So, what will influence consumers choices in 2018?

Consumers want to be grabbed and affected emotionally more than ever before. They don’t just want to buy, they want to experience! This article focuses on the 3 WOWs that will impact and influence consumer choices in 2018.

There is a saying amongst brand marketers, “Don’t design for brands. Design for people interacting with brands.” This essentially means designing an emotional connection between your target audience for your product and the packaging which houses the product. So what will this emotional connection look like in 2018? How will you create packaging design that consumers will be attracted to and influenced by in 2018?

The 3 WOW’s which will influence the consumers choices in 2018.

At Jam&Co we have what we affectionately call the 3 WOW’s. It’s these 3 WOWS that assist our design team to create a sustainable emotional connection (EC) to our clients product packs.These 3 WOW’s will influence the consumers choices in 2018.

How do these 3 WOW’s impact consumer choices in 2018?

2018 packaging designs will focus on building the three key elements of WOW into your packaging design. It is the three elements of: SURPRISE!; PERSONALISE and SHAREABILITY which will define engaging packaging design in 2018 and beyond.

The first WOW influencing consumer choices in 2018: “SURPRISE & Delight!”

2018 Designs will need to tap into the element of “surprise and delight!”. This means creating a pack that triggers each of our target audiences five senses, engaging them and grabbing their attention. The goal is to interrupt the consumers habitual, auto-pilot buying patterns by bringing the pack to life. Effective designers influence consumer choices by using visually striking creative graphic and structural designs. Both of these key design elements differentiate and make the product stand out on shelf (or online).

The objective of surprise & delight is to generate a “WOW! Check this out!” response.

WOW, means telling your target consumer exactly what they are wanting to hear. It means your message can be portrayed in an array of creative ways, using photos or drawings, with typography or colour, and engaging either rationally or emotionally. The various ways of creating distinction on shelf is following design trends which vary from year to year.

Consumer choice influencers in 2018 – Creating SURPRISE & Delight with shelf disruption

Here are 9 shelf disruption design trends that will influence consumer choices and generate SURPRISE & Delight in 2018 (See 99Designs – 2018 design trends ) will include:

  • Less is more – Simple and minimalist design plays an important role in helping us access our intuitive side. Simplicity is all about creating symbols and signs that your target audience will relate to. The symbol in essence becomes the message.  Less is more means your busy, time poor consumer audience will hardly need to slow down in order to grasp what the product inside the pack is all about.

  • The rise of the feminine – Calming pastel colours have become a natural antidote to the hyper-stimulating and explosive colour world your target consumer lives in. These soft, pale pastel shades generate an aaaah relief response tapping our softer side.

  • Doodling – Doodles appearing on packaging are a fun and happy-go-lucky way of describing what’s inside the box. Doodles take us back to our childhood making your target consumer smile inside before the even touch and engage with the product.

  • Bold Typography – In 2018 eloquent fonts made from bright colours will drive consumer attention. A product’s name might be everything needed to send a clear and loud message about the product and all it contains. Big typography using words are an effective method of communicating the product message.

  • Unique Form – Innovative and stand out textures, shapes, eco-friendly and re-usable materials convey “surprise” and imaginative die cuts that not only reveal the “what’s inside” but also deliver strong marketing messages. “Me too” products can be made distinctive by effective use of custom structures.

  • Bygone age throwback – Heritage or classic designs taps into our memories of a bygone age, a longing for simpler times when things were cared for, made by hand, and detail-oriented. Throwback calls out authenticity. Vintage conveys the story of tradition and dedication to creating long lasting quality. Throw-back design evokes memories of an older generation whilst peaking interest of the now generation, eager to understand their history.

  • Power Photography – Pictures tell a story. A picture is always worth a thousand words. This explains why photography has always held a strong position when it comes to packaging design. Photography emphasises the high quality, freshness and authenticity of the product enabling it to sell itself. Funky photography can also be used to reach the “every-man” creating the feel of spontaneity, movement and raw emotion capturing and personalising the story of the product in unique ways.  The key for 2018 is to use photography into a blend with other engaging design elements.

  • Vibrant Patterns and Eye Catching Gradients – When designed effectively patterns and pattern repetition can not only encapsulate the essence of a brand, but can also be used to surprise and delight on shelf. Certain visual motifs, gradients, polka dots, stripes, triangles not only leaves lots of space for creativity, but at the same time they can help a brand transmit a strong, clear message whilst breaking free from a “me too” shelf.  

  • Masstige – Lux – In the past luxury brands have been seen to only be available to an exclusive and narrow range of high-value customers willing to invest in unique, well-crafted products with a premium price tag. Masstige is the opposite of “luxury for less”. Brands are giving a luxe twist to everyday products and charging higher than normal prices, albeit still affordable by “luxury” standards. Today’s consumers are being influenced in their choices by looking to trade up in 2018 their consumption of everyday goods and developing an appetite for little luxuries they can afford. As a result, there is a growing “masstige” market. Here’s where brands are positioning their products to capitalise on and appeal to a broader mass market. Packaging using special coatings and exotic substrates, holographic foil stamping and other high-visibility enhancements like metallic inks on product packaging helps to heavily influence the consumers choice and attention. This is done by creating surprise on shelf, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary – Speciality packaging can come under the form of uniquely shaped packages, experimenting with elegantly functional designs, and mixing it up with.

The second WOW influencing consumer choices in 2018: “Personalisation” …Again and again…

The second WOW influencing the consumers choices in 2018 is the element of “personalisation“. This is the process of tailoring product packaging design to the individual target market or person’s name, characteristics or preferences. Yes, package personalisation has been spoken about to death! That said this WOW taps one of the most core fundamental human need… the need to be noticed and appreciated. Personalisation is a big influencer of your targeted consumer and their choices in 2018.



When it comes to designing a product pack that personalises the consumers choices in 2018, there are 3 key elements which must be considered.

  1. Clearly understanding your target audience and designing specifically for them.
  2. Calling out directly to them from the shelf (or online)
  3. Make them feel special and unique.

Digital printing technologies allow brands the opportunity to customise packs targeted to specific audiences. Today’s digital printing technology enables brands to capture individuals attention by using personalised packaging which can feature the consumer’s name, individualised designs and even photographs.



The third WOW influencing consumer choices in 2018: “SHAREABILITY!”

Finally the third WOW is that of creating SHAREABILITY. Today’s brands and designers must think beyond the shopping basket. They must consider how the pack will be positioned when the consumer gets the product home. Will they share their product purchase via social media? What will the pack present like on the social platforms and… is there even a way that the consumer will want to share their product purchase simply because of the unique pack design?


Using the 3 Wows to influence consumer choice in 2018:

There is substantial opportunity for brands to implement the 3 Wow’s to disrupt the shelf, whether it be to grow the supermarket or the hardware category. The three WOWs require planning and strategising to ensure a successful WOW campaign. A campaign that is targeted, unique & engaging and ultimately a successful and enduring product pack.