Style vs Function? New Packaging Technology Can Do Both

Packaging is paramount in retail marketing, and everyone working to promote the world’s largest brands depends on it. Consumers are increasingly demanding higher levels of convenience, personalization, and environmentally-friendly packaging options from their favorite companies, and it’s necessary to leverage aesthetic and functional components in order to compete with other products on the shelf. With the use of modern packaging technology, brands can and should incorporate both.

Aesthetic Innovations in Packaging

Aesthetic innovations in packaging offer more than just slick or trendy branding capability. In the case of the newest model of Gerresheimer’s Duma Pocket used for pharmaceuticals, the packaging is designed to appear more like a box of mints than a typical pill container for more discrete usage. The oval, ergonomic shape also allows the containers to be opened with one hand for better convenience. Another promising packaging design innovation allows for customization and personalization through the use of digital printing. Though digital printing has been utilized in other industries for decades, it’s only recently been an option for packaging designers. With the ability to cost-effectively produce shorter runs of packaging and labeling, brands can create specialized marketing specific to your customer base with digital printing technology, much like how Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign did with its personalized bottles.

Powerful brands know that packaging aesthetics are a primary driver of in-store consumer buying choices, however, functional features that suit busy lifestyles and protect the environment can also be just as important for long-term customer loyalty.

Functional Innovations in Packaging

Brands are increasingly encouraged by consumer behavior to accommodate their on-the-go lifestyles, where the use of utensils and secondary tools are often unavailable or inconvenient. As a result, manufacturers like Glenroy Inc. developed the VersaPouch, a “ready-to-dispense, gravity fed pouch”, that can dispense 99% of its contents without the use of utensils. For the space-conscious, the VersaPouch is also designed for easy stability and storage on shelves and in refrigerator doors. Another packaging innovation designed to suit the mobile lifestyles of cocktail-loving consumers comes from Plastic Technologies Inc., and is called The Clasper™ bottle. The Clasper™’s dual containers conveniently hold shelf-stable mixer juice and alcohol, and when unsnapped from each other can be combined for an easily mixed cocktail on the beach or at a neighborhood cookout. The functional convenience offered by these types of packaging innovations can be major deciding factors for shoppers, and when combined with powerful messaging, are effective marketing tools.

Aside from enhancing convenience, functional packaging innovations can also benefit the environment, and with an increasingly environmentally aware consumer base, brands are looking for ways they can meet demands for greener packaging. Thanks to the start-up TIPA, brands now have the option of using fully compostable packaging. It’s just as durable and nonpermeable as traditional plastic packaging, but can breakdown enough within 180 days to serve as soil fertilizer.

Each of these examples of aesthetic and functional packaging technology can jointly serve a powerful marketing purpose. As paper and packaging experts, the Norkol family is here to help you navigate all the options for protecting and marketing the products that set you apart from the competition.