How do you change the world on that large a scale? It seems impossible. The key is to build upon your brand. Like any other workout, it takes a strong core – in this case, a strong core brand.

Over the years, I’ve learned there are things you need in order to build that foundation and brand strength that then allows you to make change happen on a grand scale… even 10,000 SKUs at a time.

1. Passion. You have to care to win. I’m not just talking about caring about the brand. You have to care about the people you’re helping with your brand. You need to be passionate about the benefits you’re bringing to the world through your brand. Know your target market and make sure your products match their needs.
2. Take risks. I don’t mean throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. Be open to new ideas and innovative designs. Listen to the new kid at the table, as well as the veteran who comes at things from a different angle. Then, take a calculated leap of faith with your brand.
3. Understand the power of rolling change. Caterpillars don’t become butterflies overnight. They also don’t negatively obsess about the stage they’re in. Your brand isn’t where you want it to be? That’s not a problem, that’s an opportunity. Do your research, set the strategy, gain consensus, and then make each step in your brand evolution the best it can be. And revel in each achievement along the way. It takes time, but it can’t happen if you don’t get it out there.
4. Don’t Frankenstein designs. Those designs were – hopefully – created to fulfill a planned strategy. You can’t take them apart, grab a theme from one, copy from another, smash them together and expect any strategy you had to stay intact. Build new concepts that meet your strategic needs.
5. Get it right the first time. With packaging design, it’s critical to determine your goals upfront, before a pen hits paper. Do your research, create mood boards, and get consensus. Only when you have the entire program in your head should you dive in. But once you have it set, you’re able to produce SKUs at scale… even 10,000 at a time.
6. Never stop selling. Complacency kills brands. Whether you’re an internal team or an outside agency, get people on board… and keep them there. It’s fine to have constructive conversations about your brand concepts, but don’t stop fighting for what you believe. Keep selling your concept. For the sake of design and creativity, and our industry as a whole, hold your ground!

Build a strong core brand foundation, build a strategy you know inside and out – and that you believe in wholeheartedly – and you can build SKUs at scale. And you too, can change the world 10,000 SKUs at a time.

For more tips on building brands you can build on, look for the complete list from my Velocity: The My Private Brand presentation on in the weeks to come.