The evolution of packaging has played an important role in the advancement of humankind. Today many of us take for granted how products are brought to the shelf and how they are manufactured and packaged to protect against damage or spoilage. We now live in a society that looks beyond the functional aspects of packaging to how it makes one feel, look, and speak. Image has become the driving force behind packaging and branding. From utilitarian function to emotional billboard, the package now serves two masters: it hosts the brand, and it entices the potential buyer through inviting graphics and entertaining visuals. In today’s market we could broaden our definition of packaging to include the packaging of entire brands, not just specific products. The idea of packaging goes beyond the container to the total package of the store. This is a real brand experience. And it is the packaging of this brand experience that allows us to become enchanted and entertained. Consumers connect on a whole new level with the complete concept of packaging. Thus the role of packaging evolved into a vital marketing tool in selling products. This eventually created ancillary industry, with consumer research, branding, industrial design, and graphic design all becoming well-established commercial professions. Today, increased competition within matured retail markets has resulted in advances in market strategy, behavioural science, structural materials, and creative design combined with innovative technology to offer us a world of ever-changing retail experience. Research shows, that different brand images delivered via packaging appeal to different consumer demographic segments. Market research into consumer behaviours, along with demographic and psychographic analysis, are all used to position brands and refine product packaging. The resulting designs catch consumer’s eyes. Packaging can be strong that it makes a brand instantly recognizable. Innovation is vital to the success of a brand’s life. All aspects of the product/package and marketing lifecycle need innovation – from media formats, promotions, structural containers, computer technology, manufacturing, and design styles to printing processes. Continued evolution is the creative glue that perpetually involves consumers with the brand. Packaging is an essential component in our culture. More than a container, a bag, a box, or a bottle, it tells stories and makes promises in an attempt to win trust, it presents and promotes, informs, and instructs, a package’s eye-catching graphics and messages make all kinds of products desirable, sellable, understandable, memorable, and entertaining. A brand designed to connect hits to the consumer on an emotional level. The package may be silent, but through design it triggers senses and an emotional buying decision. “Q: What is the single biggest obstacle you see with package design? A: I think the environment that our brands compete in is very complex and therefore filled with a variety of challenges. But one problem that we consistently see is a lack of a strong creative vision. That vision must come from the brand team, in order to stimulate the creative processes. When that doesn’t happen, the effectiveness of the final solution can suffer. On a more executional level, another challenge is the desire and request to put too much information on our packaging. We typically want to say many more things than the consumer is interested in hearing. The result is the information that could influence their decision to buy a brand is more difficult to find and, in fact, may not be seen. It is a classic example of less is more. –Terry Schwartz, director of brand design, ConAgra Foods Inc., Omaha, NE” WOW FACTOR
A wow factor is one that has defined and draws attention to a new or existing category. Its brand or package is a direct reflection of the product attributes. Wow products make us stop and take notice. Consumers want to have relationships with...
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