I was recently reviewing new packaging design concepts for one of Jam&Co’s organic clients with the creative and strategic design team.  I was struck by a distinction so simple and yet so profound, I felt I had to share. When it comes to designing packaging that delivers consistent revenue on-shelf, it seems there is an art to balancing Attention with Authenticity.

Apparently, the loudest screaming pack on shelf, doesn’t automatically translate into sales. Yes the “loud pack” calls ATTENTION to the consumer. That said, once at the shelf, they will typically begin to browse the comparative products on the shelf.

Packaging Design: ATTENTION gets them there; Authenticity gets put into the trolley.

Today’s consumer has become astute at spotting the difference between packaging design hype and the truth. Armed with a plethora of information at their finger tips, today’s consumers are suspicious of front of pack embellishments. The loudest shouting pack on the shelf, won’t necessarily connect emotionally with the consumer. Consumers want to see evidence of quality. They’ve become discerning enough to spot a phony. Customers want authentic.

Something is authentic when IT IS what it professes to be. Consumers of today are drawn to truthful packaged products. They will often go to great lengths to find authentic, real, quality, honest to goodness products.

According to The Dieline, “Visual authenticity is a trend marking a significant departure from the mainstream, yet it’s quickly becoming the mainstream itself.”

When it comes to packaging design, Authenticity represents the consumer’s rejection of established corporate brand design. Why? Because they no longer want to rely on, or trust, established brands anymore.

Is there a place for ATTENTION in Packaging Design?

In a saturated marketplace, on a shelf filled with “me too” products, your brand/product still needs to stand out. Faced with thousands of varieties to choose from, it becomes the job of the product packaging design to grab and to hold the consumer’s attention. The way the pack was designed, the unique shape of the pack, the look and feel of the package, is one of the key reasons that the pack gets selected.

That said, getting the consumers attention is only half the job. There is a big difference between gaining attention and recklessness. Attention or “Boldness” only really works in conjunction with Authenticity.

So by all means grab the consumer’s attention with a BOLD package design, but then make sure your pack rings true with Authenticity

Here is a checklist of package design traits which demonstrate Authenticity. (see Dieline article on 4 emerging design trends)

Does your packaging design have?

  • Labels which appear to be handwritten, raw, free-form, or sketchy typography. Do they look like they may have been designed on a shoestring budget.
  • A demonstration of imperfection, not precision.
  • Natural colour palettes which provide reassurance, demonstrating human involvement in the product crafting process.
  • Unrefined and amateurish brand expression using hand drawn, simple illustrations indicate the product maker is naive to strategies of persuasion.
  • An “Artisanal” feel. This is a combination of care in craftsmanship connoting the pride in a time-honoured craft of making something all by hand.
  • Vintage inspired references or type which demonstrates a respect and a trust that has been bestowed upon the brand showing it has endured the test of time.

So when you next consider how you want your product packaging to represent your brand on shelf, ask yourself, is it just screaming for Attention, or has it being backed up with Authentic insights.

To get some insight on how your brand or product could be more AUTHENTIC contact us, or for more on Authenticity, see our earlier Blog post at : https://jamandco.com.au/authentic-packaging-design/