In the spirit of Christmas

Previously, I have talked about the importance of branding and how the packaging used to promote products is paramount to the success of it. But what happens once the brand has been launched, found a niche in the market and has been out there a while?

Clients often come to us to create their branding and packaging and rejoice at the initial success and responses they have enjoyed at being able to sell them in outlets previously not attainable to them, and the increase in sales they have had as a result of that.

Fantastic! The brand and packaging are doing their job. It has attracted consumer attention. Customers have picked up the product, connected, trusted and ultimately responded by putting it in their shopping basket to try for themselves.

Fast forward 12 months or so, and ask them how the product is performing and quite often the answer is the same. ‘Steady, up and down, it varies depending on the location, not as strong as initial sales, etc. While a number of factors are responsible for this result, the most common reason for the decline in sales is simple – the product has been put on the shelf and expected to perform at the same rate it did at the time of launch – indefinitely. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to understand and appreciate that anything new is bound to attract interest and once the novelty has worn off, the reasons for consumers to keep buying the brand and product rests entirely based on their experience of it. A positive experience can expect a high return of increased sales, a negative one obviously will not. Additionally, a brand cannot expect to sit on shelf endlessly and perform without some sort of marketing and supportive incentive for consumers to continue to buy them over their competitors.

We are not marketers, we can however draw on our own experiences and look to other leading brands to understand how they retain their customer’s interest in their products, and ultimately their loyalty to them.

While there are numerous on-going methods to promote a brand through various media, in this blog we look at the benefits of seasonal promotion, and how it can be used to reinvigorate an established brand, strengthen it’s values and increase customer loyalty.

Seasonal promotions

Seasonal advertising and promotion connects companies, brands and products to events that majority audiences celebrate such as Halloween, Easter and…. Christmas.

Big brands such as Coca-Cola have leveraged the benefits of seasonal promotions for decades, and have been so successful at it that Coca-Cola and Santa are now synonymous with Christmas. Teaming the big guy in the red suit with Coca-Cola was a genius brand connection. Christmas is celebrated by millions of people around the world and the sales generated by the Christmas season amounts to trillions of dollars each year.

Promoting a brand and product with a seasonal message need not be expensive or tacky. There are many marketing avenues to apply it to across a range of media – email newsletters, social media, seasonal offers, website and digital marketing, bespoke Christmas Cards, and much more… but for those brands willing to adapt their brand with seasonal packaging the rewards can be numerous.

Adding a seasonal touch to a brand’s packaging allows it to be expressive, original and personal. Christmas is the perfect time to apply seasonal messages, as consumers prepare to spend Christmas Day with loved ones they look towards brands which impart the spirit of Christmas, heightening their own experience of it.

Kitchen pic of the standard range of Otaika Valley Free Range Egg cartons

The range of Otaika Valley Free Range Egg cartons with the original design created for them by Dessein in 2013.  Photo: Maggie Gardyne

Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs is an egg provider in New Zealand, and could be seen as an unlikely candidate willing to adapt to seasonal packaging for their product. However, this is not the case. Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs has a well-founded brand and reputation for their free range produce. Dessein re-branded their labels in 2013 which saw their sales spike by more than 1,000% within the first 12 months. Owner William Sandle attributes the spike directly to the new label design, and while he is very kind to say so, it is also a result of a brand which lives up to it’s promises. You only have to take a look at how many views of their video of their chickens roaming across their wide, green pastures on You Tube (it had just clicked over the 5 million view mark as I write this), to understand why they have the reputation they do.  See it for yourself.

The new brand opened many doors for the once small egg farming company, and resulted in significant growth to the business including a 30% increase of free range eggs supplied to McDonald’s in New Zealand. With 2 farms in New Zealand, Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs has become one of the leading egg suppliers in the country, so their decision to take hold of the reins (excuse the Christmas pun), and whisk things up (another pun) with new Christmas labels and additional promotional materials to celebrate the season is  testament to their resolve to become the market leader.

‘Our goal is to be different from our competitor’s, so we decided to replace our standard ‘pink label’ (Size 7, 12 pack) with a Christmas label. We did this last year, and had a great response from our customers,’ said owner, William Sandle. ‘We anticipate we will use approximately 40,000 – 50,000 labels for the promotion which will appear on supermarket shelves early in December.’

Otaika Valley Free Range Egg Christmas carton surrounded by gourmet meringues

The essence of the Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs brand is adorned with the Christmas spirit in red, green and gold foil. Photo: Maggie Gardyne

In addition to the new labels, Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs with the support of boutique PR company Duo PR, collaborated with celebrated Little & Friday, to whisk up a Kiwi seasonal favourite of to-die-for meringues. (Please take a look at the Little & Friday website and you’ll understand why they are soooo divine!)

Packed in a fully branded box, the meringues are accompanied with a tea towel, card, and a carton of Otaika Valley Free Range eggs, all themed with the same beautiful design which adorns the egg carton. Gifting the boxes to some of New Zealand’s notable bloggers, Instagrammers, media and the like, the Otaika Valley gift encourages them to enjoy their certified free range eggs as part of their festive treats with eggs sourced from happy, healthy hens.

The tea towels with design adapted from the egg labels made by Tea.Towels.Co.NZ

Otaika Valley’s Free Range Eggs beautifully presented as a Christmas wreath pavlova feature by UNO. Magazine

Leading by example, the Otaika Valley Free Range Egg brand is most definitely setting a cracking pace, (whoops, another pun….sorry I can’t help myself), and we are sure the rest of the egg industry will be taking notice and adapting their marketing accordingly.

If you think about it, it makes sense. If you’re in the festive mood and looking for chocolate or another sweet treat, which product are you more likely to pick up – the one in the normal packaging or the festive one covered with snowflakes, sparkles and Christmas ornaments, so why should eggs be any different?

Oh, by the way, the label design won a Silver at the 2017 International Creativity Awards  (Dessein also took home a number of others including 2 Platinum Awards).

There are many ways to engage with your customers, and the scope of what can be done and achieved with it is endless. It may be too late for this year, but perhaps it is time to think about what other promotion Dessein can create to rejuvenate interest in your product or brand. For now however, in the spirit of the season, Merry Christmas.