Only one product has the lowest price. The rest compete in other ways. This makes packaging design increasingly important. Attractive design that makes a product stand out requires creativity and innovative solutions. Therefore, Ecolean continuously follows the latest trends in packaging design.
Linda Björk is the CEO and partner of Amore, a brand identity consultancy based in New York, Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden. She has long experience in working with packaging design for leading brands and is well aware of its increased importance. We asked her to list the most significant trends in packaging design at the moment.
Amore did the dream-like design of the Swedish spirit brand Znaps bottles, calling it 'the surreal deal'. Find out more here!
Consumption is largely based on emotional values. Therefore it is important for brand owners to show personality in their design and communication.
- I believe and hope that companies will dare to express their own personality to a greater extent. Nowadays consumers want it all – and expect far more than the company logotype on the package. There has to be a consumer experience. I believe that consumption is based on an emotional connection. That is the main reason why we choose a specific product in the store shelf. The price is rarely the decisive aspect of the purchasing situation. The Swedish dairy Hjordnära shows personality with their seven dairy farms photographed on the packages.
Break the conventions
The competition on the store shelf is tough and consumers are almost drowned with impressions. Breaking the conventions in your package design will make it easier to draw attention to a consumer with a stressed mindset.
- Dare to be bold! A cleaner and more daring design has recently been established in the US where I partly work. Less is more, in a more optimistic way than before. A great example of the bold simple trend is the new design for Diet Coke.
I think we will see more of this trend trickling down in the global market since many influencer brands go the same route, be it Apple or Starbucks. These shifts affect consumer preference. The Znaps identity did everything backwards in the category; Elaborate storytelling with complex imagery, a logotype written by hand and every single detail on the pack photographed live.
The society is becoming more digital and individualistic. It is important for brand owners to follow the new behaviors attached to this major shift and learn how to engage a new generation of consumers. Younger generations are raised to go their own way and this opens up for new technologies and a whole new way of communicating.
- Companies can no longer just tell young people how to consume and dump ready-made package deals in their laps. What we require is a new way of thinking towards this target group. You have to consider their ways of communicating; the social media revolution has changed the media landscape drastically the past few years. Target groups have become a “pool of responders” as everybody is free to comment, share and tell stories about your brand to everyone else. They know they have the power and expect you to be an equal responder to their stories. My advice is to get on the train and realize that the digital storytelling is a big part of building your brand. This could mean anything from hiring bloggers to using QR codes on your packs.
Be truly genuine
Finally Linda claims that companies no longer can rely on faking a homemade feel. Corporate genuineness must come from the heart.
- Be truly genuine. As a company you can no longer rely on creating a genuine feel through exteriors and surface. It’s been overused for a while now and is no longer enough for the consumer. You have to truly prove your genuineness. It must come from the heart and only that will work in the long run. The consumer should get a special feeling when they see your package, a sense that should be consistent with something they are longing for. So you not only have to examine what your own heart stands for, but you must also be sensitive to the emotional needs of everybody you wish to reach.