Much time is expended weighing the effects of online sales, and the increased turmoil it’s etching on physical store relevance. This points to the necessity for marketers to visit and explore impactful methods to re-engage shoppers, influencing their in-store purchasing decisions.
Certainly, stores have been reimagined, designed and defined for new, unique shopper experiences with refreshed and enticing footprints. The new mantra: Seduce them to visit, interact and entertain them, extend the stay, entice the meandering purchase and guide them to exit quickly, easily and sated.
Yet, what has fundamentally changed in the aisle and at shelf? How is current packaging design evolving to influence, engage, delight and initiate consumer purchasing.
The Competitive Reality
Beauty, fragrance and cosmetics are proacting to the impact of straying (the erosion of brand preference), generational value consciousness and private labeling. Shelves remain crammed with an accelerated flow of new products and a throng of branded options within an indistinguishable sea of SKUs.
It takes an extraordinary visual or other sensory spark to break through this clutter and seize shoppers’ attention. Packaging is the preeminent player in the consumer’s decision at the time and point of purchase. It essentially fortifies the product’s DNA, amplifying the claims and promises of the brand.
To capture and engross the eye, a package must have phenomenal impact, clearly triggering brand recognition. It must anchor the brand team’s vision, amplify that margin of influence and arouse a decisive argument for purchase. And it serves to illuminate the unique attributes environment that the company has placed within its brand.
We likely agree that great products inspire loyalty and domination, but the package reigns as spokesperson and change agent at the decisive last touchpoint.
And so, what are our designers conjuring to maximize a package’s impact, thereby initiating traction, retaining loyalty and persuading transitional cross-over preference from the surrounding competition?
What are the opportunities and emotive connections?
Where’s the magic?
It’s accomplished by creating multi-sensory, emotional, evocative packages that are mini-environments created to rule the shelf and capture your audience. These cognitive sensory stimulators subtly signal the brain to create a desire for the eventual, promised experience.
Engaging the eye begins with the strength of the mark and a myriad of extraordinary decorative options, balancing visuals, typography and reactive, thermochromic or luminescent inks. Inventing textures via polymer embossing.
Inciting touch with coated substrates and neoteric structures that together echo the brand’s fabric.
Provoking olfactory signature scents with coated micro-encapsulations that release as the secondary package opens. Cost, always a prime consideration, must be mitigated the desire for growth in revenues, reach and accretion to your franchise.
Employ the cool factor – Smart packaging technology integrated within luxury materials, initiating APPs with embedded codes that bring VR (virtual reality) experiences and NFC presentations; enabling new opportunities to amaze, delight, directly communicate and personalize. It’s a ‘one on one’ full court press to impress, and then … ’take me home’. As with every successful outcome, all the pieces must be orchestrated in harmony, leveraging the consummate marketing potential of both primary and secondary packaging.
I’m thinking about how one might mine the sixth sense; The intuitive realm that launches most decisions. Some inspirational brew for the psyche.
I have some thoughts to that end.
Norman Kay is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer and inspiration behind IBC Shell’s creative intuition and market influence. He has directed award-winning packaging and branded consumer identity products for established global brands including Grey Goose Vodka, Estee Lauder, Chivas Regal, Swiss Army, Victoria’s Secret and Bombay Sapphire Gin. Norman’s work has received The Global Design & Advertising Award, The American Graphic Design Award, The International Award of Excellence for Visual Arts, and The American Packaging Design Award. He has lectured and authored articles on design, packaging technology, the magnetic forces of packaging, and amplifying the brand experience.