Connecting with consumers: Packaging gives brands a voice on the shelf

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By Dr. Daniel Abramowicz, CTO, Crown Holdings Inc.

  1. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, brands should use innovative packaging that stands out and can positively affect the consumer’s experience.
  1. Innovative companies can leverage changes and market demands by working with brands closely to adapt and innovate, positively influencing the consumer.
  1. As consumption patterns and consumer demographics evolve, brands should leverage changes affecting the packaging industry including package size and variety.

Packaging can make or break the success of a product by resonating with a consumer’s past or present experience, thus helping to differentiate a brand and expand the brand experience. A host of memories and emotions can define that brand experience and evoke feelings of refreshment, excitement, fun and even nostalgia.

However, brands and/or package designers oftentimes fail to leverage this emotional connection by focusing only on the functional attributes of a package – such as barrier protection or cost – which results in failed opportunities to connect with consumers. Additional reasons companies may fail to effectively engage consumers with their package include their approach to change or involving package designers too late in the process.

According to Dr Daniel Abramowicz, Crown Holdings’ Chief Technology Officer, innovative packaging companies are able to leverage changes such as the world’s aging population, mobile consumerism and the need for innovation by working with brands to adapt and innovate to positively influence the consumer. For example, Crown’s Orbit™ Closure and Easylift™ food end are both designed with ‘Inclusive Design’ principles that are geared toward easy opening for older generations who prefer packaging that requires little effort to use. Such innovations are preferred by all consumers, not just the aging population, because of their accessible design. To suit the needs of the mobile consumer, Crown has also recently developed the InnoValve™ can in conjunction with La Colombe Coffee Roasters so that consumers can enjoy a cold, creamy, café-style latte on-the-go. Crown’s full aperture 360End® has helped to satisfy the need for more innovation for craft brewer Sly Fox, by turning a beverage can into a drinking vessel and enhancing the olfactory experience, and therefore the taste of their beer.

As consumption patterns and consumer demographics evolve, brands must also change to remain ahead of the curve. Two important changes affecting the packaging industry are package size and variety. Smaller packages are being driven by converging trends that include portability, portion control and healthier lifestyles. Mass customisation is also driven by trends including individuality, shelf variety and new technologies such as digital printing that will enable a heretofore unheard of level of customisation on beverage cans.

With all of this occurring at a fast rate, brands and package designers need to strategise ways to survive and thrive in the marketplace. One way is to pull in more ideas from outside the company using Open Innovation (OI), which has directly benefitted Crown’s Orbit™ vacuum closure and Easylift™ food end. Another way to create products that interest consumers is to combine ideas and expertise from different areas to generate new product concepts. Crown’s InnoValve™ Draft Latte, a collaboration resulting from Crown’s work with La Colombe, is a combination of beverage and aerosol can technologies, and Sly Fox’s craft beer is utilizing the Company’s 360 End,® which is a combination of beverage and food end technology. Lastly, Crown also leverages its unique package design team, which brands can consult for their design and engineering knowledge. With the help of this unique resource, firms like Crown are able to create novel design concepts that stand out to consumers.

For more information, visit Crown


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