The Power Of Packaging

Packaging Trends For 2017

Consumers are increasingly paying attention to package format and design. Whether they do it consciously or not, packaging will continue to play an ever increasing role in purchase decisions. Smart packaging that contributes to a positive brand experience is among the leading trends in 2017. Here are 5 ways we can see this happening:

a fanned assortment of KIND barsActive and intelligent packaging that is interactive. Examples include food and beverage packaging that is see-through so consumers can see the product inside or smartcodes on packaging that allows consumers access to more information on a product through their smartphone. A great example of this is in the snacking category where Granola Bars now have a see through window to showcase the ingredients and drive appetite appeal for shoppers.

a  product shot of a can of PHD self tannerThe unification of package structure and branding. Explorer packaging research studies have shown that unique structures that breakthrough at shelf are one of the most powerful ways to ensure your brand gets noticed. When a structure can help to form and support your brand identity it gives shoppers a reason to further engage with your package. If your package structure can also solve a problem for shoppers, there is a further incentive to spend time with your brand. PHD Skincare’s Never Miss a Spot sunscreen brand, includes an extending wand that enables consumers to apply the product to hard to reach places without assistance.

The face and role of online packaging. People are increasingly shopping online and marketers need to think about how packaging functions are seen online, in home and throughout the delivery process. Packaging will have to become less cluttered in order to grab shopper’s attention online. Thumbnails that are used to show products will have to stress the brand instead of the traditional package shot. Keeping online shopping in mind, Nutpods designed its dairy-free creamer package in a compact shape for shipping but at the same time in a sturdy container that is able to withstand fluctuating temperatures.

TIDE to go packageThe role of packaging for brand extensions. As brand trust becomes more important, packaging will increasingly be used to help brands break into and gain acceptance in new categories. For instance, Tide has successfully leveraged packaging structure and product innovation to move into new categories. Whether it is Tide PODS or Tide To Go where the brand has successfully leveraged their brand trust to create new segments.

NERF gun Rebelle packageThe experience of packaging. As the technology for packaging structures improves, brands will be able to use packaging to customize the consumer’s retail experience. Well known brands that have a small target market can use their packaging to align with their customers’ specific values. Hasbro’s Nerf Rebelle dart blasters does this perfectly by using colors and wording on their packaging to appeal to young girls that are adventurous, active, social, creative and like to engage in outside activities.

In summary, consumers expect more of an experience with their packaging and want to be engaged and entertained. Due to the need for brand recognition and variant identification and information, the next generation of branded products need to look at design as a bigger part of the brand, not just to create connections, but to drive experiences.

Anne Stephenson
Partner, Explorer Research

Anne Stephenson

See this updated post for 2019 Packaging Trends

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