Packaging Innovation
brand packaging localization
May 3, 2018

3 best practices for brand packaging localization

Every packaging designer knows that finding the perfect balance between brand consistency and local customization is no easy feat. As brand identity and consumer confidence go hand in hand, it seems logical for brands to stick to one global look. However, with local markets come local challenges. Understanding consumers’ needs and expectations on a local level is vital for brands to thrive in the era of globalization – hence the need for brand packaging localization. But where to start? This article sums up three best practices for brand packaging designers to think global yet act local.

1. There’s gold and there’s gold

Did you know even the slightest difference in color can have a tremendous impact on sales? Chinese consumers, for instance, tend to associate gold packaging with luxury products and premium quality. However, present a Chinese local with a gift wrapped in pale gold paper with yellow undertones and they will inevitably link it to death. It’s this type of cultural differences that make local consumer research prior to launching indispensable.

2. Find out (and respect) the status quo

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A complete packaging design overhaul is never a good idea if consumers already recognize certain elements of the design as unique to your brand – could you imagine your Ikea shopping bag not being ‘Ikea blue’? Brand packaging localization is all about knowing which aspects to keep and tweaking the rest to suit local customs and occasions.

Brand packaging design ‘en français’

Toblerone chocolate bars always have a triangular shape and come in gold packaging featuring Swiss mountains. Buy a Toblerone in France around Christmas time, however, and chances are you’ll be unwrapping a Paris-themed packaging design with Christmas graphics thrown into the mix.

3. Sometimes smaller is better

3 best practices for brand packaging localizationWhile the US retail environment mainly consists of large supermarket chains, small and locally owned shops are still dominant in Asian and Latin American regions. Usually tightly shelved and catering to shoppers with daily (rather than weekly) spending budgets, this type of store calls for smaller packaging formats with similarly smaller price points. Inspired by Brand Packaging