In a store, consumers scan category selections in seconds and either pass them by or pick up products for further evaluation before, hopefully, buying them. Much of their assessment rides on the package design. Packaging is often the “make or break factor” in consumer decision making.
Adequate package design doesn’t cut it anymore (but I’m not sure that it ever did); there’s just too much competition in every category. Packaging has to go beyond the expected; it really has to be great to get any attention at all. But every once in a while, the stars align and in a genius moment, packaging is created that goes beyond great—all the way to magical.
You know when a package design creates a moment of magic. Consumers stop in their tracks and literally forget where they are, entranced and totally captivated. I know what you’re thinking. Sure, we work with toy and entertainment properties and our job is to create magic in packaging; to captivate consumers—kids and adults alike—before they ever interact with products. But I think that a large number of consumer product brands, regardless of category, can and should elevate their visual design assets to create magic for two important reasons:
1. Remember that consumers in general and millennials in particular seek experiences more than they look to acquire things. If consumers encounter magical experiences in their interactions with packaging, this will go a long way to cementing their relationships to specific brands.
2. Secondly, adults, like children, are highly responsive to a bit of magic in their time-starved, responsibility-driven lives.
Here are four examples where the packaging makes marketing magic.
1. A method behind the magic
Brands that have a history of being unorthodox from their inception (translation: that are unconventional and comfortable in their own skins) continue to surprise and delight consumers with the unexpected.
Method Home, long known for innovative packaging that directly led to the success of its products, recently launched four gel hand soaps in support of Creative Growth, a non-profit art center for adults with disabilities in Oakland, CA. The company collaborated with four artists who each designed packaging, and then filled them with four limited-edition fragrances. The package designs are full of vitality, energy and movement—not to mention distinctive use of color.
Lastly, there’s Method’s unique package structure, which is sinuous and tear-drop shaped. Every aspect of this package design is artistic; a stand-out on shelves filled with hand-soap brands in expected category packaging. Proof again that art is magical; consumers always have an emotional response to it.
NEXT: Magnum premium ice cream