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Influence From the Outside

By: Robert F. Brands
Posted: April 4, 2012, from the April 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • Packaging is a critical brand touch point, meaning the strategic design and development of a product’s packaging elements is essential to smart brand growth.
  • Package design exists within a landscape. It has a context within your brand and your other products.
  • Being on the cutting edge of packaging design requires an eye to consumer macrotrends, as well as the ability to understand how these macrotrends are applicable to your brand and products.

What’s your favorite package design? Is it the smart curvature of the closure on your go-to eau de parfum? The rough-hewn chunkiness of that single-batch bourbon bottle or the luscious lines of a sleek BMW? Maybe it’s the shape of the bottle of soda pop sitting on your desk right now?

Whatever it may be, beauty brand owners know packaging design trends and brand building are inextricably linked. Savvy brand owners carefully monitor trends within the industry and track the best examples of packaging design throughout the world of consumer products to help deliver the best packaging results to their brand, as well.

Packaging delivers remarkable ROI. It represents a critical brand touch point, the first thing a consumer physically interacts with in a brand experience. When package design trends are set, they stand at the crossroads of cultural anthropology, chemistry, engineering and commerce. And learning to anticipate these trends ensures the future vibrancy and poignancy of your beauty brand.

Influences on Design

This is critical: Your package design exists in a landscape. It can’t be different for the sake of being different. It has to be true to the brand proposition. Styles come and go, but setting the pace for new package designs means a steady strengthening of your core brand essence. This is accomplished through a manipulation of the package’s shape and material, graphic and copy elements, tactile attributes and even the sounds it makes.