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Emotional Packaging

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: May 3, 2007, from the May 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

Fragrance is elemental, it’s physical—it communicates. Fragrance is evocative; its power to draw memory and emotion from hidden depths makes it a personal product without peer. It can be art.

In a less material world, fragrance bottles would be solely about art—about supporting the ethereal qualities of fragrance, about a bottle standing on its own merits. However, it’s clear that a bottle cannot be art for its own sake. That is not to say that there is not an art to bottle design and creation—or that there is not a true passion and dedication to those creations. Experts dedicated to fragrance and design make it clear that the ultimate goal of bottle artistry is to entice consumers to pick up the fragrance and make a purchase.

The Silent Salesman
“Innovation is not about packaging; it’s about giving brands the competitive edge,” stated Alan Isacson, president, ABI PR, in a presentation at Packaging Strategies 2006. Effective packaging means understanding consumers and what drives them to a brand. It is communicating; it is selling.

“I’m a great believer in several things, one of them being tactile communication, whereby through an ad or at point-of-purchase you’re really communicating with the consumer tactilely through your package,” said Marc Rosen, president, Marc Rosen Associates. “You want to design something that the consumer is going to want to reach out and touch and pick up—then smell and hopefully purchase.

“The first purchase is mainly about the package. You may have to like the fragrance, but the package is the first thing that sells them. It draws them into it. It’s emotional.”