How to Build Brand Equity Through Seasonal Packaging

How to Build Brand Equity Through Seasonal Packaging


With Halloween and Thanksgiving coming up, we are bracing ourselves for the holiday season. Wreaths, snowmen and candy canes will soon inundate our malls, grocery stores, and well, basically any retail outlet. For the next 3 months, makers, brands, and manufacturers will be switching up their packaging to help capitalize on the holiday market. Seasonal packaging can be a powerful marketing tool as it aims to connect the consumer with feelings and memories associated to the holidays.   

The conundrum which many brands are are seemingly coming across during the holiday season is that their overall brand identity becomes lost in a swimming pool of reindeer, snowflakes, and overall holiday cheer which dons upon every bit of retail packaging, counter displays, custom box, and floor display. Ensuring visual brand equity through seasonal packaging is a task and requires thoughtful design strategy. There are however, brands that have been able to effectively capture and maintain the essence of their brand and whose seasonal packaging strategy is now emblematic of their overall brand identity (***ahem the Starbucks red cup***). Seasonal packaging, while it can be used to boost sales, runs the risk of diluting your overall brand image which can weaken your brand overtime, blending it in with any other average joe off the shelf.

Strategies for building and maintaining brand equity through seasonal packaging:

  1. Identify and maintain consistent elements integral to your brand identity. Things to consider: your brand colour palette, graphic style, images, and icons which reinforce your brand identity and make it recognizable. While it may seem as though your brand should be conforming to the typical colours of the season, you can still use (or at the least incorporate your brand’s colour palette. Graphically, this may mean designing seasonal images in your brand’s colour palette, or incorporating a seasonal theme with your icons or logos (think the Coca Cola Santa Claus).
  2. Repurposing graphic elements. Consider your product: can you manipulate the shape of your product or graphic elements to make it more palatable for the holiday season? How much iconography exists on your retail packaging or retail displays which can be manipulated? Think candy being manipulated to look like christmas lights or using the shapes of your brand graphics to be made to look like seasonal icons.
  3. Use your structural design of your retail displays to incorporate seasonal marketing trends. Structural design can enhance consumer experience and further connect the consumer to the seasonal feels. Utilize custom boxes and custom counter displays to maintain your brand images however customize the shapes to reflect seasonal objects. Think a Kleenex box shaped as a snow covered rooftop, or tags which mimic Christmas cards attached to a bottle to look like a gift.

Finally, remember that regardless of what seasonal packaging strategy you choose to adopt, ensuring that everything from your custom boxes, cardboard displays, counter displays and retail displays remain consistently designed and branded will ensure brand equity through the holiday season.     

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