Innovative Packaging Also Can Be a Promotional Tool

Designing a product’s package is often an under-appreciated marketing task despite it being an integral component in shaping a brand’s identity. While not all marketers focus enough attention on packaging, those that do are discovering how it can serve as much more than just being a container for the main product. This is especially the case with the advent of social media. Marketers are finding that unique packaging, that captures consumers’ attention, will drive social media activity. For instance, earlier this year, in Columbia and Denmark, McDonalds gained social media attention when it tested its McBike package that makes it easy for bike riders to carry takeout orders. And last year in Asian markets Coca-Cola introduced a variety of screw-on-tops that can be used to re-purpose standard plastic bottles.

We now have another packaging innovation that once again is capturing social media interest. As discussed in this Business Insider story, in Britain, just in time for the holidays, Coca-Cola has introduced a limited-edition label consumers can peel off and then turn into a bow. While this package design is being widely discussed on social media, it is actually not new as it appears to have first been introduced in 2013 and dubbed the Magic Bow. (See more on the development of this design here). Nonetheless, the package design is serving as a promotional tool.

Curiously, all of these packaging innovations were introduced outside the U.S. While new packaging ideas are frequently introduced in the U.S., testing of new concepts may be easier in countries and regions that are viewed as presenting fewer obstacles to experimentation, such as fewer legal restrictions, or have a smaller customer base, thus requiring fewer packages to be produced. Both issues can significantly reduce the cost of producing and testing new packaging ideas.