Famous for its signature packaging featuring an orange with a straw, Tropicana is one of the world’s leading orange juice producers. Prior to 2009, their premium orange juice sales earned them around $700 million annually. Then, in 2009, Tropicana rebranded its packaging to include new imagery and fonts – and experienced a 20% sales drop in two months. This created estimated losses of about $30 million. They soon reverted to their original design.
It is likely there are many reasons this change in packaging negatively impacted Tropicana’s sales. For instance, customers may have been unable to identify the rebranded product on the shelf. Alternatively, they may have assumed the new packaging signified a change in the juice’s formulation.
No matter the reason, it was clear the new packaging failed to connect with the brand’s visual identity, and by extension, with its customers. To them, the look was inconsistent with what they had come to expect from the brand. It is a lesson many specialty roasters should take heed of – especially when considering using custom packaging to launch a new or limited edition coffee. Custom coffee packaging is an excellent way to do this, however, only if it is consistent with your brand, values, and offerings.
Read on to learn why consistent custom coffee packaging is so important and how to ensure consistency in your business.
Why is packaging consistency important?
Most businesses understand it can be more cost-effective to retain existing customers than to win over new ones. In some cases, it can cost five to seven times more to find new patrons than it does to retain the ones you already have. That said, just a 5% increase in customer loyalty can improve profits by up to 95% in time, as it is these customers who are more likely to pay for your new products without hesitation.
Becoming loyal to a brand involves becoming emotionally attached to them in some way, based on the brand’s perceived trust, dependability, and consistency. A brand that offers loyal customers novel experiences can help maintain its attraction, provided it straddles the middle ground between “too familiar” and “too novel”.
Excess novelty can be off-putting for customers, often inducing stress and avoidant behaviour. Research suggests this is because the greater the novelty perceived in the stimulus, the greater the derived utility up to a point, after which further increase in perceived novelty diminishes utility because anxiety sets in. Once this happens, the brand may be seen as inconsistent, unreliable, and untrustworthy.
So, how can this be applied to coffee packaging? In short, the medium is the message. Your packaging is a marketing vehicle that can influence customers and seemingly minor details, such as its colour, can influence whether they purchase your coffee.
How custom coffee packaging increases brand loyalty
Coffee can be set apart from other goods by its standard appearance. No matter a coffee bean’s processing, roast level or origin, to the untrained eye, it can look identical to thousands of other beans. This often means high-quality or rare specialty coffees can look identical to cheaper ones, leaving it up to your packaging to help consumers differentiate between the two.
At the same time, you also want your coffee packaging to be somewhat familiar to allow loyal customers to easily identify and purchase it. This is a common tactic adopted by roasters when selling a seasonal or limited blend for a festive period. Some roasters may also use it when selling rare or micro-lot coffees. It is a highly effective tactic to use to provide customers with a sense of exclusivity and immediacy, but depends on how you do it.
Notably, research by Nielsen shows the majority of limited-edition packaging has little positive impact on sales. A lack of alignment is a common cause of this, which is why coffee brands must ensure their custom packaging aligns with everyday branding in both looks and feel. This means paying close attention to the logos, fonts, colours, and images used.
As a roaster, you have several avenues through which to sell your coffee, such as cafes, wholesale retailers, and online channels. Therefore, you must ensure your custom packaging aligns with your usual branding face-to-face, as well as when listed on a website or sold to audiences in a different country.
Tips for keeping custom coffee packaging consistent
It is important to note there are several ways to keep your custom coffee packaging consistent without alienating customers with your choices.
First, it is essential you be transparent. Your customers may fail to immediately recognise a change in your packaging, but you can reassure them by being clear with what you are selling and how it differs from your standard offerings. For example, you can mention the product may only be available for a certain period, as well as when it should be consumed by. You could also convey information, such as whether the coffee is yeast fermented and how this impacts its tastes and aromas compared to standard single origins or blends.
Second, always double-check the printing. Many roasters choose to use a different packaging material or finish to sell a custom packaged coffee. This may alter your printing process and create inconsistent colours. Having a brand style guide can help ensure colour standards are met consistently to keep the packaging looking unified.
Last, use a single packaging provider, as this is the most effective way to prevent packaging from deviating from itself. By partnering with one company to design, print, and produce your packaging, you are more likely to get a unified product. More so, any changes required can be made quickly. The packaging supplier can also help you create custom coffee bags that adhere to the look and feel of your original packaging.
At MTPak Coffee, our team of expert designers have decades of experience creating custom-printed coffee bags that reflect your brand identity. Our range of packaging options is made from renewable materials. Our coffee boxes are made using recycled cardboard, while our sustainable coffee bags are made using kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining.
Our coffee bags and coffee boxes can be customised to reflect your brand’s characteristics, as well as vital information about your product. MTPak Coffee offers a wide range of customisation techniques, including spot UV with a glossy, satin, or matte finish, embossing and debossing, as well as hot foil stamping in a variety of colours, to name a few. We also offer our clients a quick turnaround time of 40 hours and 24-hour shipping time in addition to low minimum order quantities (MOQs) for those looking to remain agile while showcasing a commitment to the environment.