can mean the creation of a limited edition symbol that is used consistently on pack so that consumers can recognise new products as and when they arrive. And, of course, those limited editions that prove successful can be continued as a permanent part of the range.

New product development is a big part of any brand’s strategy. To that end, packaging design needs to be thought about strategically too. It not only helps to present the brand consistently but also how to position its range of products to consumers. The combination of the pack graphics, its messaging and the packaging format can contrive to play a big part in how a brand’s product offers are presented.

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