Nine Design Strategies to Inspire Sustainable Profits | Part Five

January 18, 2019

Nine Design Strategies to Inspire Sustainable Profits | Part Five


Although some marketing executives treat package design as an afterthought, allocating the lion’s share of their budgets to traditional advertising media outlets, most marketing executives recognize that package design is an integral part of their branding strategy. They understand that while large budget media production and buys elicit excellent return on investment, so does a top-notch package brand identity system. Common sense presents an excellent comparison of the brand building capabilities of a 60-second television commercial versus an eye-catching packaging system which generates “views” each and every time a customer visits a store. The predominant thinking of the world’s most successful brand builders these days is not so much reach (how many consumers see my ad) and frequency (how often do they see it), but rather finding ways to get consumers to invite brands into their lives. The mass media won’t disappear as a tool. But smart companies see the game today as making bold statements in design and wooing consumers by integrating messages so closely into entertainment that the two are all but indistinguishable. You as a marketer are already aware of CPM on electronic media vs. retail package impressions. Investing in superior package design and shelf presence is equally as important as more traditional media, and its ROI pays off not only in CPM, but in brand visibility at point of purchase.

Furthermore, consider that the same branded packaging system continues to live on well after your product is purchased. From this perspective, it becomes clear that great packaging does a lot more than help display your products– it helps you communicate your brand’s core identity and is arguably your most efficient, long-lasting, cost-effective marketing tool.

The shift toward sustainable packaging means more than simply using less packaging materials from more renewable and environmentally friendly sources. Why not expand your product’s complete life-cycle assessments (CLA) with a branding life-cycle assessment to make sure you are maximizing the marketing value of your packaging at every stage of the sales process? Thinking along these lines, several innovative package designers have already discovered clever ways to encourage customers to re-use their leftover packaging materials. For example, Pangea Organics, an ecocentric skincare company, designed their gift boxes to be bright yet simple, as well as 100% compostable, biodegradable and plantable. Imagine foregoing your holiday wrapping paper in lieu of saving trees, and giving the gift of less waste. Yep…that’s right… the label instructs customers to re-purpose the container by removing the label and flattening the box before planting. Soak in water for 24 hours. Plant in 1/8″ deep soil, keep warm, and expect a beautiful spruce tree to geminate in a couple of weeks. Beyond Panega’s own skin care products biodegrading in 48 hours, all of their packaging actually breaks down making the earth a big winner as well. This is far more inventive than just reusing a Smuckers jelly jar for a regular drinking glass. But instead of throwing away or recycling it, imagine the brand equity you’ve got when you’ve developed a package that helps eliminates CO2 from our atmosphere. We believe that smart ideas like this are the wave of the sustainable packaging revolution still to come.

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