10 Packaging Trends That Will Make Consumers Buy In 07

People are sick of conventional advertising. Let’s face it, most of today’s ads aren’t working or, at best, aren’t generating sales. So marketers need other methods of communicating the product’s worth to the consumer. The package becomes an obvious and valuable means to that end. The point is if someone doesn’t pick up your product they are never going to buy it. That’s where the packaging as an advertisement comes into play. How can you engage the consumer at the beginning of the product relationship? The package is your silent salesperson and it better have the right message delivered to the right audience — no matter what product is inside. It’s all about the package (or should be) and who buy’s it and why is it purchased.Understanding and cultivating the consumer is an ongoing task. Consumer preferences can change on a whim. When it comes to product packaging, it’s important to understand the mindset behind consumer decisions. Each year new trends move into the foreground. Yet, while some are here to stay others move on as quickly as the came in to being. Some trends become mainstream across all industries, ethnicities, and generations. Trends have power. Use them wisely and you will reap the rewards. Here are 10 packaging trends that will impact whether the consumer will purchase your products or not.1) The Trend – The Alpha Female.
She is the primary shopper and 80% of the time the decision maker. Companies are finally waking up to the power of the purse. She’s your primary target no matter what her age bracket. Fortunately, we have passed the “Age of Pink” where marketers believed that anything pink would sell. Now companies are looking at what women really want and not just what advertisers think they want. There is a new generation of pink packaged products, but the color is now utilized in a way that makes sense. It is not used simply because marketers consider it feminine.What To Look For And Do:
Solve her problems. She is overworked, overstressed, time-crunched, multitasking and in a hurry. Offer her a solution. Most of all make it easy with simple instructions and virtually a no-brainer to make the purchasing decision. Fulfill these needs and you will have a packaging winner.2) The Trend – Baby’s Got Bling.
The luxury market is on the rise. Whether its designer bottled water or pet care products, consumers are willing to pay a premium. Nothing is too off the wall in the luxury market. If it’s packaged right, it will pique the customer’s interest. Consumers are on the lookout for that one unique product that they just have to own. A good example is the recent introduction of clear vinyl handbags. This spawned off of the clear bags used to display toiletries to security at the airport. Now consumers are spending hundreds even thousand of dollars to own one. Will it last? Who knows, however, some designers are making serious bucks.What To Look For And Do:
Trade up on existing products. Move them out of mainstay categories and into the luxury market. More luxurious packaging on commodity items will make them seem special. The middle of the road packaging market is declining. People are either buying on price or paying a premium to satisfy a need.3. The Trend – Brand Slutting.
Forget about brand loyalty. Those days are gone. Marketers have spent big bucks trying to ensure product commitment but consumers are moving from loyalty purchases and trying new products. One thing that is driving this trend is the growth of private label packaging. PLMA President Brian Sharoff presented these findings at a recent trade show. According to the survey, 41% of shoppers say they are “frequent” buyers of store brands, up from 36% five years ago. When the product looks as good and works as well as branded products, consumers are willing to take a chance. If their needs are met, chances are they will never go back.What To Look For And Do:
Opportunities abound in private label packaging that transcends traditional categories. Look at the growth of the tea industry. Virtually every conceivable tea is on the market today and this market is growing. Consider how you can take an existing product and create something consumers will desire to try.4. The Trend – BOOM.
Who will be the biggest future purchasing demographic? The 50+ generation. The numbers are amazing and it’s a continued growth market too. Earn this customers TRUST and you will retain their purchasing power for 25 years. So why aren’t we getting products packaged for this market? Many of the seniors’ issues are the same as other consumers, they just need more of it: Easy to open, easy to read, easy to handle or store.What To Look For And Do:
Don’t ignore ways to improve existing product packaging: larger type, ergonomic capabilities or even products that are easier to hold onto. I’m amazed by the lack of innovation in this category. When we brainstormed at the FlexPack Conference about senior friendly product concepts, the audience offered lots of great ideas about how to serve the market sector.5. The Trend – Greenwash Me.
