Today the world of design looks much different than a decade or even a few years ago. Social and cultural landscapes are increasingly more diverse and complex. And trends have the power to come, go, and shape this landscape at an increasingly faster pace. Technology is primarily responsible for this affect. The speed at which people digest information is faster than ever. New trends and ideas are seemingly able to percolate overnight and spread like wildfire. This creates a challenge for many brands. How does a brand retain customer loyalty when consumers have so many choices and how do designers navigate through all the noise? These challenges are most evident in the retail market where designers must bridge the gap between the digital world and the physical world. When designing for retail packaging, designers must think about all the activity and all the engagement that takes place between a brand and its customers or even its potential customers. For example, customers may engage with a brand through twitter commenting on a new product line or they may react to post on Facebook. These interactions should not be overlooked and should not be considered trivial because they can help in trying to understand and uncover the potentially deeper and more emotional connections that can create a strong sense of customer loyalty. This leads us to the first of three essential branding and packaging trends for designers.
Communicating your brand’s story is one of the best ways to form a stronger and more meaningful connection with your consumer. For example, perhaps you have a compelling origins story that has helped to shape your company’s values and beliefs. Was the company founded in a small town with a strong sense of community? And Is there a way the idea of community can be symbolized within the packaging design?
The rise of mass consumerism and complex technological shifts have given rise to a greater sense of individualism and a desire to be unique. Portraying a smaller brand can help in filling that desire. Consumers are increasingly responding to small batch craft style boutique products. The craft beer market is an example of this trend. Brands packaged to convey these ideas will do a much better job at fostering loyalty versus brands that appear as mass production.
Designing strictly for the physical retail space and not considering the online space isn’t the best strategy. For example, the logo should be an integral and easily recognizable part of your brand. If a customer sees your product in a photo on Instagram how well could they identify your brand in a retail store? Having a logo that works well online and offline is essential and can help your brand stand out both online and offline.