Green packaging has to add value to work with luxury consumers

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Green packaging Packaging and labeling

Consumers’ intentions towards green packaging are usually good, but when it comes to making the purchase, value is invariably the priority, an expert from sustainability consultancy Clownfish claims.

Some genuinely want green packaging and make purchasing decisions based on factors such as packaging material and waste and these consumers are important, but the majority want brands to make positive decisions on their behalf – but they do not want to compromise on the ‘magic’ of the luxury experience,”​ said Alex Johnson, consultant at Clownfish.

But luxury consumers can still be wooed, if packaging companies tap into what consumers want, as Johnson explained.

What’s in it for me factor

“When communicating about your green packaging you need to consider the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor and build your communications around the issues that your audiences care about in a language that they understand.”

“If greener packaging adds something of value to the customer, for example helps make the product cheaper or provides them with something that is so beautiful they will want to use it for something else, then this is really going to engage them.”

The fact that green packaging is on the consumer wish list, but not a priority when it comes to the actual purchase is increasingly evident in the cosmetics market as a whole, but in the luxury segment, where consumers want more value and better quality, this factor is even more pronounced.

‘Green’ and luxury are sometimes seen as contradictory factors, with one centred on consuming less, while the other revolves around indulgence and opulence, often regardless of cost and the amount of materials used to manufacture the goods.

Green packaging can still add value

But despite the contradictions and the fact that consumers do not always follow up on their good intentions, Johnson believes that opting for green packaging still adds value for brands, both from the consumers’ perception and from a manufacturing perspective.

“Luxury consumers are some of the most discerning and educated on the marketplace, and as they readjust their definition of success to incorporate concerns and aspirations for a better world, there is a real opportunity for the luxury industry to take a lead and produce beautiful packaging that adds to the luxury experience whilst creating real value for people, planet and profits.”

Pitfalls to avoid

There are pitfalls to be avoided though, especially if a company or brand is to heavily promote its green packaging credentials, while other aspects of the finished products or the business operations are not quite 'squeaky green'.

“Good design should be design that is beautiful, functional and of high quality that also bears in mind the social and environmental cost and looks to add value in these areas,”​ Johnson said.

Alex Johnson, will be giving a presentation about communicating the message on green packaging at next week’s Luxe Pack exhibition in Monaco.

The presentation is part of a symposium organised by called How To Make Green Packaging The Selling Point, which will also include presentations from Knoll Packaging and Organic Monitor, and will take place at 3.15pm - 4.15pm on October 22.

Related topics Packaging & Design

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