5 minute read

The key to successful Packaging in today's consumer driven world


Thought Pieces

A Q&A session with Meg

In the fast-paced world of FMCG packaging, before jumping into any project understanding the ‘why’ behind any product is key. In today’s ever-evolving world, consumers want more than just products; they seek experiences. Brands need to understand what this is and sell the reason/experience/benefit not just the physical product, delving into the emotional connection to the brand and product brings clarity but also paves the way for packaging design that truly resonates with consumers. Meg talks more about her own experiences having worked in the packaging design industry for over 18 years.

In your opinion, what is the most important aspect for brands to consider before starting a packaging project?

We have a phrase at Hurricane: idea first – execution second and this is true no matter where you are in the process. Whether it’s a revolutionary or evolutionary move, make sure you have done your groundwork; good foundations are what drives a fantastic brand and nowadays people want so much more from a brand or product – they want an experience they need something more. – and these ‘wants’ change as society evolves so brands need to be able to adapt as we do as only then can a brand remain relevant and ‘keep up’ as we move through sometimes very fast cultural changes.

You mentioned ‘foundations’. What are the areas where a brand needs to delve deeper?

I would say there are 3 main pillars:

  1. The brand itself – It seems obvious but the brand needs to know who they are and what their values are and why they are here in the first place, in all honesty this isn’t an issue with established brands as they tend to live and breathe them but for start-ups this can be a daunting exercise. Our brand workshops can help deliver clarity and direction when starting on your brand journey.
  1. The why – There is so much focus on the actual product, but a product delivers so much more. There is usually an emotive connection between the brand, product and consumer and understanding what this is, that’s the nugget for packaging design – not what we are selling but why.
  1. The audience – Once you know the ‘why’ then the ‘who’ we are selling to should drop into line. Having a target audience is paramount to a successful packaging launch, try to sell to everyone and you will sell to no one. When we talk about ‘who your target is’ we need more than just the top line. We really need to understand who these people are and how they live their lives. By getting to know them and delving into their world and what’s important to them will enable you to build stronger connections and a loyalty to last.

What is the role of packaging?

Packaging has to be timely, it needs to drive immediate attention and deliver a reason to purchase. It translates a brand’s value and relevance into a message that needs to resonate with consumers very quickly, we have about 3-5 seconds to capture our consumer which is why it is so important to know the business you’re really in and understand the role you play in people’s lives. This may not be a direct link to the product even for example Nike drives the message of bettering yourself, it drives motivation and inclusivity.

What’s the biggest change in packaging since you have been working in this industry?

I can tell you it’s a long time since I put my first foot on a career path in packaging and it has vastly changed and rightly so, it certainly keeps things interesting. The biggest change? Well, long gone are the days where packaging only needed to play a role on shelf. It is no longer a straight road to purchase instead we have to think about the digital and social world alongside the real world and of course both of these will have differences, but the consumer journey is still to be a holistic one where both the real and digital worlds work together (not necessarily the same) leaving a lasting impression that stays with consumers long after purchase.

Where does your passion for packaging stem from?

I started working in FMCG packaging design when I was 22 years old. I am what I would call, organically grown. I’m not a designer, I didn’t study design at university although I did dabble in marketing. It was a role I stumbled across and haven’t looked back.

The people I work with deliver the passion for me. I’m in awe of the mind of a creative, what they can produce from a written brief to a physical pack – what a fantastic skill. Coupled with walking around a supermarket and seeing packaging you have had a hand in, sitting proud on shelf and you knowing all the hard work that has got that product to this point – it’s an amazing feeling every time and a feeling that not everyone gets with their job so it’s a privilege for me to have.