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Marketing Matters: Packaging and the Brand Experience—New Frontiers

By: Liz Grubow
Posted: December 10, 2007, from the December 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The great news for U.S. marketers is there have been significant advancements in the development of eco-friendly packaging materials—notably corn-based paperboard, high-percentage post-consumer recycled content, and vegetable- and soy-based inks—that will allow marketers to meet customer expectations for their brand’s packaging, while aligning it with the brand’s character. Yet the sustainability issue remains—how this brave new natural world in eco-friendly packaging will adapt to the increasing demands.

The growing demand from retailers and manufacturers for smaller, eco-friendly packages is pushing mass and prestige beauty brand experts to reinvent strategies previously used to design aspirational, aesthetically pleasing packaging. Developing bio-based, recyclable packaging with messaging that emphasizes environmental attributes is among the latest directives for brands.
As companies such as Aveda claim the high use of renewable plant-based products as a foundation of their brand, more consumers are interested in investigating and reading package labels to learn the origins of the product and of the package. Increasing the “green effect” of beauty care brands and their packaging presents an opportunity to get closer to U.S. and global customers. Packaging aesthetics are still highly important; however, the goal of sustainability is now also at the forefront. We now have the opportunity to connect with customers on a different level by sharing their values to reduce waste and protect the environment.

Meeting these new trend expectations, in concert with the delivery of a sense of elegance and sophistication across beauty and personal care categories, will change the landscape of the brand experience and the relationship that marketers have with their customers.