5 Upcoming Packaging Techniques Of 2017

Little did we ever believe that there is nothing as constant as change…! It does not matter which industry you belong to; the trends, tastes, practices and technology constantly change. This is more for a good cause – ideally for development and betterment of the business. The packaging industry is no different. With rapid changes in the consumer lifestyle and demographics in the recent years, coupled with changing tastes & likes, the packaging industry has to constantly evolve and develop as well. While this happens, technology is rapidly improving too, thereby, allowing new materials and techniques, innovative design elements and production methods to be used.

With so many products cluttering the shelves, brands constantly struggle to stand out, the reason being – their need to be unique and eye-catching. Attention span of the target audience is shorter. So, the message conveyed on the packaging has to be clear, simple and strong enough to hit the bull’s eye in the first go itself. We are increasingly becoming more environmentally conscious yet few are willing to pay extra towards the end. This leaves many challenges for the big brands and their design & packaging team.

Let us take a look at some of the best emerging packaging techniques; we can expect to see in the coming year 2017.

  1. Use of Rampant Technology

Massive advancements have been made in recent years with packaging technology and we have seen some incredible innovations in the past few years. This will continue at an even greater pace in future. New design, production and printing techniques are able to give the creative guys a lot more freedom to innovate than they have ever had before. This is essential as products fight to stand out amongst the noise on the supermarket shelf. People are also drawn to the novelty factor of something different with innovative and unique designs. Some are short term brand awareness campaigns and not sustainable in the longer run but many have proved their mettle to be highly effective.

While some brands have changed little to nothing over the past few hundred years, others are dramatically different from just a few years ago.

Some are brilliant in their simplicity while others are a lot more high-tech. One classic example is that of Heineken and Strongbow bottles with a range of interactive capabilities such as creating light beams when opened or manipulating lights on a DJ deck. You have beer brands that have color changing labels according to the temperature of the beverage. These are just a few examples of the many in the market.

  1. Personalization

As with most technologies, printing has evolved dramatically in the recent years. What used to be a slow, clumsy and expensive process that was difficult to change, now offers opportunities to vary the print quickly and cost effectively. This is a great opportunity to create a unique appeal for individuals, groups, areas and communities. Consumers want to experience a sense of closeness to the brand with eye catchy colors for example and modern digital printing makes this feasible.

One of the biggest innovators of this concept is undoubtedly Coca Cola with their Share a Coke campaign. Well known for innovative and pioneering marketing techniques, this particular one was sheer brilliance. The concept itself was rather simple but the end result was overwhelming. This only became a viable proposition due to advances in printing techniques as well as the associated reduction in costs. Many other companies have driven similar concepts with Absolut being another great example to look at. They created over 4 million unique designs. They cleverly used this in their advertising campaigns as well creating an online trend which created massive brand awareness and goodwill.

This sort of personalization is a powerful marketing tool that drives the consumer to feel close to the brand and that, they are being heard. It is a great builder of brand loyalty.

In yet another innovative campaign, Heinz Tomato soup gave customers the opportunity to send a personalised can of soup to a loved one or friend as a get well gift. I am not sure how many of these cans sold but the goodwill it created for the brand was phenomenal.

This trend is set to continue to grow as technology allows more creative freedom and opportunities for marketers to engage with their customers.

  1. Packaging that is pleasing

Lifestyles, trends and family dynamics are changing and the packaging industry is responding to these in creative ways. Convenient packaging and more size variety are a few examples. Clever, simple packaging that is easy to open and hassle free to use are becoming more popular. Dosage control dispensers are another growing trend. Plastic packaging manufacturers in the UK have made great developments in this regard too.

  1. Differentiation

There are many brilliant new packaging designs that allow brands to stand out from the crowd as the consumer scans the shelf, next to their more traditional competitors. Sales generally prove the power and effectiveness of this technique. Again, technology has greatly reduced the cost of doing this, making it a worthwhile endeavor.

Label trends are also responding to changing human behaviors, especially shorter attention spans. Modern labels need to be clear, simple and bold to get the millisecond opportunity you have to catch the consumer’s attention.

  1. Nostalgia and National Pride

Marketers are cleverly exploiting the growing feelings of nostalgia and national pride amongst many demographics. This has resulted in several brands going back to a more traditional design or offering them as limited edition purchases. Apart from making the brands stand out, it gives them the appearance of authenticity and history, having stood the test of time.

No doubt, we will see an increase in innovation and the use of technology in the packaging industry in the years to come as brands struggle to compete in a crowded market. We only need to wait and watch the game being played.

Photo by Unsplash, CC0 1.0