5 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Packaging

Custom packaging by Great Northern

Your packaging does more than ensure your products reach customers intact. It changes how consumers see and relate to your brand. There is a definitive link between packaging and purchase behavior, and many businesses know how to capitalize on this link to boost their sales, cultivate brand loyalty and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Businesses, industries and consumers have evolved, and different packaging elements have become more critical. Knowing when to upgrade your packaging is essential to stay ahead of the curve and connected to your customers. It’s a significant decision that must be considered carefully for your business to see maximum results.

Why Is Updating Product Packaging Important?

While fixing something that isn’t broken may seem counterintuitive, it’s necessary for your packaging. Retail involves fierce competition, and with 73% of purchase decisions made at the point of sale, your business can’t afford to get lost in outdated packaging. It matters to your customers, with 72% stating that packaging design influences their purchase decisions.

Upgrading your packaging can redefine your brand, repositioning it in consumers’ minds. The most straightforward changes can significantly affect your sales and brand awareness. While you don’t want to change your packaging too often, a change once in a while is like a breath of fresh air for customers and allows your packaging to evolve alongside your products.

The 5 Signs to Change Your Packaging

So, when is it time to change your packaging? Like all marketing decisions, you must be able to make an informed choice about when you make changes. The right time to refresh your brand differs for every business, but there are signs to look out for. The five major signs to change your packaging include the following:

1. It’s Been a While Since You Updated Your Packaging

Cast your mind back to the last time you updated your packaging. Now might be the right time to make changes if it was over six years ago. Your product, marketing team and customers have changed within that period. The decisions you made then may not be relevant anymore, and your brand may need a refresh to carry it through to a new phase.

Trends aside, there are quantifiable changes in the market you can capitalize on to decide whether your packaging is outdated and losing traction with customers. If it’s been years since you made any changes, the chances are that the market has changed. Your changes will likely make your product and brand message more relevant to today’s customers.

2. You’re Falling Behind Your Competition

Staying the same in a rapidly changing industry means people who keep moving will overtake you. Take the time to examine what your competitors are doing. If they’ve all made changes, positioning themselves at the forefront of a consumer consciousness that values novelty, you might have to rush to catch up.

Outdated packaging can make you fall behind, and as you’re in a constant quest to attract — and keep — your audience’s attention, you need to consider the best changes you can make. Packaging changes attract attention, whether the updates are subtle or significant. When people shop for similar products, they’re used to seeing the same packaging designs, so unique changes will undoubtedly stand out. Create a strategy that distinguishes your brand from the competition by pinpointing its strengths and weaknesses.

More than 80% of consumers say environmental status is one of the main factors influencing their food product purchase decisions

3. Your Packaging Isn’t Sustainable

Sustainability is more than a buzzword — it’s something consumers genuinely care about. As a business, you know it’s one of your responsibilities to operate more sustainably, and one of the principal ways you can achieve that is by being intentional with your packaging.

If you have yet to change to sustainable packaging, you could be alienating a significant number of clients. More than 80% of consumers say environmental status is one of the main factors influencing their food product purchase decisions. Beyond food, 65% of people want to buy sustainable products and thus would choose eco-friendly packaging over the alternative. Choosing industry-leading sustainable packaging shows customers you have a genuine interest in reducing waste.

People notice the brands that take action and minimize their environmental impact — many are willing to pay more for an eco-friendly product. There are considerable benefits to upgrading to sustainable packaging, including the following:

  • Cost savings
  • Reducing your environmental impact
  • Improving your brand image
  • Increasing sales

Making the change is a prominent part of many marketing strategies worldwide.

4. Your Brand Message Is Getting Lost

Consider whether your brand message is still as strong as a few years ago. Does it still reflect your core values? Has your brand message changed over the years? Updating your packaging is an excellent place to start, even if you’re simply looking to reinvent your brand message.

Take an honest look at your brand and ask yourself why the elements of your packaging exist and if those reasons are still valid today. Consider whether consumers recognize and relate to these elements or if you could find a more precise and creative way to get your message across.

The most influential people in the branding process are the buyers. Decide how your brand message could better target the ideal audience and recreate a clear message based on these parameters.

5. Trends Have Changed

Trends have changed, from colors and logo design to packaging material and textures. Keeping up with the trends helps you target the right customers and stand out on the shelves. It’s essential to differentiate between fleeting trends that would incur high rebranding costs that only make a difference for a short period and a significant shift in design language and consumer preferences.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of significant industry packaging trends can ensure your customers choose your products. In 2023, for example, customers prefer minimalistic packaging, and 50% believe manufacturers use too much — other 2023 trends to consider include large fonts, retro-inspired designs and personalized packaging. Depending on your product and target audience, your upgrade could incorporate one or more of these to maximize your brand message.

Contact Great Northern Packaging to Upgrade your packaging

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is more than a tagline, it is an attitude. At Great Northern, customer challenges are met by an undying spirit to doing what others can’t or won’t. It’s in our DNA. And it is what our customers have come to expect with Great Northern.

How can we exceed your expectations?