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Revamping Old Packaging: When and How to Do It

In the world of product packaging, change is not just an option; it’s often a necessity. Why does packaging design matter? Here, at Noramble, we understand the art of revamping old packaging. Let’s look at the strategic considerations for breathing new life into your product’s appearance.
16 min read
06 December 2023
Blog 04

Signs it’s Time for a Change

Deciding when to overhaul your packaging is no easy task. But there might be certain signs that signal your packaging looks tired and needs a re-work. It might be that sales trends become your indicator. If your once-popular product is experiencing a decline in sales, it might be time to reassess its visual appeal. Revamp your design with innovative packaging solutions to stand out.

Use and abuse consumer feedback. Negative comments about your packaging, especially across social media channels or Google reviews, can quickly snowball into a reputation crisis. Don’t view these comments as threats, instead use them to improve your brand. Not only will your consumers respect the fact that you listened, but actively addressing concerns and making positive changes can also foster a stronger bond between your brand and its audience. By demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement, you not only enhance your product or service but also showcase a customer-centric approach that builds trust and loyalty. Embrace criticism as an opportunity for growth, and watch how it transforms your brand into a dynamic, responsive force in the market.

Packaging trends evolve. There will be packaging design trends you need to watch out for. If your product is still sporting a look from a bygone era, it might be perceived as outdated. If your packaging design feels outdated compared to competitors or fails to resonate with your target audience, it's a clear sign that a redesign is in order. There’s an art and science to packaging design. You have to move with the trends, not stay stuck in them. Staying ahead of industry trends is imperative for remaining competitive and relevant.

Harves Honey Before
Harveys Honey Packaging 3

Left: Before | Right: After 

Harvey's Honey Case Study

Retaining Brand Identity During a Redesign

A packaging revamp doesn’t mean you need to discard the old. It’s all about breathing fresh life, while maintaining the essence of your brand. It’s an opportunity to reinforce and potentially enhance it. The key to successful packaging redesigns is to make sure you maintain key elements that contribute to brand recognition. How do you ensure a redesign doesn’t alienate those loyal customers though? The aim is to retain your current customers and attract new ones.

Start by identifying the core visual elements that define your brand, such as the logo, colour palette, and distinctive graphic elements. While the overall brand design might be changing, integrating these familiar components ensures that consumers can still associate the new packaging with your established brand.

The lifecycle of packaging design is an intricate journeyconsider a gradual evolution rather than a sudden revolution as you navigate the path from concept to shelf. This can involve making subtle tweaks to your existing design rather than a complete overhaul. Gradual changes help existing customers make a smoother transition to the updated look, reducing the risk of alienating a loyal customer base.

Maintain consistency in messaging and positioning. What does this mean? If your brand is known for eco-friendly practices, don’t change that. Ensure this commitment is reflected in the redesigned packaging. Consistency when it comes to showing your values and promises reinforces trust and loyalty. You don’t want to jeopardise this.

Communicate the evolution of your brand to your consumers. Be open and transparent about it. Tell them the reasons behind the redesign, discuss the benefits, and emphasise how it aligns with your commitment to delivering an improved product or experience. People want to know your brand story and packaging plays a huge role in brand storytelling, This narrative helps consumers to understand and accept the evolution, potentially generating excitement about the positive changes. You have to always keep the future of packaging design in mind when revamping your old packaging.

As we said before, customer feedback is gold. Incorporate customer feedback into the redesign process. Engaging with your audience provides great insights into what aspects of your brand are most valued. Integrate their suggestions. Address their concerns. From this, you’ll notice your brand’s connection with consumers grow stronger.

When redesigning new packaging, don’t lose sight of your brand as this would be a major packaging design mistake. Take the $50M packaging mistake from Tropicana as an example.. In 2009, Tropicana revamped its old packaging, but failed. One of the biggest mistakes was the removal of the famous orange, as it was important for brand recognition. When redesigning packaging for an already-established brand, you need to make careful decisions. This means you have to find ways to maintain familiarity with your consumers.

Preserve the unique character of your brand. There’s a science behind effective packaging design. By carefully navigating the balance between innovation and familiarity, you can ensure that the updated packaging not only attracts new customers but continues to resonate with those who already hold your brand in high regard.

Testing New Designs with Consumers

A packaging redesign is a significant investment, and ensuring it resonates with your target audience should be your main focus. Getting feedback on packaging designs will help you in making your re-design decisions. How do you avoid the pitfalls of subjective decision-making and personal biases? Consumer testing is a step in the right direction and it will help in ensuring that your efforts align with preferences and expectations. Here are key strategies for effectively testing new designs with your audience.

👉Focus Groups

This is a fun way to brainstorm all your packaging design ideas. Engage in focus group sessions where participants from your target demographic can interact and provide feedback on potential packaging designs. This qualitative approach will allow you to observe immediate reactions, preferences, and concerns, providing valuable insights.

👉Surveys and Questionnaires

Distribute surveys or questionnaires to a wider audience to gather quantitative data on the perceived appeal and effectiveness of proposed packaging designs. Include questions that delve into emotional responses, visual preferences, and associations with your brand. This will help to inform your design brand strategy.

👉A/B Testing

Implement A/B testing by introducing the new packaging to a subset of your audience while keeping the old packaging for comparison. This method allows you to directly measure consumer behaviour and preferences based on real-world interactions.

👉Online Platforms

Leverage online platforms and social media to showcase potential designs and gather feedback from a broader audience. Social media polls, comments, and direct messages can provide a wealth of opinions and preferences.

👉Usability Testing

How easy is it to open? Evaluate the usability of the new packaging, considering aspects like ease of opening, storage convenience, and practicality. Usability testing ensures that the redesigned packaging not only looks appealing but also aligns with consumer preferences in terms of functionality.

👉In-Store Trials

Conduct in-store trials, whether it’s a retail shop or a pop-up stand, where both old and new packaging coexist, allowing consumers to make choices in a natural shopping environment. Observing which design attracts more attention and drives sales can be indicative of consumer preferences.

Consumer testing is not just about validating a design; it's about co-creating with your audience. By involving them in the process, you not only gain valuable insights but also foster a sense of inclusivity and connection with your brand. This collaborative approach ensures that the final packaging design is not only visually appealing but also resonates authentically with the people you aim to reach.

Examples of Old Packaging vs New Packaging Design

Let's look at how brands have navigated the shifting sands of consumer preferences, aesthetic trends, and technological advancements to redefine their visual identities. What do you think? 

Strongbow before new
Screenshot 2023 12 07 at 13 04 59

Left image: | Right image:

Screenshot 2023 12 07 at 13 23 05

Image source:

healthy kitchen before + after

Image source:

Screenshot 2023 12 07 at 13 19 59
Screenshot 2023 12 07 at 13 19 30

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At Noramble, we emphasise staying attuned to sales trends, leveraging consumer feedback, and adapting to evolving packaging trends. Crafting an identity during a redesign involves a careful balance – incorporating fresh elements while preserving recognisable ones. Consistency in messaging, transparent communication with consumers, and responsiveness to feedback contribute to a successful evolution. The testing phase is a strategic investment, ensuring the redesigned packaging resonates authentically with the target audience. Through collaborative efforts with consumers, we navigate the redesign journey, creating packaging that not only appeals visually but also forges genuine connections with those we aim to reach.

If you need a little nudge in the right direction, we offer Free Brand Reviews at Noramble. We’re an independent design studio with a focus on brand and packaging design - from function to design. We understand the difficulties of revamping old packaging and can help you through the process. Give us a shout if we can do anything for you!

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