Insights by AUSPACK

Amber Boney AUSPACK 2019 Effective packaging

Use your packaging to stand out, says strategy chief

Posted on September 3rd, 2019 in Insights by AUSPACK

Packaging in the food and drink industries is constantly evolving, with manufacturers looking to create safe and effective packaging that’s also visually appealing.

To do this, you need a sound strategy. One that explains why you’re doing what you’re doing, one that makes sure you stand out and one that has a strong design.

Amber Bonney, founder and head of strategy for Edison Agency, spoke at the AUSPACK 2019 Business and Industry conference about packaging design trends that she feels are important at this time.

Showing what makes you different

Brands and brand values are more important now than ever before. The younger generation of shoppers is asking more questions than previous generations and they want to know what a brand stands for before they make a purchase.

There’s no one right answer for what a brand should stand for, but if there’s no indication on your packaging that you do stand for something, that’s a negative mark for many consumers.

Amber said, “Understanding that people are really respecting a brand’s value and purpose more than they ever have. It’s not just about a status of looking good but standing for something more meaningful.”

“There needs to be the reason to believe. There’s no point having a product that looks amazing, even if it’s using fully sustainable recycled materials and if it’s got a great story, if it actually has no reason to believe that defines it from being different from any other.”

“What makes the brand different? How do we use packaging as a canvas to tell that?”

Maintaining relevancy

No matter what stage of business you’re at or what industry you’re in, there’s always some white space where you can find unmet needs.

Constantly checking what consumers want, what you’re offering and what competitors are doing in your field can help you position yourself and your products for maximum gain.

Amber said, “This can be really challenging for a few reasons. More established brands struggle with white space in maintaining relevancy. They might dominate in a certain area; maintaining that relevancy is important. It can be difficult if they own 60 or 70% market share, it takes a long time for that to decline and normally by the time it’s declined significantly it takes a long time to get back to the top. ”

She then suggested a few areas to look at and to incorporate in your branding strategy:

  • Engaging younger generations
  • Constantly evaluating packaging, especially with new competitors on the shelves
  • Be aware of how to be more agile
  • Be conscious of sustainability in your packaging
  • Work on ROI with considered, consumer-centric strategy

Design-first innovation

An important part of Amber’s talk was about using packaging to tell the consumer more than just what’s inside.

One of her key insights was to use packaging to stand out from the competition. To do that, you have to design something that’s a bit different. It may be through using new technology or a creative collaboration, but whatever you do it should have a message.

For Amber, that means being brave and taking risks. She said, “Whether you’re a supplier, a marketer or a manufacturer, building a creative culture is important, and that means being brave and not accepting the status quo.”

“Try not to be held back by the limitations of what has come before you, but instead thinking differently, thinking of the possibilities and asking the right questions.”

Examples of brands doing it well

Amber talked about a number of brands that are using their packaging most effectively, including:

Bulla, the ice cream brand, resigned their tubs so that once the dessert was finished, they were perfect for kids to take to the beach and use as a bucket for making sandcastles. This works on a sustainability level and a family-friendly level.

Freaks of Nature, a vegan dessert brand, originally had packaging that reflected their vegan attitudes but flipped that and now have bold and bright colours to reflect the flavour of the product instead.

Woolworths, for their odd bunch fruit and veg range, are using photos of imperfect produce. Not only does this reflect the product, it also ties in with the ‘no Photoshop’ movement that’s happening in the wider marketing and magazine world.

Three key takeaways:

  • Your product’s packaging is a great way to show what makes your brand different and what you stand for
  • You should continually evaluate what’s happening in the market to look for opportunities and white space
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things in order to stand out

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