The New Year will be filled with lots of hype about what is new. In our view, the most important packaging related trends are a continuation or maybe an acceleration of what we have seen before. Nevertheless, it is worth taking note to be sure that our clients are well prepared and well informed. More of an evolution than a revolution you could say.
Let’s jump in. Here are our top five.
It’s the Environment
We have all seen the news headlines. The hottest year on the planet. Global warming is a real threat. Oceans are rising, storms (and weather in general) are more severe. Fifteen billion trees are cut down in a year, with more than half of that going into paper products and packaging. There are as much as 150 million tons of plastic in the oceans today with another 33 billion pounds going into the marine environment each year. Houston, we have a problem.
We all need to do our part to do what we can to help save the planet, and the species who live here. That means implementing recycled, biodegradable, or sustainably sourced packaging materials into your production. At a minimum, test alternative sustainable materials across all elements of your supply chain: the package itself, the box it ships in, the protective materials, the inks, the raw ingredients that go into your products, the user manual or instructions. Look at all of it for opportunities to be a better and smarter global citizen.
Your consumers care and will pay more for sustainable, environmentally friendly offerings. Two thirds of all consumers, and 80% of Millennials are willing to pay more for sustainability when making purchases. More and more brands are making sustainability claims as differentiation.
Online shopping continues to surge, replacing many trips to retail stores. Receiving a package on your doorstep is a different experience that is worth exploring from a design, materials, and user experience standpoint. Less is often more when it comes to the shipping box or envelope. Yes, the product must be protected to survive the journey, but using smaller and eco-friendly materials scores points with consumers.
How about opening the package itself? Is it easy to do, does it tell a story about how to use, do you include tips for extended usage occasions? Don’t miss any opportunities to enhance your brand and customer loyalty in an eCommerce setting.
Advanced Technology Is Here
Consumers are now savvy users of technology, so smart brands are placing QR codes on packaging or on purchase receipts or instructions. Product information, promotions, loyalty or rewards sign ups, even exclusive content can be launched from the QR code.
High value products might consider using near field communications (NFC) tags at store level to provide product features and benefits or links to video content. Augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) are futuristic technologies that may make sense to explore for an engaging interactive experience.
In a sea of sameness, it is now possible to elevate your brand by enabling customization or limited-edition products for your best, highest value clients. This is particularly viable for luxury or image driven products. Leverage marketing data to make customers feel special with personalized content or exclusive product bundles.
The Circular Economy
There is growing awareness that single use packaging contributes to our environmental challenges. Are there ways to deliver reusability, recycling, returns, or other options to reduce packaging waste? At a minimum, consider reclosable or resealable packaging to extend product freshness. Stay ahead of regulatory requirements for eco-friendly packaging.
At Damen Jackson, we are here to be your business partner, your sounding board, a member of your extended team. We consider it a privilege to work side by side with our clients on issues and challenges. Our experience is that client agency relationships work best when there is a robust and regular dialogue regarding industry trends and the application of technology. Debate and conversations surrounding implications, the “so what,” and “now what” are the conversations we like the most.
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