Designing Desirability Series: Creating the Concept

Promotional Packaging
Friday, April 20, 2018

From store shelves to kitchen cupboards, packaging is an integral part of our daily lives. While its primary role is to deliver food safely and efficiently to the consumer, packaging is also a brands last chance to sway the consumers’ decision at the point of purchase. As the marketplace becomes ever more crowded, brands are fighting over a dwindling pool of consumer attention, racing to secure cost-effective ways to differentiate themselves on the shelf.

As a packaging substrate, metal has found its home in a broad range of applications. Promotional packs utilize this sensuous, tactile material to shape consumer perceptions of the product inside. This visually exciting substrate allows brands to use its reflectivity and sublime print quality to draw the shopper’s eye. But aside from the visual benefits, metal also offers superior barrier qualities and peerless recyclability credentials that ensure it delivers quality food and beverage products safely and sustainably.

In this two-part blog series, we explore how Crown helps brand owners to consider metal packaging in their creative design process from the perspective of Thomas Maxwell-Wood, Senior Packaging Designer, CROWN Technology.

What are your initial considerations when helping customers develop a concept?

At the start of every project we create a brief, a document that harvests as much information about the proposed product as we can. The better informed we are about all facets of the proposition, the better placed we are to successfully answer the brief. By considering all aspects of a products journey through the supply chain, store, consumption and disposal we can ensure that we facilitate solutions that tick all the boxes.

The innovation projects that cross our desks vary largely from one week to the next. Our customers can derive a competitive advantage in a whole host of ways, and in a very competitive market it is very much a case of marginal gains adding up to commercial success. Crown produces high performance primary packaging and promotional secondary packaging solutions. Within both camps, customers are striving to drive efficiencies, light-weighting, customer convenience and ease of opening while looking for ways to differentiate their product offering through unique multisensory experiences and print effects. The challenge comes in achieving this without detriment to pack performance, and applying it in an industry with production rates of up to three thousand cans per minute!

In the early stages of a project we aim to create a broad spectrum of possible solutions to the problem, subscribing to the ideal that ‘no idea is a bad idea’. As we progress through the project we evaluate the proposed solutions against the original brief, ultimately discounting all but six that will be shared with the customer. Every concept must answer the core requirements of the brief, but also be ratified by our technical teams and uphold the customer’s brand guidelines. This gives the customer a degree of confidence that the design is achievable within given time and capital constraints, while being consistent with their brand identity.

Our work doesn’t necessarily stop with the metal packaging; often the concept is more expansive, incorporating multi-packs, secondary packaging or presentation at the point of sale. By combining all of these elements we can bring the idea to life and facilitate the process of bringing new concepts to market.

Stay tuned for the next Designing Desirability blog post to learn about how designers can work with metal packaging.