This month’s issue of BOLT! is the last in a 3-part series in which I’m sharing insights from my Packaging That Sells conference session, ‘The Secret to Successful Licensed Product Packaging.’ In Part 1, I made the distinction between traditional consumer product packaging and licensed product packaging, then discussed the most common mistakes made by brand owners when developing packaging for their licensed properties. In Part 2, I explained how to overcome these commonly made mistakes, then revealed the three keys to developing a successful licensed product packaging program: Package Design Architecture, Modularity and Standardization.
In this month’s issue, I’ll cover the two distinct methodologies for licensed product packaging standardization, then discuss the benefits of having a well-conceived, standardized licensed product packaging program in place.
As I mentioned last month, standardization guidelines should always be clear and easy for licensees to follow. But, there are two schools of thought with regard to how licensed packaging should be standardized. We refer to these as rigid standardization and flexible standardization. Which methodology you choose to leverage should be determined by how strict your standardization needs to be.
This is typically a step-by-step approach to standardization that leaves very little to the licensee’s judgment. The usage of all package design assets is painstakingly standardized in great detail through measurements, proportion ratios and examples of dos and don’ts. A combination of visual and extensively written guidelines are employed to ensure that nothing is open for creative interpretation.
This methodology is best for brand owners who have a large number of licensee partners in a wide variety of consumer product categories. Under these circumstances, being very rigid with the standardization of a licensed product packaging program will make it easier to manage licensee submissions and approvals. With very little margin for error, licensees will have a better chance of getting their packaging right on the first attempt.
This is more of a template-driven approach to standardization where each packaging format is represented visually, along with the support of minimal instructional text. The benefit of this approach is that licensees are given some freedom to interpret the package design system in a way that best highlights their product’s features.
This methodology is only recommended if the licensed brand appears in a handful of retail categories, or if the brand has a modest amount of licensee partners. Because of the creative freedom that licensees are afforded, there’s always a chance that they’ll push things a bit too far or veer off-brand occasionally, creating a mild amount of work for the licensor’s brand assurance team.
The Benefits of a Well-Conceived, Standardized Licensed Product Packaging Program
Now that I’ve shared our philosophies on how to develop successful licensed product packaging, I’ll share the rewards you’ll reap by refreshing the packaging for your licensed brand in this manner.
Consistent Brand Statement Across All Consumer Product Categories
Establishing distinctive package design architecture, infusing modularity into the package design system and standardizing its implementation guarantees that your property will make a consistent brand statement across all consumer product categories.
A standardized licensed packaging program is a tool that allows you to take control of how your brand is represented in the marketplace. But, it will also be viewed as a valuable tool by your licensees because they’ll know that their packaging will align with that of all other licensees, and that they can rest assured that consumers will be able to find their products at retail.
Less work for Brand Owner and Licensees
Investing in the development of a licensed product packaging program in this manner will ultimately save time and effort for the brand owner and all licensees.
No more designing packaging for each licensee on a case-by-case basis. And package design submissions from licensees will typically need only minor revisions or slight course-correcting.
Greater Brand Recognition Leads to Stronger Sales
Consumers will immediately recognize distinctive package design architecture that leverages the most equitable visual assets of the brand, throughout the retail environment, regardless of the category. Leverage the right visual assets, and you have an opportunity to establish and emotional connection between brand and consumer, which will be powerful enough to motivate purchase decisions.
Greater brand recognition always equates to stronger sales. And that’s what this is all about, right?
We would love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve covered in this 3-part series. Please chime in. Your insights, observations and questions are always welcome!