Packaging can either be one of the most frustrating aspects of being a consumer, or one of the most delightful ones. The way items are packaged and presented to consumers makes all the difference in not only their first impressions, but also the lasting impressions of the product and the company itself.
Our desire to open presents and gifts goes back to being a little child, excited about our birthdays or Christmas day and ripping the paper off our present. Even as an adult, it’s still exciting, and you almost hold your breath a little bit before finding out what lays in that plastic mailer bag delivered to your front door. This extends to the goods that we purchase as well. Getting something new from a store or from an online purchase is infinitely more exciting when the print packaging and even the postage box that it comes in, is visually and tangibly pleasing.
These reasons make it even more important as a company to pay attention to the latest packaging trends. Customers are expecting much more than they used to with their purchases, and staying on top of packaging trends can help your company push past the competition and become sought after by consumers.
As the drive for reducing waste and being kinder to our planet increases exponentially, the need for ethical and eco friendly packaging increases as well. Many consumers are turning towards products that are less harmful to the environment, and purposely researching and seeking out ethically made items.
One great example of providing eco friendly packaging is to have your packing be dual purposed. If your packaging requires quite a bit of material, craft it so that it can be changed into something reusable, like a biodegradable container to grow seeds in, or a small, new package that can be used again as a gift. Take a look at these other ideas for repurposing packaging for some inspiration.
Beyond being eco friendly, consumers are also looking deeper into the production line of the item they’re interested in. Ensuring that their products are made ethically is very important to many of today’s consumers, and means that the dangers of being found out if you aren’t using ethical practices are quite high, and damaging to your bottom line.
Producing something ethically means the item was made without the use of child or forced labour, that those making it were given fair wages and good working conditions, and the product or materials that make the product don’t cause harm. Because of these growing concerns, many companies have taken to opening up their business practices to allow the public eye to peer in, which is another growing trend for 2017. Many companies have taken to using social media as a platform for showing production lines or warehouses to be as transparent as possible.
Next time you head to a store, take a look around at aisles that have a lot of packaged products displayed tightly together. Do an inventory with what your eye is drawn to, and what looks the most visually appealing. Chances are, your eye is immediately drawn to items that are packaged in the newer, minimalist style.
Minimalist doesn’t necessarily have to be simple, but rather, bold and clean. Packages that use strong fonts with either a pattern around the packaging, or bright colours geometrically arranged, tend to grab your focus before other, more cluttered packaging.
We as consumers are inundated with advertisements, billboards and TV ads, and the stimulus is constant. Now, when we look at a product, we’re drawn to simple packaging that tells us exactly what it is and what it does, in order to cut down on the amount of stimulus we have to sort through.
Making your own labels and designs on your products brings a sort of homey feeling that consumers identify really well with. With today’s label printing software, you can even take your own handwriting and turn it into packaging materials. You can easily find print finishing equipment for sale if you want to attempt these on your own. Or, you can go through a printed label supplier to manage your packaging printing needs.
These types of custom designs will also help draw the customer’s eye in to your product as the clean and bold designs will too. Designs like using vintage and retro packaging add a sense of nostalgia, and therefore help creating a little bit of trust in the consumer, as they identify with the product.
The experience of packaging
In today’s world, we’ve come to almost expect a little bit of entertainment when we open a package. Especially in the world of electronic packaging, the idea that an item can entertain you before it is even unwrapped completely is quite normal and anticipated. Some of us might even know the delight we get when opening certain brands, and revel in it as we open.
So how can that delight, and that entertaining packaging, transcend into everyday products? For one, you as a company must keep in mind that your packaging is just as much as an advertisement as your TV or newspaper ad, or that billboard or bus sign. In fact, some packaging is so delightful and lovely to look at that it almost makes you want to keep it out as a decoration on your shelf or counter.
This should be enough evidence that engaging and entertaining packaging is not only becoming more popular, but can really help provide a leg up when designing your own.
As you can see, the packaging trends for this year and the coming years, goes far beyond simple design. Customers are busy, tired, and weary, and don’t feel like reading through line after line on a package to determine if it is what they need. Keeping your products simple, with obvious statements about how, where, and why your product was made, will help draw in not only the customers who are too tired to sort through dozens of products, but also those who are looking to make a difference for the planet as well.