The Essence of Creative Consumer Product and Packaging Design

06.04.2011 http://www.dotkite.eu/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/DotKite_NeraKritis.jpg

When you head to the grocery store to pick up a product such as cereal, do you purchase the same one each and every time or, like many consumers, are you comparing and contemplating about which one to grab?

When presented with a large range of choices to fulfill a need, it is in human nature to become confused, thus the inability to quickly make a choice. When we spend too much time comparing the plethora of options we are presented with, the functional differences between each of them soon become blurry. Once the functional differences lose importance, the peripheral aspects take precedence. This means that whichever product’s ad, spokesperson, or packaging color stands out favorably in our minds will most likely influence our product purchase.

What does this signify for those responsible for branding and communications for such low-involvement products?

The peripheral aspects must stand out for products in categories where the number of substitutes is vast enough to cause customer confusion close to the point of purchase. Axe, a brand of male grooming products owned by the British/Dutch company Unilever is a good example of this.

Their marketing messages are well known and hold a great amount of recall. They are likely to be quite popular in the deodorant and body spray isle where men are faced with more brands than they can count. The functional superiority or inferiority takes a back seat in such a situation.

Those factors differ for high-involvement goods, such as in cars, watches and so on, where the customer is not likely to make a grab-and-go purchase. In these cases, functionality, brand values and associations begin to play a key role.

Connecting Industry With Consumers

Product designers’ work on new products with two aspects in mind: functionality and aesthetics. Through their work, designers connect the industry with consumers by translating a concept into something that adds extra value to consumers.

A competent design team should have an excellent understanding of people, culture, and societies. This knowledge is applied to its deep knowledge about design and includes, but is not limited to:

    · Materials
    · Components
    · Production Techniques
    · Practical Experience
    · Financial Insight

In this way, products are developed that not only have an appealing design and bring out emotion, but are also practical and of high quality. The products will have the right combination of feel, detailing and ease of usage. Pricing will then determine the value equation.

Creative Packaging Boosts Sales

Packaging is as important as product itself. The main objective of packaging design is attracting a buyer’s attention to the product. Along with making the product look amazing, it should prompt and influence the customer into buying the actual product as looks do matter.

No matter how good the product is, if the packaging is dull and inferior looking it may compromise sales of its contents. Consequently, modern, creative and clever packaging design plays a major role in inspiring and selling any product. Packaging design should include labeling which expresses and communicates key information to the end-user such as benefits, product information, usage directions and perhaps a story.

Some consumer product companies are using a more educated market approach. For instance, to stand-out on the crowded supermarket shelves they introduce art in the printing of their packages and/or labels inviting the consumer to reach-out for the product to learn more about it.

A case in point, after more than two decades in the limelight, California’s Kenwood Vineyards‘ highly acclaimed Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as a premier marriage of fine art and fine wine. The combination of the fine art of wine making with the work of contemporary artists creates an elegant, easily identifiable package, while promoting beautiful artwork at the same time.

Stylish & Eco-Friendly

Many modern companies these days make every effort to produce both “green” products and packaging that meet with modern environmental standards so as to reduce their carbon footprint – which includes the reduction of the size of its packaging. This demonstrates eco-friendliness which can bolster their image and attract additional new clients – especially those who are environmentally sensitive.

Design Instigates Sustainable Competitive Advantage

The approach to creativity is the way an artist might stand before a new canvas, on which a beautiful painting can be crafted. Staffs who work in a creative environment should be given plenty of leeway to utilize their full potential – the freedom to flourish. Not doing so limits their artistic talent and deprives the company from taking a leap at the competition.

By having a good understanding about materials, production techniques and manufacturers, striking designs can be created that assure loyal partnerships between consumers and manufacturers. This saves marketing costs in the short term and creates more stability in the long term.

The primary goal of packaging design is to entice customers’ attention. For this purpose, package designs cannot simply inform the customers, but also provoke feelings and communicate emotions. An effective packaging looks attractive, impresses with its creativity and not simply appealing to have on the shelf. As a result, it stands out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Amongst other impressive statistics, stocks of design-led firms outperformed the FTSE 100 by 200%!
That should be compelling evidence enough to make product designs consumer appealing.

If a manufacturer is to create and produce new products, as well as re-design existing ones, why not bulk up with creativity as proved by the French industrial designer Philippe Starck. His “Juicy Lucy” manufactured by Alessi is a perfect example of how you can take a “mundane” orange juice squeezer and turn it into a n iconic design “must have”.

To get the “wow” factor of emotional branding play back Apple’s advert campaigns to yourself for inspiration, and witness the genius of style, design, and function harmonized to capture the imagination of an entire planet.

Your views are welcome.

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