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Now that the sun had decided to grace us with its presence, it truly feels like Summer in the UK. Sweaty trains, shorts, sunglasses and sleepless nights.

Have you ever noticed that we see seasonal packaging, in particular Christmas, Halloween, Easter and Valentine’s Day, but rarely Summer packaging on the shelves? Today we’ll be looking at the possible reasons for that, as well as the opportunities this opens up for brands.

Colours

Think of Summer…. What colours do you think of? Could it be a reason brands shy away from Summer packaging due to the limited colour palette of oranges, yellows and whites? If a brand is amongst competitors who have also chosen to explore Summer packaging and products are all using the same colours, there is an obvious risk of not standing out. Therefore it’s important to do a thorough competitor analysis to ensure you can differentiate from competitors.

Weather

We have been very fortunate with the weather this Summer, unlike previous years which have often been reminiscent of a Winter’s day. Let’s now look at a ketchup brand and packaging is screaming a sunny environment to inspire the consumer to eat ketchup at a barbecue. If it’s tipping it down with rain outside, you might not appeal to the consumer. On the other hand, if the weather is more typically ‘English’, a Summer pack design could offer some fantasy and escapism.

Sell well anyway

Some products such as ice cream, barbecue foods, alcohol and suncream sell well during Summer. The need to create new Summer designs as their sales are sufficient during the specific period may not be required. If anything, most of these categories should be focusing on other seasonal packaging that isn’t Summer to ensure sales throughout the year.

Gifting

Other opportunities for seasonal packaging are sometimes associated with gifting; Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter. Some brands use this to their advantage by positioning the product itself as a gift. During Summer, this is much more difficult for brands as Summer is does not have that association with gifting, unless you know someone who burns when they spend five minutes in the sun and you buy them aftersun as a gift of generosity!

Characters

What do you think of when you hear Christmas? Santa, reindeers, snow. What do you think of when you hear Halloween? Spiders, ghosts, zombies. What do you think of when you hear Easter? Eggs, chicks, bunnies. All of these occasions that can be used in packaging contain characters that you can get creative with. When you think of Summer, you do think of sun, beaches and sand. Unfortunately, these aren’t as fun as some of the other occasions and means less chances for creativity with the pack design.

Not an event

Again, if we think of the times brands would use limited edition packaging, it is normally an event that is one day and built up to. Summer is a long time period (or is meant to be) from the start of June to the end of August that isn’t a day or celebrated as much as other events. Could this be a reason brands see it as less important than other holidays and therefore packaging doesn’t celebrate it?

Relevant 

Some brands may find it simple to link their product to Summer. Let’s say you are a haircare product, you could create Summer packaging for use in the sun or on holiday. However, if you are a brand such as hot chocolate, predominately being drunk in Winter, it may be more difficult for you to link your brand with Summer. We would not recommend trying to force something that your brand doesn’t stand for and making a strange link to Summer.

Opportunities

Now we have looked at the potential reasons brands may shy away from Summer packaging, we wanted to share with you some of the reasons brand DO utilise it and the opportunities it holds.

Summer packaging gives brands the chance to expand their product range. Whether that is testing new products, limited edition ranges or products that are Summer specific, it’s a great chance to grow a brand. As well as the opportunity for further products, Summer packaging opens up a whole new consumer base. Consumers may discover a product due to new packaging that wows on the shelf. This opens up the possibility for brands to become known as a holiday essential in the Summertime.

If consumers are more aware of brands during Summer, this inevitably means having the opportunity to boost sales. If your brand doesn’t sell well in the hot months, investing in Summer packaging that ties in with your brand in some way is a trick you could be missing. Want sales all year round? Give it a go.

Summer lasts a lot longer than most other holidays so if you are currently doing seasonal packaging such as Halloween, you won’t have as much of a shelf life compared to Summer packaging. If you’re going to invest in packaging, Summer could be a good place to test to waters.

During Summer you also have the chance to be experimental with your brand, take it somewhere new and test it with a fresh, vibrant colour palette. Get creative!

Top tips

If you have chosen to go ahead with Summer packaging, we have listed out top tips below for you.

  • Make sure it is relevant for the brand
  • Be positive in all messaging
  • Make sure people will still recognise the brand
  • Don’t follow the crowd
  • Don’t be narrow minded. Could your packaging turn into a fan?
  • Use Summer imagery
  • Link it to a Summer campaign e.g win a holiday
  • Use opportunities to sell more products

If you’d like to talk to us about Summer packaging give us a call on 0208 222 6999.

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