A leaked memo from Apple describes a huge packaging redesign initiative for its retail stores

Angela ahrendtsAppleAngela Ahrendts is head of Apple Stores.

Apple has required that all its third-party accessory vendors redesign the packaging for all their products so that everything looks more like an Apple product, according to an internal company document leaked to Business Insider.

A report in July said that all suppliers of bags, cases and other knick-knacks in the Accessories section of Apple stores will only be allowed to sell products if the boxes they come in feature a white background, with typefaces approved by Apple, and product shots that conform to Apple’s preferred angles.

The move will make third-party products in Apple stores look a lot more like Apple’s own products, which famously come in white boxes with familiar typefaces and photos.

The move was made in July and affects Incase,Tech21, LifeProof, Sena, Logitech, and Mophie. Apple even sent back to the companies boxes they didn’t like, insisting that they use “better quality packaging material.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

While a package redesign for iPhone case suppliers might not sound like much, the move is probably regarded as a huge victory inside Apple. The company is famously fussy and careful over the look and design of its products. Accessories from non-Apple suppliers often look chaotic and cheap by comparison. It is not easy to persuade companies to downgrade their own branding in favour of another’s. The move contains some advantages for these firms, however: Their products will now look more like Apple products, which may make consumers feel more comfortable buying them.

Here is a summary of the text of the Apple memo describing the change. We have changed the wording of the memo slightly to protect our source, after we learned that Apple has begun sewing codes and grammar changes into its internal communications in order to identify the source of leaks to the media. Business Insider recently received internal information from Apple on difficulties the company has had launching Apple Watch and its discussions with wireless network providers over whether Apple might become its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

As a result, the quotes accurately reflect the memo, which Business Insider has read, but do not quote it exactly:

Over the past six months Apple has worked closely with partners to redesign packaging.

When customers come into stores, “we want them to have the same great experience.”

The new designs bring an elevated look and feel to our third-party bags and cases while creating consistency across the brands to make our Accessory walls more visually appealing and easier to navigate.

Old packages will be returned to the warehouse.

“Don’t forget to share your favourite accessories with your customers in their new look.”

What’s changed:

  • uniform white background
  • consistent placement of logo and icons
  • consistent product shot photo angles
  • simplified typography
  • better quality packaging material

NOW WATCH: How to saber a bottle of champagne with an iPhone

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.