Brush Up on Package Change Comms

Jul 11, 2023

Toothpaste commercials are famous for saying “four out of five dentists recommend Brand X.” We’ll in my home, two out of three children will only brush their teeth with Tom’s of Maine Strawberry toothpaste. For anyone who knows the daily battle of getting kids to brush their teeth, you will understand this is the stronger endorsement. So, when I needed to restock on kids’ toothpaste, I knew I was in for trouble when I saw… dun dun duuun… a packaging refresh! It took some of my best parenting and a lot of patience to convince my kids it would taste EXACTLY THE SAME.

And so, this inspired the first of what will be a regular series called I.W.H. (I Would Have), as in, if they’d asked me, I would have told them to put together a plan to communicate the upcoming change to parents. It could look like this:

communicating a package redesign
The tube on the left is the redesigned kid's toothpaste.

1. Let Your Fans Know First

Get your fans excited about the new look by giving them a sneak peek on social.

2. Get the Word Out

Do some inexpensive IG advertising targeting parents to prepare them for the upcoming change. Depending on brand voice, this could take a funny, sarcastic, serious or sympathetic tone. 

3. Provide Proof

Offer resources for parents to reassure their kids it’s the same product. In this case, a short Blippi-style video from the “toothpaste lab” to show the same toothpaste going into the tubes and meeting the package designer could be fun content for kids.

4. Offer a Digital Coupon

Reduce the risk for parents in buying. Again, depending on brand, humor could be used. “We know change can be hard. Here’s something to make it easier.

5. Generate UGC for the New Design

How? In this case, maybe a contest for kids to name the Strawberry character. “Post a photo of the new bottle along with your name suggestion for a chance to win.”

communications plan for packaging refresh

Remember: Redesigned packaging is an exciting brand moment but for consumers, it can evoke anxiety. For any kids product, especially those associated with rituals like eating, sleeping, brushing, show parents you “get them” by communicating the change ahead of time so they can reassure kids that it’s the same product.