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“Design plays a major role in creating a premium image, probably the most major role, more than advertising, more than celebrity endorsement,” Steve Lamoureux, senior vice president of product innovation at Nielsen, told Food Dive.
Horsky outlined four primary cues associated with premium packaging:
- A distinctive or iconic pack shape/structure to cue brand personality and distinguish premium lines. (like Toblerone’s triangle pack and Absolut Vodka’s uniquely shaped bottle)
- Connecting on a sensorial level and appealing to multiple senses, such as touch, sound or smell. “Packages that can successfully stimulate most of the senses will be perceived as more premium,” Horsky said.
- Specialty finishes that link to the importance of tactile feel.
- The power of simplicity to cue sophistication and elegance, which “in essence means ‘less is more’ with premium packaging,” Horsky said.
Besides common traits of premium packaging, some products’ packages are seen as premium simply by standing out from everything else in that category.
“If the norm of the category then defines the commonality of the category, (and) the more of those norms you follow, the less likely you’re going to be premium,” said Lamoureux. “To stand out distinctly as being premium, you need to break some of those norms.”
“Premium packaging, if executed and positioned correctly should enable (manufacturers) to command a higher price point and deliver incremental sales for the brand,” said Horsky. “As part of the process of premiumizing a brand and its packaging, a key strategic aspect to define upfront is the frame of reference the brand wants to play in. This can be very different to where the brand is positioned today and the decision will impact the overall packaging brief.”
With the use of premium packaging already on the rise, experts predict that more manufacturers will adopt this strategy as they work to improve their top lines.
“Global consumer branded products are facing headwinds in developed markets with rising commodity costs and retail chains becoming more and more focused on private label,” said Horsky. “While in developing markets, rising disposable income is accelerating the emergence of the middle class who are expecting their trusted brands to deliver more special experiences. These macro-trends serve as a catalyst for mainstream global brands to premium-ize their portfolio, and I only project this trend to intensify in the coming years.”
You can read the full article on the FoodDive website.