Design Thinking in Product Packaging: Why it’s Vital
October 29, 2019 | Design Thinking
by ExperiencePoint

Product packaging is a major part of retail strategy. How can candy bar number 8 stand out from the 7 displayed before it? It’s all in the wrapping.

Some companies, like the Swiss chocolate maker Toblerone, are winning the packaging game. Who isn’t familiar with Toblerone’s iconic mountain-shaped design? Other companies rely on brand awareness to a fault. Lay’s chips is a case in point; confident that consumers know their brand, the company hasn’t made new design a priority.

In fact, many companies continually fail to reinvent their product packaging, adhering to the same layout for years. An article in Packing Strategies describes an odd and recurring disconnect between product and packaging, derived from a reluctance, or refusal, to innovate.

By not bothering to update their look, these companies are missing a huge opportunity to connect with new customers and rekindle the loyalty of current ones.

The solution? Empathizing with the consumer via design thinking.

Packing Strategies recommends a holistic approach to design thinking. They advocate creating a cohesive brand-look that resonates across the board by putting the consumer first. The goal is to attract new consumers without requiring that they read a single word.

According to Packing Strategies, it’s crucial that the brand story is clear. The article points to the frequency with which companies rush the design process, focusing the bulk of their innovation efforts on the product itself. What many companies don’t take into account is that 100 percent of their customers interact with both their product and its packaging, remaining unaware of anything else that company is putting out into the world.

The average customer doesn’t visit company websites, pay much attention to ads or interact with client-facing social media pages. They grab a bag off a store shelf in a transaction that lasts a few seconds.

That’s why product design is one of the most important elements of retail strategy.

Stay tuned for an insider’s look at Lay’s chips, coming in our next post. After years of relying on the same brand look, the company reinvented their image by leveraging our favorite problem-solving method: Design Thinking.


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