Back | 12/13/2017

Rethinking packaging design

Creative packaging design is becoming increasingly important as shoppers turn to digital methods to make purchases. With this dramatic shift (online consumers will reportedly grow to roughly 1.6 billion in 2018, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), it is evident that relying upon the “old ways” of attracting consumers at the point of sale will no longer be effective. Packaging must work harder — and be more creative — in order to drive brand engagement.

Dare to be different. All too often, brands look to their competitors for inspiration on what to say and how to look. The result is that brands within a specific category all wind up saying similar things, in similar ways, with similar looks. Instead, take time to effectively research and analyze what your competitors are doing with their packaging. Then, choose a packaging partner that will help you identify ways to stand apart. Clear differentiation from competitors through packaging design is a necessity, particularly at crowded point of sale locations – especially those that are digital.

Consider “Connected Packaging”. According to a recent RichRelevance study, nearly three-quarters of all consumers, and 84% of millennials, use their mobile phones while shopping in brick and mortar store locations. In order to continue to win engagement with today’s consumer as they merge traditional and digital purchasing behaviors, brands must make a commitment to digital innovation. Be willing to embrace new and emerging digital technologies — including “connected packaging” options. Connected packages include a DWCode, a nearly invisible digital watermark that enables the communication of brand-authorized product information to consumers when scanned.

Don’t forget about functionality. When it comes to packaging innovation, creativity must remain functional and able to be produced both efficiently and cost effectively. As consumers turn to the internet to make purchases, manufacturers must keep delivery in mind and identify solutions like barrier technologies to ensure that the product is stable enough to not only withstand additional handling during the fulfillment process, but also potentially hours of sitting on a doorstep in excessively hot or cold weather.

Make it a point to be greener. Helping consumers feel like they are contributing to the protection of the environment must continue to be a major focus for companies as it relates to creative packaging design. Studies have shown that consumers favor brands that provide greener packaging options for their products. In fact, Sustainable Brands, a global learning, collaboration and commerce community of forward-thinking businesses, reports that 42 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services provided by these types of companies. When innovating packaging design, consider the use of alternative materials that enhance sustainability, including R-PET or cardboard/plastic combinations.