The old year is now behind us and the New Year is underway. Hard as it may seem, it is time to embrace the optimism that a new year holds – and that includes packaging. What better time to commit to refreshing your packaging design and production approach and make it a year of positive change? Here are some thoughts to get you started:
- Resolve to Listen: Consumers are using the power of their voice to influence the market in greater and greater ways, seeking more recyclability and sustainability in both products and packaging materials, and far more transparency on the origin and processing of products they consume. In order to deliver the kind of break-through packaging that connects with consumers, you have to be aware of their voices in order to hear and target your responses with innovation that keeps you at the forefront of your market. Be aware of what the markets are doing to respond to consumer voices – if you aren’t listening even your best work won’t save you because it will fall on deaf ears.
- Resolve to Know Your Market: If you haven’t guessed, listening includes knowing your market – you may not be on the marketing team, but you need more than just basic knowledge of your consumers and the competitive forces in the markets they dwell in. To understand your consumers, you must have at least a fundamental comprehension of the channels used to reach them. It goes without saying, but to create and bring a brand story to the consumer, package design has to work effectively in all channels. The ability to sustain positive brand awareness requires consistent delivery of brand image and messaging whether the product exists on a retail shelf or is delivered to your door. Regardless of how consumers receive the package, they should be equally as pleased and take away a positive packaging/ product-driven experience.
- Resolve to Learn: There is so much more to packaging than a design that appears on a package. By making the effort to learn specifics of the structural design process for the products you work on, it is helpful to understand structural limitations in the applications of visual designs to the package structure. It’s important to understand the materials used in a package structure along with the implications of the type of printing and finishing that is required because these factors directly affect the quality of the end piece. Understanding the performance of ink on a surface helps to create and apply a design that will enhance product perception as well as the kind of printing required for your substrate. You don’t have to know it all, but the more you know, the more useful your questions are and the better your decision-making is.
- Resolve to be Brave: As a member of a packaging team, you come in and out of the process at multiple points. Naturally, you want to provide what is requested but be brave enough to offer a better or different idea as well, especially if it solves a problem without a negative financial impact. Creativity in packaging comes from the exchange of ideas and the challenge to conventional thinking. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it is exempt from change or at least critical evaluation.
- Resolve to Make New Friends: Challenge your vendor partners to think outside the box as well. Be open to their recommendations and support their testing of new ideas and approaches. Process partners need to be creatively challenged to come to the team with innovative ways of executing to the goal without increasing the project cost. Together, rethink the “whys and wherefores” of the way it was done into the way it can be done.
It is a new year. Refresh your viewpoint, refresh your skill and refresh your involvement. Step up to the changing demands in packaging the New Year presents, and be brave in creating and bringing brand stories to the shelf. Resolve to bring a new and exciting packaging/product-driven experience to your consumers.
If you need help with a new approach to your packaging, contact us at 920-886-7727 or [email protected] Throughout our 60 plus years of supporting customers with consumer brands large and small, we apply our experience and expertise to the entire process to create efficient and effective solutions.