food labels

Thinking about rebranding your food business?

Branding is the essence of your company. It answers the who, what, where, and most importantly, the why behind your company. It sets your products apart from others on the shelf, and it creates a reason for being.

But sometimes you need to make a total rebrand. If you operate a food truck this rethinking of your business will often include transforming the menu, getting a new wrap, update social media profiles, and installing new kitchen equipment.

It’s been three years since I’ve changed my packaging. Sure, I’ve screwed up some labels runs (Incorrect net weights got the best of me when I was starting out), but for the most part I haven’t changed anything.

But to me, our brand is getting stale. I’m creating new flavors simply to create new labels – to get new art and a new look for Green Mountain Mustard.

So, with that, I thought I’d go through the pros and cons of re-branding a food company. Yep – it’s a list for me. But, it’s for you too, in case you’re going through the same thing. Let’s make it through together.

Reasons to re-brand your product:

1. You want a strong shelf presence

There’s only so much room on the shelf. The average grocery store stocks over 38,000 items. That’s overload for consumers. They are drawn to attractive products. Products that stick out from the rest. If your business plan includes a lot of retail sales, you may want to step up your company’s design game and get a strong shelf presence.

2. It looks too homemade

Homemade used to be all the rage. It was definitely a design trend in 2012, but homemade is well, homemade. Sticking Avery labels on your products with Microsoft fonts is only going to get you so far. To make it retail and big wholesale shows, you may have to look at re-branding — or simply branding for that matter. Work with a local design or use an online logo creator to start the process off on the right foot.

3. Your company’s direction has changed

This is spear-heading our re-branding movement. We’ve simply confused consumers. We have funny-named mustards and classic mustards (with two completely different labels). Plus, we’re always launching different varieties at events to keep people coming back. This is an opportunity to creative a cohesive brand. A brand that is 100% Green Mountain Mustard – and you know which products are ours on the shelf.

Re-branding is a big decision, which goes far beyond these three reasons. It’s a fundamental company shift. Your branding is your story. It represents you. Think about what you’re doing. With that, let’s look at a few reasons you wouldn’t dare to re-brand your food business.

Reasons not to re-brand your product:

1. It’s expensive

I’m just starting to price out a re-brand using a small design agency. It’s looking like I’ll get everything I need for around $5,000. But, that’s not the only cost associated with a re-brand. There’s new labels, banners, sales sheets, website, and photography. You’re probably looking at another couple thousand to complete the re-brand. However, the goal of the re-brand is to make more money from having a stronger brand presence. That means you should see a positive return on your branding investment within the year.

2. Customers resonate your packaging

Do customers LOVE your packaging? Is it easy for them to find your products in the store? If you answered yes to both questions, then don’t change your company’s brand. Why? Because customers already know what they’re looking for when they head to the grocery store. If you dramatically change your visual brand, you risk a decrease in retail sales because your current loyal customers won’t recognize your brand.

3. You think it’s “time for a change”

Re-branding just because you want to isn’t smart. Talk to your customers first. See what they think. Could your brand use an improvement? Is your packaging communicating what you want it to communicate? Branding is a business decision – not just visual. Give it some thought as to why you want to re-brand. If there’s no strategic business reason, keep your current branding. If you think it’ll improve sales, go for it!

I’m still undecided whether or not I’m going to pull the trigger on the re-brand. I’ll have to think about it some more and reach a conclusion. If you’re wondering about the pros and cons of changing your pack size, check out this blog post.