Product packaging has evolved into a product category all its own. More importantly, customers are making purchasing decisions based on clever packaging.
Sure, the product inside a traditional shampoo bottle or a simple mailer box might be better than the competition; but if your competition has a unique product package that seems like something worth buying all on its own, traditional will lose to trendy every time.
To help you get inspired for your next product packaging overhaul, we’ve found the most adored packaging ideas of 2018.
Mermaids and unicorns and pineapples, oh my! Who knows why owls are suddenly the coolest thing to wear on a shirt or everyone is obsessed with rainbow-everything thanks to the unicorn trend – but they are, and that’s all that matters.
Brands like Tarte Cosmetics have embraced these out-of-the-blue trends and used them as inspiration for their packaging.
For example, not only has Tarte created an eyeshadow palette in the shape of a pineapple, but also they’ve hammered home the idea that pineapples are super cool by pairing the palette with a pineapple-covered tube of lipstick and a model wearing pineapple earrings.
Rather than waiting for the next random symbol to become iconic, create your own. Follow Tarte’s lead by choosing a theme and telling the world that it’s the new hot thing to own by featuring it everywhere.
While the 20- and 30-somethings may follow the trends, a more mature clientele will appreciate a bit more finesse and cultural representation.
For instance, Guerlain’s Shalimar “Wonders of India” perfume bottle has been a major hit with an audience that wants everything they own to be dripping in luxury. The Shalimar bottle is inspired by the Taj Mahal, is gilded in 24-carat gold, and is emblazoned with amethyst, carnelian, chalcedony, lapis lazuli, malachite, rose quartz, tiger’s eye, and yellow quartz.
The Shalimar bottle perfectly embodies brand packaging that could be a product all on its own.
Even if you’re not a luxury brand, you can give your customers a luxurious experience by personalizing their products. Coca-Cola led the charge by enticing soda sippers to hunt for their names on bottles. Everyone wanted to find their name in Coke’s classic curvy font.
More recently, Function of Beauty has taken personalization to the next level. Not only are they offering personalized bottles, but even the product is customized. Customers are able to curate their own hair care line based on their personal hair type and styling needs. The clincher is allowing customers to name their bottles and create something truly theirs.
Now, you know when Sally Smith runs out of “Sally’s Sultry Sexy Shampoo,” she’s coming back to Function of Beauty for more.
Oftentimes as product creators, we’re lured into the romantic idea of creating a product package that represents ourselves. However, creating a winning product package relies on the tastes of your audience.
For example, Stella McCartney’s luxury fashion designs have recently featured new products just for kids. To embrace the mindset of her youthful target audience, she partnered with artist Stevie Gee to create a range of cartoonish product packaging that allows children to stack their boxes to create hilarious creatures.
The more products the child’s parents buys, the more building blocks the child gets to play with. That’s a sales, packaging, and customer hat trick.
Clinique also gets credit for their brilliant audience-focused collaboration with Crayola. The kids who used to swoon over Lisa Frank sets, Lip Smackers necklaces, and boxes of 64 crayons with the sharpener are now adults. This collection brings nostalgia to life and makes an everyday adult routine like applying makeup a fun, whimsical experience.
While Clinique Crayola collab was released in 2017, it is still so in-demand in 2018 that there are entire forums dedicated to “where can I buy Clinique’s Crayola Chubby Stick?”
Environmental friendliness and sustainability are top of mind for forward-thinking brands today. As they should be! Improving the health of our planet is a responsibility we must all take on – from individuals to large companies.
Procter & Gamble has gone the sustainable route with their new Head & Shoulders bottles. Made of recovered beach plastic, the packaging reminds shoppers of the impact their purchase has on the planet and gives them a way to feel good about their buying choices.
Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about: making your customer feel all the warm and cozy feels.
The hallmark of superb packaging is – and will likely always be – Apple. They have, quite frankly, nailed the packaging and product reveal experience with their soft-touch, minimalist designs.
And it works for a reason: the focus is on the product and the customer. There’s something very admirable about a company that doesn’t feel the need to stamp every surface of their packaging with decor.
Following in Apple’s footsteps are Dollar Shave Club and Chanel. Dollar Shave Club’s philosophy of using stripped back, no frills product packaging appeals to their “get it done” masculine audience. The plain brown boxes feature the DSC logo on the outside and a friendly but simple “Welcome” on the inside.
Chanel has taken it a step further by capturing the beauty of simplicity in their home page video, which teaches shoppers how to create their own elegant, minimalist package. Monkey see, monkey want.
Your product packaging is the face you show to the world. Put yourself out there in a way that truly represents your brand and the connection you want to have with buyers. Now more than ever, your product packaging is a product itself.
Struggling to find the wow-factor for your product packaging? Get in touch with us and find out how we help our partner brands deliver experiences through packaging.