Consumers can accept radical brand changes

Although we’d agree that redesigning an iconic pack is a tough challenge for any designer, we’re inclined to side with Richard Murray’s viewpoint that few brands actually have the luxury of defining their packaging as iconic (DW 5 October).

Take away Coke, Marmite and Heinz, and what you’re left with is a whole host of packs that are familiar, but not truly iconic. As a brand owner, an acceptance that you are recognisable, but not iconic can be a liberating experience, opening up the possibility to explore design that pushes the creative boundaries. 

Yet what about those genuinely iconic brands looking to reinvigorate their packaging? Although conservative, consumers can quickly assimilate more radical changes to iconic packs, so long as the new design respects the brand’s integrity and communicates its true essence.

We discovered this when working on the Tennent’s pack redesign in Scotland, the leap from the old, familiar can to the distinctive Red T pack was accepted (and embraced) by consumers primarily because the new design captured the spirit of the brand.

Although we wouldn’t suggest you throw the baby out with the bath water, when revamping a classic, don’t be scared to explore the parameters of creativity. After all, your consumers may be more open than you think to the idea of change.

John Cassidy, Joint managing director, The Big Picture Market Research, Twickenham TW2 5AB

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