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This is a self-funded case study using our Packaging Testing solution.
When it comes to packaging and logo design, minimalism is in vogue.
Two-dimensional design elements that allow for easy adaptation across markets and touchpoints (particularly mobile) have become the hot new trend, replacing the once trendy three-dimensional look deployed by brands in years gone past — it’s a fickle world for logos!
Extra is the latest brand to undertake a design overhaul, with the aforementioned adaptability a key reason cited for shaking things up. A flattened ‘ding’ symbol and logo were introduced with the goal of not only modernizing the brand and creating a ‘forward-thinking’ identity, but also providing Extra “potential in the digital age”.
However, as important as these digital considerations are, the significance of packaging — the only touchpoint most consumers ever have any interaction with — cannot be underestimated. To see how the new design stacked up versus the incumbent, we tested them in parallel using our 3Cs framework.
Packaging’s first goal is to stand out and get noticed because, in the absence of this, everything else is inconsequential. Though maintaining a similar layout and color palette, flattened and more artistic design elements helped push the new packaging into a more distinctive territory. The novel twist on the incumbent successfully boosted on-shelf presence and created a more contemporary feel, while softer background iconography helped bolster feelings of excitement and happiness.
Despite the fresh take, Extra still kept intact the brand’s most important assets, ensuring easy recognition. The color scheme deployed across the range was highly familiar, with the bold — albeit simplified — logo and shield lock-up working in tandem to easily trigger the brand (even with the shift to a lowercase ‘e’). Importantly, none of the updates clashed with pre-existing associations around Extra, positioning the brand as more ‘modern’ and ‘fun’, but an equally strong ‘fit’ as its predecessor.
Beyond the new art style and flattened design elements, Extra aimed to reduce the emphasis on dental hygiene — with tooth imagery giving way to an enlarged ‘sugar-free’ call-out. This resulted in health credentials being more top of mind. While the change didn’t move the needle significantly on flavor perceptions (which was a key objective), the shift in benefit hierarchy did ladder up to stronger predisposition. It also helped create a clearer point of difference versus competitors.
In 2021 we reviewed Pringles’ rebrand and the “flattening” of iconic Mr. Pringle. However, unlike Extra, Pringles’ revamp wasn’t as warmly received — it was a departure from both the character’s unique quirks, and the playful approach typically associated with the brand.
While Pringles’ modernization detracted from: (1) How uniquely identifiable the packaging was; and (2) How well it synergized with the brand’s ‘fun’ positioning, Extra proved that simplification doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing personality or recognizability.
The enhancements were purposeful, with care taken to ensure existing memory structures weren’t disrupted; a freshened aesthetic which ultimately achieved the desired goal of positioning Extra as a ‘forward-thinking’ brand, while importantly keeping distinctive assets intact. Overall, the redesign was a resounding success.