There’s no doubt about it: 2023 is proving to be a challenging year for many of us. How challenging? We do know that the volume of global trade is set to grow 2.3% this year, and that’s well below the rates we saw before the pandemic. With sales down, it might feel tempting to invest less in your business… but don’t cut the costs that position you to end this year on a high note. Do you know what’s a real difference-maker? Seasonal packaging. Yes, it can be a costly initiative and it must be carried out strategically. But when you do it right, you boost sales, capitalize on impulse purchases, strengthen your brand, and ensure customer loyalty. And the thing is… larger brands have set strong precedents for marking many major seasons. Brands that want to keep up need to follow suit.
Still, you need to ensure that your seasonal packaging investment pays off richly. That’s what this guide is all about: helping you make it count.
Which holidays are most relevant?
These are the ones with the biggest proven impact:
- Valentine’s Day
- A company anniversary
Do you need to mark every single one of these occasions? Nope! Pick the ones that truly resonate with your target demographic. If you sell children’s toys, Christmas clearly makes a lot of sense. If you sell high-end menswear, maybe Halloween isn’t your best bet.
When should we get started?
A good rule of thumb is to start planning 2-6 months before the holiday. However, if you are choosing seasonal packaging for products that will be shipped for Christmas, then err on the side of taking longer.
What should we keep in mind during the design process?
Here are a few guidelines for ensuring that your seasonal designs have the biggest possible positive impact:
Make sure that whatever you design looks good with your existing branding. If your idea doesn’t complement your existing palette and perennial elements like your logo, it’s not going to work.
If you choose to load your seasonal packaging with too many fussy elements like tissue paper, you might regret it later.
Beware of Cheap
This initiative is a big, flashy push for sales…don’t cut corners and underwhelm your customers.
Language with Wiggle Room
Choose more general verbiage and branding that allows you to be on the shelves longer than just the holiday. “Winter Celebration Edition” gives you a lot more leeway than “Christmas Edition”.
How else can we maximize on our investment?
Tying in your special packaging with a seasonal promotion can be a winning strategy.
Lower Cost Strategies
If a full-on packaging revamp is beyond your budget right now, consider a simpler, more cost-effective tweak like a folding carton wrap.
On the other hand, if you can afford to make a splash, this is your perfect opportunity. You could change your labels and create special Point of Sale/Point of Purchase displays. If you’re in e-commerce, get a seasonal box. Hint: if you want to go this route, find a packaging supplier with high-end digital printing capabilities, because you’re going to want to create limited runs.
If you’re a smaller brand, use that to your advantage, and pick imagery that reflects your regional traditions.
Make it a Collectible
Is your packaging something that a customer might want to keep forever, like a particularly beautiful keepsake box? The less disposable your seasonal packaging looks, the more likely it will be compelling to consumers.
Find a Short Run Supplier
The last thing you need is extra stock on hand when it comes to this sort of special packaging. Remember to find a packaging partner who can do shorter runs through high-end digital printing; not all of them do! (Do we? Yes!)
These are our best quick and easy guidelines for creating seasonal packaging that will be worth the investment. 2023 hasn’t been an easy year to navigate and we want you to finish strong. And of course, if you want to reach out to us and discuss ideas, please do!