Summer designs aim to boost soda, beer and tissue sales -


Folks who sip a Coke, munch a Chips Ahoy or sneeze into a Kleenex this summer can't avoid noticing summer-theme package designs.

It's about sales. Marketers know shoppers can be swayed to buy a product not just because of what's inside the box or bottle, but what's on the outside. That's why package design has become a $1 trillion industry. Even a fraction of a percentage of increased sales can separate a successful selling season from a lousy one. So consumer product giants are adding a splash of summer to packaging.

"People look at brands and see a sea of sameness," says JoAnn Hines, a package design consultant. "But a unique shape, design or color that says summer can take them out of the me-too category."

Where summer designs are sprouting:

Tissue boxes. Last year, Kimberly-Clark stuffed Kleenex into summer-designed boxes that looked almost like watermelon wedges. Nearly 100% of the sales of those fancy boxes — which sold for a premium — were incremental, says Christine Mau, brand manager. So they're doing it again this summer with boxes designed to look like waffle ice cream cones. She says the summer design can prod some consumers to put Kleenex in rooms they hadn't considered before, such as the kitchen.

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