With luxury packaging, it pays to be bold with your brand. ALAN DAVIES, Global Design Studio Manager at Essentra, explains…
To be successful in the luxury market, brands must be able to create a distinct brand identity that stands out when compared to its competitor set. Brands must be able to form a distinct and recognisable identity that aligns with the customers’ wants and needs; one which is woven throughout every angle of the brand. Every touchpoint the brand has with its customers must evoke that same message and vision – from the company’s external communications down to its products and services.
As the secondary packaging is the external face of the product, the packaging must be able to be found by the consumer, communicate the brand’s message and identity even if the customer were to only briefly glance at the product. Therefore, the packaging must be eye-catching and striking yet also easy to identify and understand in relation to its category. This can be done through the use of colour, structure and design. Finding a distinct colour, pattern or shape that differentiates the brand’s product from others on the market is key. This is true of all markets but particularly the luxury market. Successful luxury brands should strive to ensure all customers can recognise their offering and not just the brand.
CURRENT & CREATIVE
If a luxury brand wants to rebrand or is new to market and does not already have a strong recognisable visual presence, identifying what
designs will cut through the competitive landscape and appeal to their target audience is essential. Brands must use creative tools and monitor for current trends, and subsequently decide if they want to follow or disrupt the category norms.
As a leading global supplier of packaging, Essentra both designs and manufactures luxury packaging, working with trend forecasting company WGSN to monitor for the most relevant upcoming trends. Using these trends, Essentra ensures that all packaging it creates and manufactures is ready for the upcoming season or brand need. Essentra works closely with its clients at its Design Hub to design and incorporate elements of these trends into unique new designs. For example, looking forward, in Spring/Summer 2018 it is predicted that two of the main trends will be futuristic and modern looking tones, such as digitally derived images and high gloss, or earthy and natural tones, such as wood or marble designs. The latter also ties in with the current trend of mindfulness, spiritual fulfilment and wellness that is seeing a rise in popularity across various industries. A lot of products on the market right now are inspired geo-aesthetic cues; implementing more space, stone and earth themed designs.
Another key component of product packaging design is the tactile and tangible elements. The physical aspect of packaging should be an important part of a brand identity or a trend-influenced solution, adding another further dimension to the success of any pack design. Textures and surfaces should be explored, allowing consumers to literally ‘feel’ the brand and appeal to the sense of touch. High-end brands should have packaging that reflects its premium positioning. This can be done via varnishes and surface textures – for example an expensive moisturising cream’s packaging can implement a liquid-feeling texture on its cartons, creating a sensation that indicates hydration.
THE FIRST BITE
Packaging should always be an extension of a brand, communicating the brand’s message to its customers at first glance. It should aim to
invite consumers to interact with it in multiple ways; throughout their whole purchasing journey and use. Packaging needs to first appeal on an initial visual perspective, attracting customers and encouraging them to pick the item up. From there the packaging must then convert that interest to a purchase, which can be influenced by the information on the pack and the feel of the box. The tactile qualities of shape and texture can aid that physical connection the customers have with the brand. Once the product has been purchased, the packaging then must fulfil its purpose of holding the product and facilitate the customer through storage and reuse. If the product satisfies the customer throughout their whole journey and the packaging is of a high aesthetic and physical quality, in addition to them wanting to repurchase the item, they may be inclined to purchase it for someone else as a gift.
Overall brands need to design the packaging of its products in a way that conveys its core messaging and connects with its customers, as well as keeping up with market trends. Luxury packaging must be relevant and appealing to both the purchaser and any potential gift receivers, fulfilling multiple roles throughout its customer journey. As the luxury market gets increasingly competitive, especially with smaller boutique and bespoke companies entering the market, secondary packaging is becoming more vital than ever.