06 January 2021

All I want for Christmas... is a good limited edition strategy

There are some things you just can’t escape at Christmas: Mariah Carey, chocolate, Sellotape, and…limited editions. So, we thought we’d round up five of our favourites in 2020 and why we thought their strategy delivered, so that you can build on these ideas to create your own successful strategy, and not just for Christmas.

1. Nostalgia (Coca-Cola)

Just when we thought there was nothing that could truly get us in the festive spirit in 2020, Coca-Cola hits us with a double dose of nostalgia with a rendition of their ‘Holidays are coming’ ad and a beautiful illustration of the main man himself, centre stage on the packaging design. Christmas and Coke are so linked historically that they were always going to win on bringing that warm fuzzy feeling.  

Coca-Cola and Tropicana

2. Use of distinctive assets (Tropicana)

As an agency, we often tout the importance of a brand’s distinctive assets in commanding shelf stand-out and making you instantly recognisable. But that doesn’t mean that they have to hold you back creatively. Tropicana hit the shelves with a brilliant twist on their orange product photography that is both festive and stays true to the brand’s iconic design. 

3. Different & relevant product (Kettle Chips)

It’s always great when brands go the extra mile and deliver, not only Christmas packaging but, limited-edition flavours too. Kettle Chips brought back their indulgent hit ‘Truffled Cheese & Splash of Sparkling Wine’ variant with suitably glamorous sparkly packaging. Furthermore, building on the insight that Kettle Chips are the preferred brand to take to a friend’s house the rest of the range was dressed up in a bow and tag for adding a personalised message. Bravo! Kettle Chips & McVities

4. Sustainability (McVitie's)

There’s no denying Christmas is a very throwaway time of year and we’re often left drowning in a sea of wrapping paper and chocolate boxes. McVitie’s used the opportunity to release their most sustainable packaging to date by rewrapping their popular Christmas biscuit assortment. The packaging featured a downsized card outer, saving almost 130 tonnes worth of card and a fully recyclable cloudy plastic tray in place of the usual black tray which saved 60.5 tonnes of plastic from landfill. A brilliant show of conscience and delivering on issues that are increasingly important to consumers. 

5. Shelf disruption & impact (Cornflakes)

Kellogg’s Cornflakes impactful Christmas design was difficult to miss! Far from just a token festive image the whole front face of pack was given to a very jolly looking Father Christmas. Beautiful simplicity that really stood out on shelf amongst all the familiar novelty characters and bright colours.  



But, our own personal favourite...

We couldn’t resist throwing in one of our own creations as the team at Brandon loved creating this festive take on Horlicks. We played with distinctive assets to create a snowy scene that evoked nostalgia and that wonderful feeling of returning home to a nice warm Horlicks after a snowy winter walk. Magic. 

Festive Horlicks

So, there we have it. Our tips for a successful limited-edition strategy: 

  1. Bring back fond memories with the power of nostalgia. This can work for any season where you want to remind consumers of and celebrate the heritage of a much loved brand or product. 
  2. Create a savvy twist on your distinctive assets. If your ambition is to raise awareness, playing with distinctive assets can work to amplify and strengthen their prominence – making a design feel iconic and memorable.  
  3. Wow with seasonal flavours. Not only does this guarantee a bit of consumer buzz and ‘have you tried?!’ but can also double your purchase potential by ensuring you’re merchandised in the seasonal aisle as well as the main fixture.
  4. Tap into what’s important to consumers. Brands must always act in a way that feels authentic and true to their proposition so this doesn’t mean you should jump on any ‘bandwagon’ if it doesn’t feel right. But Limited Editions are a great way to put something out there and test new ideas to see if it resonates before investing across a full portfolio of products. 
  5. Just make sure you stand out. Also a brilliant way to drive awareness or force reappraisal of a brand if you think you might be being forgotten. There’s a lot to be said for just beautiful design, something you’d be proud to have on top of your kitchen counter as opposed to at the back of the cupboard!

But it’s not just seasons where limited editions can play a big role in winning the fight for relevance. It’s also important to consider how you use other events or ‘news’ to build brand love and engagement. So, whether you employ one or a mixture of these tactics, now’s the time to start thinking up your strategy for the next year.