Competition is fierce in every business arena and product packaging is no different. It's difficult to standing out on the shelf. Toy aisle and cereal aisle use to be the most competitive -- all the bright colors and varying styles. But every aisle is busy with brands trying to have their unique look and appeal to their target audience.
The right packaging design has never been more important even though the Web has for ever changed how we all shop. It just means a unified image across all marketing efforts from online shopping to what is in store has to be branded .
Even though you have only 3 seconds, any product can catch the eye of a consumer. In fact 70% of all purchasing decisions are still made in-store, with consumers only spending 20 minutes in the establishment.
Going beyond its basic function of protecting a product, packaging design is meant to not only catch the eyes of consumers, but also inspire and provide solutions to a customer's problems. So what problems have been noted lately? What do people want to see -- and more importantly...
What do people want to buy?
Here are just a couple of the most popular product packaging design trends of 2016. Experts looked at the top packaging design of the previous year to discern what the trends for packaging in 2016.
Trend #1: Less is More
One of the most popular packaging trends of 2016 is focusing on clarity of purpose. This can be seen in Tylenol's Care+ packaging. Their design company chose to go simple and text-heavy route. The package design features bold simple claims -- "I have a Cough," or "I have a fever." The creative effort distilled the customer pain down to a simple claim based on what the products solved. The consumer can quickly find the product that solves their specific need with just those statements.
Trend #2: Personalization
Coke started it and adaption was slow at first. But brands are anxious to engage more deeply with their consumers. Technology has allowed us to to quickly and more economically do small runs. In the last couple of years, Coke personalized labels with names and Nutella offered personalized jars. The latest is Pepsi with emogis.
Mintel’s global packaging director David Luttenberger explains that “there’s a parallel path between brands striving to engage customers on a more personal level and consumers’ expectations for packaging to deliver that experience.” (Published in May's Packaging Digest)
We will probably see brands gathering specialized data on their different consumer groups to find unique ways to engage consumers and create new revenue streams.
Trend #3: End of Life Date
58% of customers check ingredients information, while more than three quarters are concerned about the use of artificial preservatives. In Europe they have adopted labeling that visually lets consumers know how close to "end of life" a product is. This is more than an stamped "Use By Date" US consumers are provided. And a professor in China developed a visual indicator for milk bottles. These are yet to be seen in the US but designer, Solveiga Pakastaite created the 2014 Dyson award-winning “Bump Mark” — a tactile expiry date — a small sheet of gelatin that is placed on the packaging and indicates that the food should be tossed out when the texture of the gelatin changes from smooth to bumpy. Competition and desire to provide information consumers want will help bring these new technologies to the store.
Trend #4: Mobilized Packaging
Pokemon Go is trending - but before that game brand owners were using mobile to engage with consumers. It started with QR codes that lead consumers to product details beyond what could be incorporated on packages. Diego toke mobilzation further.
Diageo incorporated NFC technology onto printed labels on liquor bottles. This technology sends signals over a short distance and to wirelessly speak to consumers’ . Bluetooth LE and near-field communication (NFC) is allowing brands to use new ways to present information and engage consumers.
All of these trends stem from a global economy pushing brands to innovate the engagement with consumers. Consumers aren't relying on what their favorite stores carry. And they have the as a huge source of information letting them make more informed buying decisions.
Our focus is on creating a package that balances cost with engagement. Here is a recent solution our designers at Catalpha created for Rajala Group to launch their product. You don't have to settle for what you everyone else is doing. Call Catalpha to discuss your package