Written by Marina Iermolaieva, marketing manager of Allinpackaging creative packaging.
They’re unique, they’re expressive, and they’re rich – millennials are slowly but surely transforming all trends in the global market. The lines separating the product from packaging are no longer set in stone. The package is an integral part of the product and no longer just an auxiliary to it. This presents some unique challenges for companies that want to pitch their products to millennials. Here are some ways in which your packaging strategies can reach the hearts and minds of the millennial.
The Rise of E-commerce
The present generation has a very active social life…online. Yes, most millennial people spend a major chunk of their time browsing the internet. They no longer depend solely on supermarkets to buy what they want. Clothes, cosmetics, electronics, and groceries – almost everything they need is best purchased online. So, having a web store or e-commerce platform for your business is probably a good way to reach them. The packaging process in such cases becomes all the more important. Brands need to package their products in boxes and containers strong enough to withstand the ravages of shipping, while ensuring they are attractive enough to create an impression when unboxed.
Personalised and Exclusive Packaging
In a world full of carefully curated and virtual social personas, millennial seek real human contact more than ever now. Companies are striving to launch personalized brands that talk to their target audiences at levels much deeper than traditional marketing is able to reach. For instance, chipotle is marketed more as a personified package and less as packed food. The cups are decorated with fun doodles, witty stories, and other interesting anecdotes that people love to read. Another brand that has taken the “human element” a notch higher is the Absolut Unique Vodka bottles. Each of the four million bottles features an individual identity. Chuck the obsolete boxes and generic packages; what you need is fresh innovative ideas that reach out to the customer.
Limited Edition Designs
Millennial are always on the lookout for “the next cool” thing to follow and get obsessed with. From fiction to fashion – brands are now tapping into popular and trending topics. Look around for brands marketing limited edition products and collectables that give the millennial generation a sense of exclusivity and prominence. Coco-cola is a brand that’s known for its limited edition designs. We’ve all seen and loved those specially labelled cans of Diet Coke. Soda cans now come with your autographs from your favourite celebs, cosmetics have partnered with movie franchises launching innovative packaging themes, and candy packets have toys and latest superhero figures hidden inside.
Blame it on surging pollution levels or a sudden strike of conscience, but the millennial generation is extremely aware and vocal about the current environmental issues. Words like “organic, natural, all-green” have become extremely important to them. People tend to gravitate towards brands whose products are biodegradable, use renewable energy sources in manufacturing practices, or contribute in some other way to saving the planet. Highlight a social issue with your marketing campaigns and packaging. Gone are the days when companies were blind to the burning questions of politics and society. Brands now make bold statements and want to do everything to convey their story to their consumers authentically. Environmentally sustainable packaging is the first choice of expression for most brands, and rightly so.
Recyclable and Reusability
Consumerist attitude is slowly relegating to the shadows, making way for a more practical approach that focuses on recyclable and reusable products. Instead of throwing away the package, why not make it reusable? That’s the strategy many brands have adopted, making their products appealing to the millennial. Wooden boxes, fibre containers, plastic bottles and tubes can be reused even after you’ve used the contents inside – that’s what wins the millennial’s heart. The strategy cuts on your production costs and also saves the buyer some extra bucks. It’s a win-win situation for both!
Research shows that about 55% of the millennial customers support brands that make a bold statement about burning political and social issues of the world. Millennials are passionate about social causes and hence likely to prefer products that tap into the liberal ideas they support. So, if your brand marketing is aligned with a social statement, make sure your product packaging remains coherent with the same. Sustainable packaging aligns perfectly with millennials’ desire for everything to be environmentally accountable.
The Unboxing Experience
Millennials have instant access to information – it’s all available online. Product unboxing is a major component of the product experience. The millennial generation is more value driven and appreciates minimalised and cost-effective packaging that’s compact, portable, and easy to unbox. Adding a personalised note or a small complimentary inclusion with the package goes a long way in establishing intimate supplier-customer relations. Most customers have come to expect customised packaging that caters to their specific tastes. By visualising the unboxing experience, brands can improve their product packaging and make their products more likeable and memorable, without actually altering anything in the product design.
The Bottom Line
The young and vibrant millennial generation forms the largest segment in the world population today. You can no longer lure them with witty taglines. You have to offer something much more than that. So, get on with those brainstorming sessions and bring something new to the table – bring out product packaging design ideas that will make your brand truly trending!
I’m Marina Iermolaieva, marketing manager for different projects, one of them is Allinpackaging.co.uk. I love travelling and learning new cultures, doing active sports, and I want to get to experience the world in different ways.