We’ve been taught since birth that it’s what’s on the inside that counts and we must never judge a book by its cover, however this is much easier said than done and the fact is we do in fact judge almost everything by their appearance, especially goods that we’re parting our hard earned cash for. Just look at juice giants Tropicana; when they changed their packaging design in 2009 their figures dropped by an eye-watering 20% in just two months.

With figures like these, it’s no wonder that brand big and small are clamouring to come up with unique ideas for their packaging that not only protects their product, but enhances their brand image and drives sales.

The purpose of packaging

  • Firstly, the purpose of a brand’s packaging is to protect the goods from damage and degradation this includes during shipping and whilst on the stockists shelves.
  • Packaging must attract the customer’s attention; this is through branding, colour and design.
  • A brand’s packaging is also used to promote nutritional guidelines and other product information that will assist the customer in their buying process.

Packaging is often the first point of contact customers have with the product they plan to purchase, so the impact must be instant. We humans are very visual creatures, in fact 90% of the information transmitted to our brains is visual, and what’s more visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text alone. If a product’s packaging doesn’t make the correct visual impact, the chances are the competitors will.

So, with such competition in the market for amazing packaging design, what tactics are brands adopting to give them the edge? Packaging is evolving, and this time it’s personal.

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Share a Coke

At one point, personalised packaging was only available in the luxury market, but thanks to mass industry brands, personalisation became available to all, thanks to Lucie Austin marketing director of Coca-Cola South Pacific and her “Project Connect” team, who had a plan to inspire and strengthen the bond between the brand and the public.

Austin, who was part of the original team behind the campaign, stated ““My reaction was childlike. I knew many others would have the same reaction.”

The summer of 2011 Project Connect changed their name and we saw the launch of the “Share a Coke” campaign where 250 of the world’s most popular names were printed on Coca-Cola bottles. This encouraged customers to share the beverage with friends and family and coupled with the invited to share the hashtag #ShareaCoke the campaign leaped from the hands of the marketing gurus and into the hands of the public on their private social media accounts. Since the launch more than 658,000 photos were shared using the #ShareaCoke hashtag on Instagram alone.

What’s more Coca-Cola elaborated on their popular name campaign and drew further inspiration from names across the world and hopped on the bandwagon of popular phrase trends by utilising the “BFF” and “Bestie” terms. Customers were drawn to purchase the products as a nod towards to their friend or family members rather than advocating Coca-Cola itself.

Other brands

With the outstanding success of the ground-breaking Share a Coke campaign, it’s no wonder other huge brands looked to see how their businesses could grow by using the same model. Though you don’t have to be an industry giant to create personal packaging, even the smallest start-ups can benefit from this trend by purchasing blank wholesale Kraft paper rolls to stamp with their customer’s names to give their brand competitive edge.



Heinz launched their personalised brands of products, with great success with their “Get Well Soup” campaign. Customers can customise the tin with the name of their choice, and what’s more are willing to spend up to £3.99 for the opportunity, where a typical can is less than £1 in a retail shop.  Customers were driven to Facebook to make the purchase. The statistics; outlined by We Are Social are astonishing;

  • 29,600 Heinz fans joined Facebook within the first 2 weeks of the launch
  • Over 5,100 twitter mention of the brand on Twitter
  • Interaction with the brand’s Facebook was up by 650%
  • An increase of 4,334% unique monthly viewers to the Heinz Facebook


Oreo creators Mondelez Inernational have seen mass success with their personalised “Colourfill” Christmas theme packaging. Customers are willing to shell out $10 to customise the package to their exact specifications and share their designs on social media. The once run-of-the-mill design can now be transformed into a personal gift, with customer’s own words, design and colours which is then delivered to the recipient’s doorstep.

“We had a great response, including two marriage proposals — they both said yes,” said Valerie Moens at Mondelez



What makes Personalised Packaging so Successful?

Today, we live such busy lives it can often seem there is no chance for us to slow down and enjoy the world around us, if we’re forced to enjoy goods on the go or in a hurry personalisation of the product connects an emotional part of our psyche and brings more pleasure from the experience. Sending personalised products appeals to the lifestyle of company’s modern demographics which is what makes these campaigns so successful.

Personalised products provide entertainment; we now don’t only need our packaging to protect the goods inside, but look to be engaged by the product out with the typical confines of the products characteristics. Simply being refreshed by drinking a Coca-Cola is not enough today. Personalising these products provides the entertainment factor

Personalised packaging is a trend that doesn’t look to be slowing down, brands must engage with their audience across multi channels in order to stay ahead of market trends, this means guiding users to share their personalised experiences on social media and tap into the emotional needs of 21st century buyers.