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TEQ Impressions

Can universal packaging be "frustration-free" for designers too?

On Oct 24, 2012

Consumers are starting to demand more when it comes to packaging. And packaging designers are taking notice.

Enter the Universal Packaging movement.

Also known as Frustration-Free Packaging or Inclusive Packaging, this evolving approach to package design is centered around building better packages by first seeking out and incorporating the Voice of the Customer.

So, what are those voices telling us today?

In a recent Packing Digest article, “Universal Packaging Comes of Age for Baby Boomers,” Rick Lingle posits four megatrends that may be redefining the way we look at packaging.

  1. Baby boomers are aging, losing dexterity and vision, increasing the need for more user-friendly packages.
  2. Media advertising has been diluted across multiple channels, making the package a great place to promote products and services.
  3. Sustainability has come to the forefront of peoples’ minds, driving a need for more durable and eco-friendly packaging.
  4. Retailers are proactive and ready to adapt to new packaging trends to capture business.

Of course, no matter what the current drivers of consumer behavior may be, the assumption will always be that improving package appeal will incur higher costs. Lingle points out, however, that this is not always the case - especially when packaging reaches a broader demographic, resulting in an increase in sales and profits.

Here at TEQ, we’ve had the opportunity to work with several clients who have embraced this universal packaging philosophy – from creating a tray for Okami to make mass-market sushi presentable (our designers developed an innovative “stadium seating” solution that shows off the product used an A-PET additive to prevent fogging due to refrigeration) to designing various packages that incorporate our TekZip pull-tab and SqueezePak® easy open solutions.

At TEQ, we understand that this movement isn’t about thinking outside the box, it’s about thinking about the box.

What strategies have you adopted to meet consumer demands for universal or frustration free packaging?

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