I have a theory. Not a revolutionary theory involving chaos or relativity I must admit, but one that’s controversial enough to turn some heads or at the very least raise a few eyebrows. So, here it goes: the appeal of an unfamiliar product lies not in its function, but in its packaging.
We’re often used to hearing the expression “it’s what inside that counts”, whether it’s coming from our mums, a cheesy Disney film or a Mighty Boosh skit and while I totally embrace said notion in terms of philosophy and self-esteem, I would have to disagree when it comes to product marketing. If you’re browsing the shelves for a new brand of hair gel (I thought we’d go for cosmetics, just so we keep things suitably profound), are you likely to respond to a bland, monochromatic tube, or a funkier looking, more colourful container with an eye-catching font?
Ok, brand recognition is sure to play a part in our consumer impulses – I bet you anything, if Coca Cola launched a range of facial cream tomorrow, people will buy it – but what remains undeniable is that packaging plays a vital part in luring shoppers. The product will show its value in the long run, but it’s the packaging that will seduce you into making that all important purchase.
In that spirit, and with Interpack ’14 just a few weeks away, here’s a list of the most recent and innovative packaging designs that would grab even the most cynical customer’s attention:
1) Festina watches: it takes a brave marketing department to put forward a bag of water as a packaging idea, but when your product is a waterproof divers’ watch, it actually makes perfect sense. In fact, for the novelty factor alone, it’s pure genius.
2) Poilu paintbrushes: it’s safe to say that paintbrushes aren’t exactly the most exciting products out there, which is why you have to give credit to Poilu for coming up with a packaging design that features artistic portraits and makes the paintbrush hairs look like bushy moustaches!
3) Teapee tea: this charming little design reimagines tea packaging as a Native American Teepee, with special patterns surrounding the miniature tent that need to be torn off to reveal the teabag inside. Now who wouldn’t want to use these to recreate a miniature campsite on their desk?
4) Stranger & Stranger Spirit N. 13: there’s something inherently alluring about vintage design, something which bottle packaging experts Stranger & Stranger capitalised on for the Spirit N. 13 liquor. Boasting a wordy, faded label and wrapped up in a specially printed newspaper, this is one bottle of alcohol that feels like it’s been on a long, fascinating journey.
5) Domino’s edibox: a series of customer surveys carried out by the international pizza franchise revealed that the crust is the most popular part of the pizza experience, which is why Domino’s employed its “patented crust technology” to take the next step in “snackaging innovation” and delivered the world’s first pizza packaging made entirely out of crust. Ok, it was an April Fool’s prank, but there’s no part of us that wouldn’t want to see this happen for real one day!