Dr. Benjamin Punchard, senior global packaging analyst at Mintel and Scott Widro, executive VP of operations at Gurwitch Products were amongst the experts advising brands on how to be successful on an international scale at the event in Manhattan last week.
According to both men, as developing markets become more accessible to brands in the West and vice versa, the divide is blurring, particularly in the packaging segment and as such have addressed key issues that will help the industry.
East meets West
Firstly; Punchard notes that as we continue to come out of the recession, the US and China are seeing many launches in prestige packaging, and that despite the differences in what consumers opt for on those two markets, a global trend is siding on the sophisticated but simple packaging side in both regions.
"In this instance, brands can cater to this trend by designing a package that incorporates sophistication while keeping in mind to pear down the amount of information on a pack."
"Although Chinese consumers have a culture of pattern value when it comes to packaging, they are also exposed and partial to simplicity too so brands will be catering to both US and Chinese consumers, for example," he adds.
5 steps to success
Thereafter; Scott Widro drawing on his experience in the segment, broke the process down into five steps that he says will be invaluable to brands targeting the global market.
1. Simplicity – While Wildro, like Punchard notes the trend of keeping packaging as simple as possible, he stresses that this does not mean that brands avoid great attention to detail.
"What I mean by this is, avoid the gimmicks. I am not actually saying design a simple package, it is all in the execution, bottles like Coco Mademoiselle for example are not easy to develop, they look simple but the bottle and cap featured on them are a result of high end innovation."
2. Elegance – The VP also highlights a global trend for elegant products, where brands attract consumers by combining the art of beauty with sophistication in their packaging.
3. Consistency – Here Wildro says a brand must ensure it keeps true to its DNA and core values regardless of what region they are targeting as "maintaining the visual message of a brand and being consistent in that will ensure that it will be more recognizable."
4. Convenience - Exactly as it says. Keep the packaging convenient and as accessible to consumers as possible.
5. Iconic – Finally, the VP says investing in a package that is memorable is worthwhile in that one glance can tell a story for the consumer. "If you can afford to prioritize creativity before cost, all the better."