In today’s fast paced commercial environment, print and packaging businesses don’t stay still for long. As a result of being fundamentally driven and shaped by quickly shifting consumer demands, now delivered through a highly complex omnichannel retail environment, the packaging supply chain is susceptible to swings in trends that have real bottom-line impacts.
In 2020, we are likely to see a number of changes across the supply chain, representing the culmination of several dovetailing cultural and consumer-led shifts. As a leading name in reprographics, at Creation we get a bird’s eye view of the supply chain, which allows us unrivalled oversight of the wider packaging process, and in particular how shoppers and packaging design influence each other. In the first of our two-part blog, we’re shining a light on the print, packaging and reprographics trends that are set to shape the industry through the year – and may hold the key to commercial success.
As the fundamental premise of retail becomes increasingly connected to the consumer’s lifestyle, values and ideologies, the packaging supply chain has been encouraged to follow suit. For many brands, this has manifested as a strong imperative to design and manufacture packaging sustainably and authentically. For several years, sustainable packaging has experienced a steady surge to the front of public consciousness, but what were previously ‘nice-to-haves’ – such as fully recyclable substrates and efficient processes – are now essential, with real impacts on profitability.
Today’s mindful consumer is at peak awareness for the packaging they purchase and its life cycle and are putting their money behind brands that demonstrate environmental awareness authentically, honestly and transparently.
For years, responsibly sourced and processed packaging has been a goal for brands, not a requirement. To shoppers, this is no longer enough. Research from clothing brand Saville Row demonstrated that 79% of consumers actively choose products with recyclable packaging over alternatives without it. What’s more, further studies from consumer research consultancy Shoppercentric demonstrated that 59% of consumers make a proactive decision to avoid packaging that they consider bad for the environment.
Throughout 2020, brands will continue to be placed under the microscope and sustainability drives must be demonstrable and most importantly, meaningful. Packaging that isn’t destined for landfill sites are the way forward, and consumers are backing businesses that take the full end-to-end lifecycle into account.
Today’s consumers increasingly seek experiences as part of the purchase process and there is no closer physical connection than the packaging in their hands. The way packaging feels to the touch, sometimes referred to as ‘haptic marketing’, is set to play a key role in the coming year. The term haptic derives from the branch of psychology that concerns the sensation of touch and the synaptic signals sent around the body.
On the crowded store shelves, brands are seeking new ways to differentiate their products and leave an impression with shoppers, and a core way to achieve this is to alter the feel of the packaging through substrate choice, design and finish. Multisensory packaging can be used to create a ‘signature’ feel, delivering benefits in terms of brand equity and recognition.
Special effects and new ways to produce and process packaging will help brands tap into the haptic marketing potential of products in 2020. When considering the ‘long game’ of branding, touch is a sense that manufacturers and retailers don’t tap into too often, which means it can be a great way to differentiate a product from its competitors.
In terms of design, 2019 was the year of minimalism and pastels. Driven by a desire to ‘simplify’ the visuals of packaging, many brands stripped back the colour and moved their colour palettes to pastel, neutral and nude shades. The idea was to let the typography shine by creating powerful colour dichotomies, and certainly a number of impactful design dynamics have been created. However, the outcome has been too many similar designs on the shelves that ultimately confuse the customer.
For brands in 2020, this means that bright eye-catching shades and powerful, vibrant tones are likely to fall back into favour. Reprographics, the art of turning great design into exceptional printed physical packaging, will play a huge role for businesses aiming to create real eye-catching packaging design through the new year. At Creation, we’ve stayed ahead of the curve by investing heavily in reprographic technology that makes outstanding visuals a reality for brands, regardless of size or category, alongside the experience, skills and sustainable thinking that puts our customers one step ahead.
The rapidly evolving face of consumerism has begun a chain of significant changes within packaging design and the supply chain. In part two, we will highlight some of the other important technical, social and commercial changes that savvy brands and manufacturers will be leveraging throughout 2020.
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