There’s a lot of talk about “the evolution of consumer product marketing,” and we’ve all heard “It’s about content, not context.” Correct: The content on product packaging has to become more powerful — both emotional and rational at same time — to create instant gratification in the shopper and consumer. The changes impacting other mediums also apply to packaging, and the package has to catch up.
There are two key realities to deal with first. One: Package design — as design — was always handled in a peculiar way from a marketing perspective. In the hierarchy of thinking on the brand side, package design wasn’t considered primarily a marketing tool: It was more functional. And two: Because of this, packaging fell under the purview of procurement, where per-unit cost is a key consideration. Or if there was a design leader for the client, it was overseen by the design group. But the design function — emphasis on its function — was rarely invited to the marketing table.