It’s all about the “green” or lack of it. This time I think it’s going to last. Consumers are being bombarded with messages about the environment. We all are media creatures and the media loves anything “green.” You may not be aware that consumers are on their third wave of environmental awareness. The last two influences died out once the reality set in that it cost the consumer more to be “green.” But retail drivers such as Wal-Mart and Tesco are holding fast to their line in the sand. The standards they established and are trying to implement will drive “green” initiatives down through the entire retail chain. Whether it’s a true mandate or a political ploy, consumers are awash in a sea of “green” information. Additionally, the packaging of products with environmentally friendly materials is being scrutinized.What To Look For And Do:
Explore ways to “green” up your product packaging. Whether its eco-friendly, bio resins, bio plastics, recyclable, post consumer waste or whatever works for your business, explore these options in your product packaging. Be wary of trotting out a so-called environmentally friendly package just to capture a trend. Consumers will see through this ruse.6. The Trend – Make It Mine.
Personalization or customization is hot. Consumers want products uniquely theirs. Treat them special and not just as one of the masses. Make them feel like you understand their needs. Offer them ways to expand their brand loyalty through a product with which they are already comfortable.What To Look For And Do:
Don’t overlook ways to engage your consumer though personalization of their favorite products. Many major marketers have already jumped on this bandwagon. Personalized catsup, cereal and candy are a few examples. Ask how you can create a personal bond with this consumer through product packaging.7. The Trend – WOM – Word of Mouth Marketing.
Do you have a satisfied consumer? How can you persuade them to pass the word on to other potential customers? The key is to create a buzz about your product that is so strong a consumer needs to tell someone about it.What To Look For And Do:
How can you turn a customer into an evangelist for your product? Offer them something special in return for their loyalty or support. Offer them other products made by your company. Set up a rewards program. Don’t just offer a few cents off. That doesn’t work. Give something of real “value” to the customer and not necessarily money.8. The Trend – Your Nose Knows.
Smell has been one of the least used senses incorporated into product packaging. That is changing. Companies are figuring out ways to “connect” to the consumer through the sense of smell. Look at the success of the of Verzion’s “Chocolate phone” (incorporating the scent of coca) into the product marketing. The continued growth of scent marketing is more than just an odor; it’s a way to reach consumers through a sensory relationship.What To Look For And Do:
Integrate smell into your product package. Not just a fragrance but a smell that is integral to the marketing concept. Look for continued advances in packaging that smell like the product within.9. The Trend – Se Habla Chinese?
I recently read a staggering statistic. China is now the world’s largest packaging market. It’s relative to disposable income and the demand for increased consumer goods as incomes increase. In the US we are already well established in marketing to the Hispanic consumer. Virtually every packaged product is bilingual, but what about markets outside the US? We are no longer the primary player. It’s important not to overlook the globalization of consumer product packaging. Your product may be delivered to a consumer halfway round the worldWhat To Look For And Do:
Think global. Think about customers from all countries; not just the country of manufacturer. Be sure and study the cultural ramifications too. What works for product packaging in one country might not work in another.10. The Trend – Code Orange.
Consumers are worried. Look at the recent e-coli and salmonella product recalls. Consumers are leery of what they buy, what it’s made of, how it’s processed, and where it comes from. More importantly they are beginning to question its security through the distribution channel.What To Look For And Do:
Pay attention to packaging innovations that can track, record, and provide product integrity or security. Look for devices that consumers, not just the manufactures, can understand. For example, there are labels that change color when a product has expired or has become contaminated. This gives consumers a heads up not to purchase that particular product.One negative trend I need to mention – Gotta Change.
