As the editor-in-chief of BRANDPACKAGING, I spend my days researching, analyzing and ultimately writing about the most innovative packaging that I (and my very talented team) can find. For those of us in the profession that is journalism, it’s an enviable position. I’ve been lucky enough to combine my passion for all things written with my appreciation of the strategy, aesthetics and functionality that all must be present in order to create packaging that sells.
In speaking with the bright and talented brand marketers and designers I encounter during the course of my work, it’s clear that I’m not alone in my strange fascination. I’m sure we can all relate to the trip to the grocery store for a few quick items that turns into a fact-finding mission about the latest and greatest packaging that’s on the shelf. (And I suspect I’m not alone in saying that certain, less patient friends and family members won’t go within a five-block radius of these establishments with me on most days).
All jokes aside, though, I think that sometimes in our ambition to make a meaningful connection with this mysterious group we call “consumers”, it’s easy to forget one important fact. Take a step back and look in the mirror. You are a consumer. I am a consumer. We share the same busy lives that make us long for packages that make our lives easier. We have the same need to feel connected to the brands that we know and trust. We encounter the same challenges and experience the same desire for solutions.
Look at just a few of the many packages that we have profiled in the pages of this magazine over just the past year: Target’s ClearRx, Dutch Boy’s Ready to Roll, Chips Ahoy’s Snack n Seal, Pillsbury’s Perfect Portions. Are they innovative? Absolutely. Are they ground breaking? Many of them are. But the one thread common among each of these and countless other innovations is the fact that there is a compelling story of an unmet need behind each.
It’s not my intention to oversimplify the immense amount of time or the incredible insight that has gone into making each one of these projects a success. Instead, I offer a gentle reminder to each of you as you go about your day: don’t forget to take a step back periodically and remember that you have an inside track. Repeat as necessary: “I am a consumer.”
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