A Brand Reboot

    You don’t have to release a new product to boost sales. Learn how refreshing a brand or your packaging can give an established tobacco product new life in retail.


    “Previous packaging had tobacco leaves on them that were extremely hard to identify unless you had a pack in hand,” says Mark Schueller, director of marketing at USTC. “In fact, the front had two leaf images close to each other, and one was colored to identify the style. Honestly, it sort of looked like ink blots. Also, there was a fair amount of copy on the backside of the pack that occupied too much real estate.”

    USTC’s rebranding efforts for 1839 helped bring more attention to its product in stores. The refreshed look also helped to visually convey the message that not only was this considered to be a premium product, but it was also a brand with history that would appeal to today’s cigarette smoker seeking a quality product for his or her money.

    So, how do you implement an effective packaging and rebranding effort? Schueller offers the following three tips to get you started.

    1. Look at your brand and determine what sort of image and message you want it to portray.
    2. Test designs to see how they look on a fixture.
    3. Get feedback from internal teams, such as sales and production, but also from retailers.

    An effective redesign and rebranding effort won’t happen overnight. It will take time, and while opinions matter, Schueller cautions against letting too many people think they will have the final say. A good rebranding can and should make your product more visible in stores, and although the look may be different from what retailers and consumers know of the brand, it is advised that you keep some historical elements in the new branding to make it somewhat familiar to your customers.

    This story first appeared in the September/October 2022 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.