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Wacky packaging: how to get it right

When a fresh, new, individual tone works for one brand, it’s no surprise that other brands seek to follow suit. In recent years, we’ve seen an unmistakable trend in packaging for a whole variety of products. It’s become friendlier, wackier, and the copy has a more informal tone. This trend has undoubtedly been triggered by the brand tone used by Innocent Smoothies. When Innocent first took off, it stood out from the crowd with its cute, quirky packaging. The quirkiness was largely restricted to the copy, but Innocent’s design team also had to stick to the brief, with a cute logo and the ‘so what’s in the box?’ section on the label. Many companies have mimicked Innocent’s unique copy and design, but some consumers are becoming tired of this informal and wacky packaging – known as wackaging. There’s still a place for it in the design studio and on supermarket shelves, but there are a few rules to follow if you don’t want it to be derided by potential customers and design experts alike.


Be genuine

If you’re trying too hard to make your packaging design fun, it’ll show. The problem that most people have with the overuse of wacky packaging is that the lighthearted, informal copy often feels forced and contrived. Of course, there are benefits to be gained from trying to shift your target market to being younger and cooler – but a consumer won’t be won over by over-the-top, obviously false copy and design. In fact, they’ll be turned off by it. In addition, your previous customers may feel alienated by a total rebrand. Overall, unless your rebranding efforts are a natural evolution of your original brand (or if you’re launching your brand for the first time), it’s unlikely that they’ll come across as genuine – therefore, your wacky packaging efforts will probably be unsuccessful.


Consider your product

Innocent’s wacky packaging worked because smoothies had previously been viewed as posh health foods that weren’t fun, and Innocent’s brand was something new. If you’re considering taking the same approach to life insurance or washing machines, think again. When looking for an essential item, customers don’t care if the packaging is fun or practically blank. They just want it to work. Food products, drinks and cosmetics are all better suited to wackaging, as consumers look past function to other brand aspects when making purchase decisions.


Costs and storage

Now for the boring part. If you’re thinking about changing the shape of your packaging or drastically altering the content printed on it, you have to think about the costs associated with not just rebranding the product, but of every print run. Contact a print management company to discuss how you can keep costs down. This may or may not involve compromising some of your original design vision. If you choose to work with PMG Print Management’s clever design and print management team, we’ll find where you can make significant savings on your print costs. Speak to us now to get started.

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