Join Gerardo Herrera for an in-depth discussion in this video Why is packaging important?, part of Learning Package Design.
- Imagine what our very first ancestors were using to carry and store things. What did they use? What did they make? Did they first use shells, hulls, or large seeds, animal skins, leaves? We can assume that most of these were used throughout different periods in our evolution based on our archeological evidence. Let's move it up a bit in time and view the more modern ancestors of Egypt or all of Asia and the Middle East. Evidence points to jars of glass, vessels of clay, and sophisticated baskets.
These items were used to store, transport, and protect contents. We can see the importance of packaging here begin to shape into an engine of economic importance and survival. As the world continued to develop into the present day, packaging has taken on a more important role. It's now not just about storing, transporting and protecting items. It's about how brands present themselves. Packaging has taken on a much bigger importance in the world of global, regional, and local brands.
Brands of all sizes are adding more sophisticated layers of marketing and branding techniques to their products and services. These calculated efforts are done to provide consumers unique solutions and user experiences. Let's take Coca-Cola for example. One of the most successful campaigns, Cherry Coke, took personalization to a whole new level and allowed their customers to share a personalized Coke with friends and loved ones with over 500,000 names to choose from. This could only be accomplished through packaging.
Another example is the use of augmented reality such as apps like Flipper that uses your mobile camera and packaging as a trigger to provide customers more engagement with the brand. Also, let's not forget the current world of smart homes with smart kitchens, mirrors, and bathrooms along with intelligent retail systems. The packaging will play an important part in this ecosystem that is being developed, and in some cases, tested and in production now.
How will your packaging interact with the smart refrigerator that will advise of its contents, or packaging that advises on the adherence for medication. Companies like Thinfilm are already working on these packaging innovations with sensors that provide a high level of intelligence to consumers, manufacturers, and retailers. For instance, with the new self-checkout, Amazon Go grocery store, there is no checkout. You walk in, pick up your products.
You can put them in your cart and if you decide not to buy it, put it back on the shelf and it knows. When you're done shopping, you can walk out the door and all is taken care of. No need to interact with the checkout clerk. Packaging and all the sensors needed to drive this idea are here and slowly being tested and implemented, not just by Amazon, but other companies looking at how all these moving parts will work in the near future. As you can see, packaging has become a driving force in today's economy.
Products and technology have proliferated at an astounding rate. Packaging now lives in multiple sales channels that were unimaginable several decades ago. It's here to stay and will continue to evolve. It's important, it's vital in this global economy and how we live today. Because when it's all said and done, of all the marketing and product advertising, the only thing left standing on the shelf, and finally at home, is the packaging.
- Why is packaging important?
- What makes a successful package?
- Choosing a form that communicates the brand
- Finding a packaging vendor
- Designing and testing
- Typography choices
- Color considerations
- Materials, texture, and finishes
- Shelf appeal and consumer response