With an increasing number of packaged goods being sold through and adapted for online channels we ask ourselves on a pretty regular basis – has the nature of a package’s design and communication requirements changed?

To answer the question – yes, communication challenges and requirements have changed. With more products on shelf, with more brands being offered – it is difficult to stand out and differentiate a product simply by leveraging graphics. The supermarket has gotten even more cluttered, shelf space is at an even greater premium and none of this bodes well for a brand at POS.

Digital media and the channels that are leveraged for packaged goods e-commerce require that brands and marketers deconstruct their brand architecture and reconfigure their assets for a multiplicity of usages, few of which have anything to do with POS or the traditional notion of shelf side marketing.

Shopping for consumer packaged goods via online channels of distribution challenges many of the notions, considerations and assumptions that have driven packaging design programs for the past 30 years. Online shopping tips the table in favor of price comparisons and so strong brand marks and simple graphic presentations do a lot in terms of keeping the brand in the consideration set – but pricing is still a primary driver in this environment.

Conversely, a product package still has to do the exact same thing it has always done once it has been purchased. Once purchased and brought home, it enters the next phase of its work life – shelf ambassador and the three dimensional manifestation and reminder of a good purchasing decision!

So, packaging still has its job to do, but the brand and its assets are what have to work even harder in venues such as Social Media channels…