How to Know if Your Packaging Needs a Redesign

It is inevitable that even the most successful companies sometimes have sales slumps. However, top-tier organizations stay at the top by identifying processes that don’t work and strategically fixing them.

A critical way many organizations can remain relevant to consumers is by re-examining their marketing strategies. An important aspect of marketing is packaging — the first thing your consumers see when they see your packaging. Packaging can drive sales, customer loyalty and brand recognition, but poor packaging can be a detriment to your company.

When do you need new packaging?

In his book on problem-solving for organizations, called “Gemba Walks”, renowned management expert, and MIT professor, Jim Womack illustrates how companies can save waste and increase sales through a problem-solving technique called Gemba. He says, “Gemba. What a wonderful word. The place—any place in any organization—where humans create value.  But how do we understand the gemba? And, more important, how do we make it a better place—one where we can create more value with less waste.”

To ensure your products are creating value, take the time to look at your current marketing strategies and  map out the various sales and marketing issues you’re having. Once you’ve compiled your list, it’s likely that you’ll discover that your company is experiencing one or more of the issues below.

Here are a few of the signs that you may need new packaging:

  • Sales have decreased
  • Your product has changed or evolved
  • Your design doesn’t stand out. (It’s difficult for products to resonate with consumers if they don’t look memorable.)
  • Your packaging takes up a lot of shelf-space (refer to industry standards for packaging for your product to determine the appropriate size of your packaging)
  • Your packaging is not eco-friendly
  • The copy on your packaging is hard to read
  • Your packaging is hard to open
  • The packaging/branding looks and feels outdated


When creating new packaging for your products, it is essential that the marketing team and senior leaders have a framework for the re-design. Consider the following questions when creating new packaging:

  • Is the new design still in line with the company’s vision, and will it be recognizable to consumers? For example, if you use a completely different colour scheme and consumers strongly associate your product with a particular colour of packaging they may be thrown off. For instance, Oreo packaging is traditionally blue, and Tropicana packaging is orange and green. Both products have gone through packaging overhauls over the years, but they generally stick to the same colour scheme.
  • How will this new redesign stand out?  Research what the designs of your closest competitors look like to make sure your redesign goes a step above your competitors.
  • What are the key performance indicators for this redesign?  Undergoing a packaging redesign can help you achieve many different marketing objectives. It’s important to identify these KPIs, and keep them top of mind when designing your redesigns and then evaluating its success. Here are a few examples of KPIs for your new packaging: an increase in positive brand sentiment, an increase in brand recognition, an increase in sales, and a decrease in packaging costs.
  • What is the potential ROI for the redesign (return on investment)? Ultimately consumers purchase items due to primal, emotional cues. If your packaging is heavy, hard to read, or boring consumers will likely opt for better-packaged products instead. That’s why if you’re experiencing low sales and low customer engagement it’s important you evaluate the state of your packaging. Use the above tips as a guide for how to create successful and strategic packaging.

Do you want to know more?

6 Things to Consider before Redesigning Your Product Packaging