Why Brands Like Coca-Cola and Bud Light Are Making Packaging Personal

Global marketers are taking a more personalized approach to reaching consumers. This year, several have tinkered with logos and packaging, adding names, words, teams or whatever the brand sees as a way to make a deeper connection with shoppers. "Consumers—and more specifically millennials—love a customized, personalized experience, and leveraging packaging is the best way to tap into" that, said Alex Lambrecht, vp of Bud Light.

Younger generations embrace individuality, and these personalized efforts cater to that, added Brian Rafferty, global director of research insights for branding firm Siegel+Gale. "It makes people feel like the brand is more about them than about the brand," he noted.

It worked for Coca-Cola, which just wrapped up its "Share a Coke" campaign in September. Coke attributed a 2.5 percent gain in sales, following a decade-long decline, to the customized cans. The campaign also helped Coke score over 1.14 billion impressions across social media. With that kind of impact, it makes sense other marketers would follow—Snickers replaced its logo with hunger triggers and Bud Light is rolling out NFL team-themed cans.

1

Corona Extra

For the past two years, Corona Extra, in partnership with Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, has had boxing fans buzzing over limited edition, specially wrapped 18-packs of 12-ounce bottles. Now, the brewer is asking fans to vote on its site for the next six fighters to be featured this year.

2

Perrier

Perrier rolled out the second installment of its “Inspired by Street Art” collection in September. The new cans and bottles, created in a partnership with French artist L’Atlas, are designed to help consumers appreciate art and “see Perrier as an extraordinary brand,” said Priya Shenoy, group marketing manager of French brands at Nestlé Waters North America.

3

Snickers

As part of its “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign, Snickers in September swapped out its iconic logo for 21 different hunger symptoms. “The goal was to take the magic of our [campaign] in-store and allow consumers to interact with it in a way that is truly ownable,” said Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick. In February, Snickers will extend its campaign to fun-size bars.

4

Coca-Cola

To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends Oct. 15, Coca-Cola whipped up a line of temporary tattoos of common Latino family names that consumers can peel off their cans and wear. The effort from David (one of Coke’s agencies) plays up the insight that Latinos feel a particular sense of pride in their heritage. This is the latest packaging experiment from the soda giant, which is winding down its “Share a Coke” U.S. campaign that replaced its logo with 1,000 popular names.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 5 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.