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Looking back at Interpack: Values and innovations
The special content of "InnovationParc Packaging" proved to be extremely popular as well. The project has been run in association with the EHI Retail Institute, the Pan-European Brand Design Association (PDA) and the "Zukunftsinstitut" (Future Institute). Almost 50 companies and associations were involved in the concept which defined the five key values health, meaning, aesthetics, simplicity and identity to describe today’s Quality of Life. Linked together by an oval presentation forum in the middle the five key values were represented in five different shops, showing off expertise in best practice and visionary packaging and design.
The whole program created a unique forum and brought together companies and visitors from all across the value chain.
Johan Martensson is the Group Marketing Manager of A&R Carton AB. A&R Carton is a Swedish folding converter with a turnaround of about 350mio €. A&R’s 14 factories in 8 countries produce small margin folding cartonage but also high quality packages for special customers:
“The packaging has about two seconds to engage the average consumer at the shelf. This is where your total design & marketing efforts need to make an impact and stand out. We wanted to show how design might be this triggering point to attract both customers and consumers.”
What was your contribution and how did you develop your special approach?
From earlier innovative projects and our long experience in providing packaging solutions for many different customers and market segments we knew that provoking people to think different can enlarge both imagination and creativity. In the beginning of our work on this booth ‘aesthetics’ we discussed that we might attract different markets and different target groups by using an already existing package that is very well-functioning and has good usability. So we took a simple six-pack; a package originally designed for beer. We came out with three different variations: one is a folded basket for shampoo, another one contains small cans with seed for planting, and the third - a little crazy one – is for toilet paper, which we’ll probably never publish, but which helped to make people think outside their regular thinking lanes.
What are your personal thoughts about the 5 topics?
I think convenience is becoming more and more important, because customers get more and more picky. We choose much more among a bigger variety and we tend to consume more and more on-the-go. In a hectic life for example, it has to be easy to eat, so convenience is a very important thing when it comes to packing.
It is also the most important advertising space and brand builder for many products, which leads us to identity. This is also coming up very strong, because we personally are more and more branding ourselves. We are buying products that we think of as going well together with our ‘own brand’. For example, I am a Swedish guy, and I am very interested in health and sustainability. I will probably choose more of those products in the future, subconsciously. Health is very important for us when it comes to packaging. If you buy a sensitive product, it surely has to be packed safe. Packaging preserves food and protects products that would otherwise go to waste. Consumers and distributors need safe, suitable packaging for handling their food and other sensitive products.
These three topics can be put down in numbers and regulations, but aesthetics and meaning seem to be quite soft criteria.
I think, a lot of decisions still are made on how you are physically or psychologically attracted to a product at the very point of sale. So aesthetics and design, especially functionality, are very important for the future of packaging. Therefore I think it is very good to be here to show and share some possibilities and variations. Finally, the meaning brings all these things together. Sustainable and intelligent packaging makes logistics and transportation more efficient. Therefore modern society and its economics need innovative and sustainable packaging solutions. Everybody seems to be interested in leading a meaningful life. And I think, witnessing worldwide threats and issues such as nature catastrophes or military conflicts through the media makes people much more aware of that today than a few decades ago.
What role will the media be playing in this development?
I think New Media will affect us increasingly in many ways. Look at your phone. It is so easy nowadays to connect and to go online, visit forums, places like facebook, YouTube or linkedin. Many more people will rely on that, because the information is there and it is there always. It’s just on you to use it in the best way you need. You may be using facebook with your friends, you trust the people that you’re following and you might share their knowledge about products that are out there. For example, if I want to buy a new car I probably ask some of my facebook friends and get a rating directly. They know me and can relate to that by giving me advice. I wouldn’t be able get this by going through any magazine. Other places, like Xing or Linkedin, may stand for professional networking, where people are more business-minded and share information and contacts concerning their career. There you can ‘store’ people that you meet along the way. In my opinion, the internet and Social Media, as well as iPhones and iPads, will have a huge impact on our lives and our ways of consuming in the future.
Thank you very much Mr Martensson!
This embracing concept of "InnovationParc Packaging" met many interested visitors. But the participating partners and companies were also appreciating the friendly and constructive atmosphere in which a lot of specific and individual requests could be discussed.
Brand owners and distributers have to deal with changing consumer attitudes and values that turn out to be constantly modified by the market, by individuals and communities. So the packaging industry is facing great challenges in the future. We can’t wait to see next fair’s innovations. See you in 2014!
Looking back at Interpack: Values and innovations - EHI - Retail Institute
Looking back at Interpack: Values and innovations - Zukunftsinstitut Kelkheim
Looking back at Interpack: Values and innovations - Pan European Brand Design Association (PDA)
Looking back at Interpack: Values and innovations - A&R Carton