If you choose a bottle of wine or a bag of trail mix simply because you like the label, you’re not alone: One-third of consumer product choices are based on packaging, according to research by The Paper Worker.
Packaging is an essential element of marketing strategy that makes a tangible brand connection with your audience. Packaging allows customers to take your brand with them…back to their homes, offices or on the go—where that interaction continues. To make sure your product packaging makes a solid connection with your customer, here are the latest packaging design trends to consider:
- Personalized. Thanks to digital printing capabilities, the one-size-fits-all packaging is no longer the norm. Personalized packaging makes a stronger connection with your customers and elevates your brand among competitors. Two great examples: Coca-Cola printing people’s first names on their bottles and Bud Light printing NFL-team graphics on their cans.
- Minimalist. Less is more—and there has been a shift to more simplified, scaled-back packaging and label designs. Consumers appreciate simplicity and economy—a trend that carries over to labeling: Too much information and fine print is overload.
- Sustainable. Today’s savvy consumers understand the impact of packaging waste on the environment—and they’re willing to put their money behind brands that go green: According to a Nielsen study, 3 out of 4 Millennials and 72 percent of Gen Z polled would pay more for a product with sustainable packaging.
- Soft neutrals, pastels, and patterns. The go-to bright, bold graphics have given way to a more muted, soothing palette. We’re seeing this in products from coffee to cosmetics. This doesn’t mean your design has to be blah—just a bit more Zen.
- Black and white. Void of color, using crisp, clean black and white graphics draws the eye to focus on the simplicity of the design—and/or your product name, logo or tagline.
- Transparent. Whether you’re selling a phone charging cord or crackers, creating packaging that has a window or cut-out to showcase your product is often worth the cost: It’s like a sneak peek or a show-and-tell glimpse that shows the customers what they get—which speaks to product authenticity and trustworthiness.
- Clean labeling. In the food sector, a Mintel study into packaging transparency and clean foods found more than 50% of U.S. consumers have an interest in scanning food packages with their smartphones to find out exactly what they contain. Part of that trend is the rise of the Smart Label™. The label code connects consumers to a landing page with transparent information about how clean this choice may be.
- Vintage or retro design. There is a feel-good, nostalgic quality about vintage or retro design—consumers positively associate these products with what many remember as a simpler, more carefree era.
- Cause-related. Taking a stand has never been more relevant in brand marketing. According to a Core LLC study, 41% of Americans say they have purchased a product in the past year because it was associated with a social or environmental cause; and 80% of consumers are likely to switch brands, similar in price and quality, to one that supports a cause that they favor.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re approaching product packaging design. If you’re interested in discussing ideas for your product, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.