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Today’s packaging is all about memorability

Packaging Solutions

Easyfairs senior marketing manager James Montero MacColl explains how the best thing about memories in the packaging sector is making them.


As you walk the Packaging Innovations & Empack 2024 floor, you will undoubtedly experience that crushing wave of panic when you can't remember a person's name fast approaching. Or head for a specific stand only to forget why you went there in the first place. And that is before you return to the car park and just about manage to remember where you parked!

But then, at the opposite end of the spectrum, certain brief experiences jolt our inner cosmos, elevate and change us – and packaging remains one of the most authentic conduits to creating such extraordinary moments in customers' lives.


The question is no longer how to curate an unboxing and product experience that a young person would remember 20 years later, or how to orchestrate moments that will continually delight through packaging. The question is now, why aren't you doing it already? 


While many of the defining moments of our lives are accidental or come as a result of luck, brand owners are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to creating meaningful and memorable moments through packaging.


If life is a series of moments and you set out to discover a new partner for your next packaging product, you will likely experience one at Packaging Innovations & Empack 2024.


Packaging is much more than just a box. It is a key element in the customer experience and subsequent perception of a brand. It is a sincere introduction to how brand owners and, by proxy, the suppliers they engage with can work to drive the consumer experience.


The ‘how’ is, in fact, the easy part. The capacity of 400 exhibitors decamping to Birmingham's NEC next month is testimony to that. Their ability to decode the needs and wants of the hundreds of top brands in attendance and their skill to turn out perfect packaging never ceases to amaze. Suppose you have been before; well, you will witness that again. If you have grabbed a ticket for the first time – strap yourself in! And if you haven't registered as a visitor yet, what are you waiting for?


Memories last forever

While much is made of the fact that packaging is the first time a customer interacts with your brand, much less emphasis is placed on it being the last chance to convince a customer to buy the product. Originality, character and memorability are at the heart of great brands and, of course, great packaging designs.


Good packaging is not just a box or an enclosure; it is your brand ambassador, the gateway to your story, a new age shop window, and the first tangible touchpoint the customer has with your product. Packaging design isn't just another check list to tick for businesses desperately battling for customer attention – it is the secret weapon that grabs eyeballs and leaves a lasting impact.


Earlier in the year, we highlighted that packaging designers are more empowered than ever, owing to the vibrant competition across all sectors and categories. As a result, many big name brands visiting the UK's flagship packaging exhibition will be looking to make their high definition briefs work as hard as they ever have. Thankfully, the packaging sector has responded in typical fashion by adapting and innovating to meet these continually evolving expectations.


Why? According to YouTube, videos featuring unboxing products, from beauty products to dog toys, running shoes to electronics, have been viewed more than 1.1 billion times. At least 60 million hours have been spent watching other people open packs.


On top of that, a Google consumer survey found that 62% of unboxing video viewers were interested in the video because they were planning to purchase the product being unboxed.


Custom packaging enables brands to design unique and eye catching packaging that stands out from competitors. According to a study by Dotcom Distribution, 40% of consumers are more likely to share images of branded packaging on social media if it's unique and aesthetically appealing. The return on investment can be instant, the opportunities are huge, and the potential rewards are too great to ignore.


The importance of memorability will only continue to grow, particularly as packaging becomes more closely aligned with total campaign success. Every day, people make hundreds of choices. And the overwhelming majority of these are commercial. Memorability is not earned lightly, and it is not an exact science either, but with packaging now playing a central role for brands, prepare for the boundaries to be pushed – and pushed again!


Whether you are a corporate giant or a small artisan start up, Packaging Innovations & Empack will have a partner and proposition for you.


Cues that create queues

The best packaging ensures you are looked at, noticed, and understood. A small number of visual cues are responsible for causing customers to identify the products they desire. The logos, forms, finishing and other details of brand packaging, which may not be as obvious, continue to drive customer motivation to buy into the product and brand narrative. 


The devil is very much in the detail nowadays. Everything from touch and feel as we carry a pack right through to the smell and sounds that emanate from it as we unbox, every single facet is now being placed under the microscope. Unlocking the perceived value of packaging design now lies in creating a persuasively immersive consumer experience. That's the standard, and finding reliable and innovative packaging partners is a process nobody can afford to get wrong.


Having just seen in the new year with the stuffed recycling bins a distant memory, very few boxes opened will be remembered. In fact, for Gen Z, a very small number, if any, of the hundreds of boxes spread over the past 18 Christmas mornings will have lived long enough in the memory to affect future purchasing decisions. This is the opportunity that brands can no longer afford to pass up. Innovative packaging that infuses playful elements into its design is now highly sought after. 


While customers may have paid little to no attention to their packaging a few short years ago, packaging matters more now than it arguably ever has. With so much competition, customers are currently looking for the whole product experience, of which packaging accounts for a significant proportion.


First impressions count, and so does taking the time and dedication to develop creative packaging design. But arguably more important are the lasting, indelible impressions a unique and memorable experience can have on an individual. 


There is still time to secure your place among the 7000 plus visitors who will all be looking to see, feel, and use the showcased packaging products up close and discuss their merits in detail with their manufacturers face to face before deciding.




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