Why? Why fix what isn’t broken? Consumers are fed up with products that they like but they can’t identify because of the new and improved product packaging. Look for ways to engage the consumer with the existing product packaging that is familiar and trusted.Pay attention to and study packaging trends. They offer predictions of where the market is moving. Trends have to be understood in order to appreciate how they can impact your business. Have you ever counted how many new product introductions there are annually, and how many failures? Give it a shot. Trends can make or break a product’s profitable introduction or prelude its disaster. Be sure to keep your packaging on track with the consumer and incorporate packaging trends where they make sense. Being wise to the power of the trend can fortify your brand loyalty to a very fickle, elusive and changing consumer.

Asia Pacific Consumers Ready to Spend Their Way Out of Recession

A recent Nielsen survey portrays that Asia Pacific consumers are ready to spend their way out of recession. Renewed willingness to spend as 2010 progresses is found in China, Brazil, India, Singapore and Hong Kong. Stock market investments and increased savings are a result of consumers being more confident in the market, including spending on luxury items such as vacations, clothes and entertainment.One MasterCard survey portrayed that entertaining and dining is where Asian Pacific consumers will put their money in the next six months, showing extreme resilience in the face of the global recession.Consumer confidence has surged in the first quarter of 2010, returning consumers to positive territory. In the last 6 months, the majority of consumer sentiment in Asia pacific has shifted their gears from recession into recovery. In this climate of economy, the sentiment is correlated to actual sales. In Australia, for instance, the confidence of consumers rose eleven points in the third quarter of last year.Strengthening economic conditions resulted in the Reserve Bank of Australia to increase its rates, becoming the first country to do this. This resulted in increased sales of 2% in both August and September of 2009 in FMCG or fast moving consumer goods. Since Nielsen tracked the recession in January 2009, there is a buzz that it is currently at its lowest levels.Asia Pacific spending has always been a key indicator of confidence in business and has made a rebound faster than analysts have expected. Across many Asian Pacific markets, sales of FMCG has made a significant increase as Asian consumers are starting to purchase items which are discretionary after a long period of spending within the parameters of a budget.In October of 2009, sixty-six percent of worldwide consumers claimed that their economy was in recession compared to seventy-seven percent in April of 2009. For many consumers in Asia Pacific, however, the recession has become a thing of the past. 87% of Chinese say that their country is out of the recession while 60% of Hong Kong and Australian citizens say the same. Half of Indians believe that recession has ended in their country as well.According to another survey conducted by the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Priorities, the top spending priorities of Asia Pacific consumers are 49% on fashion and accessories 36% on wellness and fitness, 34% on their children’s private tuition, 34% on extra curricular activities and 34% as well on consumer electronics.In Hong Kong, thirty percent less consumers say that their country is in a recession. In the most recent survey, thirty two percent of Honk Kong consumers said that they are in a recession compared to sixty percent in June of 2009. After holding back on spending for many quarters, with the Hang Seng property index on the increase, Hong Kong consumers are currently beginning to open their wallets once more.Increased spending on discretionary items such as home entertainment, technology, holidays and new clothes is on the rise, which is a stark contrast to their cutting back on spending on these items a year before. Consequently, many other sectors of the economy are seeing a fresh recovery, including finance, property and high ticket retailing. A recovery on the FMCG remains to be seen, however as the sales of these goods have remained somewhat unchanging.Last quarter’s 6-point increase in China was propelled by significant improvements in the personal income and local job possibilities in the country. Six out of ten Chinese describe their job prospects excellent when asked to rate the way they foresee the next 12 months, which is a fourteen percent increase compared to the 2nd quarter. China’s two tier-cities posted up to 22 percent increased consumer confidence compared to the quarter before.Nielsen witnessed in July that Chinese consumers felt the economy was on its lowest level and was on the way to recovery. In the 3rd quarter, there is an extension of this optimism. Chinese consumers are still hesitating to spend money but there is a willingness to try new products. Thus, the companies which will focus on introducing innovative new products may be the ones to drive consumers to purchase more items