A Place for Packaging Innovators

Consumers are clearly bombarded with consumer package branding in myriad ways these days. We are hit from just about every conceivable direction with brand impressions in a growing list of mediums. From online to off, visual to sound, handheld to cloud, the sheer variety of ways marketers seek to impress us is only expanding. So how does one keep up? What opportunities are available for truly innovative brand owners seeking to shine through the chatter and leave a truly motivating mark? Without a doubt, consumer packaging serves a key role in not only reinforcing a brand and increasing consumer engagement, but also in providing comfort against counterfeit goods and showing quick reaction to changing retailer and consumer needs. In the below-linked article from Nancy Janes, Global Head of Brand Innovation at HP Inc., she explores some ground-breaking trends that, if properly instituted, can be the difference in making not only a sale, but in building lasting, “brand evangelist” relationships that all marketers covet. However, before you jump off to read this excellent piece, I’ve digested it and have provided here the bullets worth noting along with some compelling videos from the article.

Video Courtesy: HP Graphic Arts

It’s Not 1975 Anymore

Back in the day the idea of personalized packaging was the stuff of fantasy. Sure one could have personalized items made, but this was almost exclusively reserved for truly high-end products that merited such custom attention. Today this advent has flipped…almost entirely. This is especially true for items purchased online where consumers can choose product labels, have them personalized and more. Engaging with a product, such as in filling out a form to opine on a good name for the products’ ultimate successor, might earn a purchase discount. What better way to engage and reward a consumer? Now they’re thinking about your product and brand…and they’re happier for it. These things are more are possible with digital printing, both in e-commerce and, in some case, directly at the checkout counter.

Here are the main trends to watch for:

1. In Store Activation: As noted, printing personalized product labels directly inside the store is now possible. The level of interaction here is astounding and is enabled by HP’s Specialty Printing Systems and partners. Such compelling packaging interaction serves to motivate consumers to come into brick and mortar stores vs. buying online.

2. Connected Packaging: QR codes were cool, but also intruded upon the beauty of a package. Now, with codes embedded in packaging that are invisible to the naked eye, scanning any part of a package with a smartphone can trigger information including videos, links, images and more. New information including warranties, purchase history, track and trace features are also possible. What a way to connect with your customer pre or post-purchase!

3. E-commerce enabled Personalised Packaging: Keeping consumers engaged is a key part of today’s packaging trends. Omni-channel campaigns are a great example of this. See the video below, which shows how top food brand Mondelez launched a personalized Oreo “Colorfilled” cookie campaign using the HP Indigo press. What a way to build customer loyalty and strong interaction!

Check out this video that shows how you can order customized packaging with Oreo Cookies! Very interactive. Video Courtesy: Snowguy Channel

4. Cause-based Packaging:
HP’s Mosaic software allows for very creative campaigns that allow for mass, product packaging customization. Far more than a single, consumer “one-off,” imagine an entire packaging run based on a specific, regional campaign. A great example of this is where Amarula, a top cream liqueur maker in South Africa, used this software to run a “Name Them Save Them” campaign to bring awareness to endangered elephants. See the video below for more details on this great packaging employment.

Video Courtesy: Hands Off Our Elephants

In Summary

Digital print, embedded code scanning and both online and in-store packaging (and beyond) interaction take packaging to new and exciting places never before imagined. And to the brand owner, well, this is power in your hands to not only make a greater connection with your customers, but to further distinguish yourself from the competition. These days it takes a lot to generate the excitement we used to feel when getting a candy bar at the local market as there are just so many different elements vying for our limited attention. Some of these new trends can help cut through the noise and build those lasting, highly impressionable relationships that are the marketing holy grail.
Primary Article Source: 5 Packaging Trends You Need to Know by Nancy Janes
Header Image Courtesy: ChiefPackagingOfficer.com

AUTHOR: Dan Meyers