The Element of Surprise in Packaging Design

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Part of The 7 Secrets of Powerful Packaging Design Article

Many people don’t realize that, in the past 8 years, one marketing industry has risen to be the number 2 largest spend by today’s brands: Experiential marketing. Of course, digital is still number 1 and growing by 16% annually. But, experiential marketing is now number 2 with 6% growth from 2014 to 2015 (Study by EventMarketer). The reason for this is simple: people crave memorable experiences more than they crave things. It’s now a well-known fact that millennials value experience more than they value owning houses, fancy cars or expensive items. This shift in consumer behavior from desiring things to desiring experiences has a direct effect on packaging design.

How, you may ask, can a package design be like a live event? The thing that makes live events so memorable is that moment where something happened that was unexpected, and blew your mind. Packaging designers can take a lesson from live events by delivering a similar element of surprise to the shopping experience. For example, the moment when a package lid is lifted, and the inside of the carton is flooded with a bright color that says “this secret experience was designed just for you”. Or when the customer realizes the package was designed to have a second life after you unpacked the product, and doubles as gift box or storage box for other things. The packaging design’s face panels may create a larger image when viewed next to each other on the shelf. Or, when the packaging unveils a bonus gift item that wasn’t even advertised on the carton—that coupon code, window sticker or keychain that declares “I’m a real brand loyalist, and only loyalists get these.” The possibilities for elements of surprise are vast so be sure to challenge your packaging designer, or your client, to develop an element of surprise into your next packaging design.

CAPTION FOR IMAGE ABOVE: Create an unexpected moment of surprise for the customer. Stage that element to be discovered during the unwrapping of the product. The resulting experience will delight and satisfy–moving your brand to the loyalty winner’s circle. Example: Flood the inside of a folding carton with color that reflects the fragrance, attitude or style of the product about to be experienced.

Key Element: For the past 10 years, the fastest growing category of advertising/marketing budget expenditures has been Digital. The second fastest growing category: Experiential Marketing. Why? Because experiences engage our sense, stimulate emotional responses and earn a place in our long term memory. Find a way to make your packaging a memorable experience.

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Personal versus Corporate Branding

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There are two types of brands: Personal and Corporate. Selecting the right one for your company requires asking some questions, getting objective answers and some future considerations. A Personal Brand is based on a person, just like it sounds. Oprah, Martha Stewart, Tony Robbins, etc. These brands can be applied to any number of products or services that can reasonably be affiliated with the celebrity such as Oprah’s Magazine “O” and Martha Stewart’s many lines of home décor. The brand carries the values, talents and notoriety of the person for whom the brand is named. Corporate Brands are not based on any one person, but rather a concept, idea or industry of focus. Sometimes, the brand name is nonsensical, like Google or Trivago, which makes them catchy, but it costs a lot to advertise and build catchy-ness in a funny word. Corporate Brands are more flexible in that, it matters less who is at the helm of the brand, allowing corporate brands to be bought, sold and expand easily into many industries. Example: Microsoft, Apple, and Starbucks. While the CEOs of these companies can rise to high levels of fame, just like with Personal Brands, that person can also be replaced without the brand completely losing its value. Example: Steve Job’s passing and subsequent appointment of Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. Apple is worth more now than when Steve Jobs was CEO. Are you looking for a corporate branding strategy that could help raise awareness of your company? Businesses from diverse sectors such as hospitality, finance, and even the automotive industry have found that printing their logo onto bottled water can be a simple yet efficient way to promote their products and services in a subtle way. Bottled water can easily be sold or given away for free in hotels, offices, and even at trade shows and exhibitions, so if you are tempted to give branded bottled water a try, head to the Custom Water website for all the information you need to get started.

So… Personal or Corporate? How do you know which one is right for you?

Questions:

  1. Will customers buy from anyone selling the products or services you make?
    1. YES: Corpoate
    2. No: Personal
  2. Is having you in the sale critical to making the sale happen?
    1. YES: Personal
    2. No: Corporate
  3. Is your type of product or service specific to you as a creative, innovator or inventor?
    1. Yes: Personal
    2. No: Corporate
  4. If you were taken out of your business for 6-months, would it negatively affect the sales of your company?
    1. Yes: Personal
    2. No: Corporate
  5. Do you want to be able to sell your business in the future?
    1. Yes: Corporate
    2. No: Personal

Now that you know what kind of brand you need, the next step is to work with a brand design agency to develop the logo design, messaging, design style, color palette, typography and guildelines that will ensure consistency wherever your brand appears.

For a consultation about your brand design, contact Deal Design.