Over the years, companies have leaned into the market of allyship by cultivating products and making design changes to show their support. It is crucial for brands that want to honor Pride Month to actively do so, as visibility within media drives support, understanding, and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community. However, Pride Month is only 1/12 of the year and we are already entering the final week of June; consumers are watching how companies maintain their alleged support throughout the other 11 months and use the profits of their rainbow-themed advertising to support equality across all sexualities and genders. As a company dedicated to ensuring packaging is Seen, Shoppable, Seductive, and lastly, Selected by consumers across all shopping categories, one way Behaviorally can show support to the LGBTQIA+ community is to provide recommendations to marketers for packaging changes backed by behavioral science and remind companies of the importance of authentic allyship as opposed to a temporary rainbow-themed campaign with no call-to-action regarding equality.
Here are our recommendations for next year’s Pride pack designs:
Remember the Importance of Your Brand Block
Rainbow-themed packaging has the potential to disrupt the shelf and breakthrough the clutter. Yet, the pride-themed packaging also has potential to break brand blocks. Brands carrying several variants may only incorporate Pride into one variation. Separating this one variation out may cause disruption to the overall brand perception. To counteract this, packaging celebrating Pride should continue the brand’s overall design. Brand name and key information should be in a similar format and location to ensure that shoppers feel the connection between variations. Brands could also incorporate Pride across all variations allowing the brand to have one dignified look in June. This will also aid shelf navigation, which could become challenging if elements of the package are moved around pack to pack.
Remember the Importance of the Hierarchy of Information
Brands occasionally shift and change important pack elements when designing their June packaging. Shifting this key information (such as brand name, product type, and variant) to make room for new Pride-centric elements can disrupt how shoppers view the pack. It is important to ensure that shoppers can easily find and shop their typical products both online and in-store as KIND bars has done (pictured right). Usually, shoppers should first notice the brand name and then other key information (i.e., product type, variant, etc.) should be listed beneath in the same line of sight to provide Benefits to the consumer so they choose your product. Secondary information, such as small nutrition callouts, can be placed on the outskirts of the pack. Important information should be given space to breathe on pack as well. This should be considered when designing Pride packaging to ensure that the pack isn’t cluttered causing frustration.
Remember the Importance of Authenticity
Regardless of the pride themed packaging, most interested consumers desire more than a meager color change. Nowadays, the intent of these packaging changes and its duration (all year vs. one month) often matter more to shoppers. Oftentimes, LGBTQIA+ consumers and allies are more inclined to support a business when their proceeds directly support organizations that protect youth, such as The Trevor Project. See the example of Vizzy Hard Seltzer calling out their support with Human Rights Campaign. Furthermore, in a time of easily accessible financial information and social networking, consumers are well-aware of the financial stances of the businesses that engage in these marketing practices and, if given the option, consumers would rather choose to shop from corporations that are managed by, owned by, or have supported marginalized communities.
At Behaviorally, we know that pack designs being seen on the shelf helps drive sales, but in the case of Pride Packaging it is also important for these packaging changes to be seen as genuine attempts to support a growing and flourishing community.
Ashlyn Perry is an Insights Manager here at Behaviorally. She’s worked in market research for her entire professional career, as she loves digging though data looking for the story. She spends her time running half marathons and running away with new ideas. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Dana Sobel, M.A. is an Insights Analyst at Behaviorally and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. In the rare instance when she is not meticulously color-coding spreadsheets or teaching college students about the joys of research, Dana enjoys playing games with friends and writing. Connect with her on LinkedIn.