throughout the country.The survey further says that in the last quarter of 2009, Asia Pacific markets emerged to become eight of ten consumer markets that are most confident compared to South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and India, which were the least confident.Among all the Asian Pacific markets, the highest increase in confidence came from Hong Kong as portrayed by a seven point increase in index in the fourth quarter from 93 to 100 on a 200-point scale. Since June of 2009, a 21-point increase occurred in Hong Kong.According to Nielsen, local Hong Kong consumers are planning to increase their spending on entertainment, vacations and new clothes in the next six months are overall consumer confidence improved from seventy to ninety-nine point.However, regardless of a greater overall increase in consumer confidence, ‘saving for a rainy day’ has remained number one of the list of consumer’s priorities in Hong Kong, with seventy-one percent putting their extra cash into savings.Because of the stock market stability, the confidence consumers have in investments is also strengthened. Over half of the respondents (51%) say that they will invest spare cash in mutual funds and stock.According to James Russo, Vice President of The Nielsen Company global consumer insights, this is a great sign that the overall global recession recovery is headed in the right direction.”The Nielsen survey shows that in the past six months, consumers have become more optimistic about their countries emerging from recession with better job prospects and personal finances,” says Nielsen.”However, while purse strings may be loosening in some markets, there is clearly a big difference in the pace of expected recovery between the emerging and developed markets, and consumers’ increased confidence is not yet translating into a widespread readiness to start spending.” Nielsen adds.Compared to 90% of Mexican, United States and England consumers who feel that they are still deep in the recession, 60% Singaporean, 73% percent Hong Kong and 83% consumers from China believe that in the 4th quarter of 2009, the recession had ended in their country.Also leading the way into discretionary types of spending, Asia topped global rankings for mutual funds and stock investments with China topping the rankings. Chinese consumers are ranked 44% in the world for spending on technology products, 57% for spending on mutual funds, 50% for holidays and 53% for new clothes. The survey also found that consumers from Hong Kong are starting to spend on new clothes, new technology and entertainment outside the home.In India, concerns over the rising prices of food hampers their confidence. Russo says that “although the Indian economy is expected to grow in 2010, India has experienced a bad monsoon season resulting in increased food prices and higher grocery bills for consumers. This has had an immediate impact on consumer confidence and the availability of discretionary income.”According to a Nielsen Report from the last quarter of 2009, consumers both in China and in the Philippines are intent on spending their cash on new technology. Consumers in Korea and Japan who are tech-savvy do not want to wait much longer to upgrade their current cell phones and PC’s. Alternatively, ten percent of Chinese consumers say that they can wait to delay their technology purchases.Sensible SingaporeansDespite rebounding confidence levels in 2008, a MasterCard survey finds that Singaporeans remain conservative with their money.Focusing more on saving their income compared to just six months ago (34.2%), 45.8% of the survey participants said that they plan to increase the amount they save in the first six months of 2010. Compared to 54.4% in the last survey, 45% currently say that they plan to save an equal amount of cash.72.8% respondents who claimed they plan to save the same amount if not more said that the reason for this was to save for emergency expenditures that were unforeseen, due to an ‘uncertain economic outlook.’ 35.3% said they plan to save for personal international air travel and 37.9% for purchasing consumer electronics.In the next six months, 28% of Singaporeans plan to save approximately 11-20% of their income and 21% plan to save approximately 21-30%.The Kospi index of South Korea has increased almost fifty percent since the beginning of 2010 and its weak Won has given quite a boost for its export and manufacturing industries as well as for its sectors of key export products which is cars and consumer electronics.Economic adviser of Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific Dr Yuwa Hendrick-Wong stated that “consumer sentiment here fell precipitously in 2008 and early 2009, but it is now seeing a V-shaped rebound. Persistent uncertainty in the outlook of the global economy, however, continues to affect consumers’ savings and spending behavior, which show that most consumers are still saving for precautionary reasons.”He adds that “For the Asia Pacific region as a whole, the robust recovery in both economic conditions and consumer sentiments can therefore be characterized only as a ‘partial decoupling’ from the rest of the global economy.”