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Packaging Trends Your Business Should Know About for 2021

Stand Out and Connect with Consumers with These 6 Packaging Trends

As 2020 draws to a close, we’re eagerly looking ahead to the trends that will define packaging in the next year. From a boom of e-commerce to a continued focus on sustainability, consumer priorities established throughout the year are set to impact business in 2021. Here’s how to tap into those trends and ensure your products – and their packaging – are helping to build your brand.

1. Strong Brand Aesthetics

A consistent brand presentation across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23 percent – and that includes your packaging. The market continues to grow more crowded every year, making it all the more important that you stand out and establish brand recognition. As you incorporate new trends into your packaging, don’t forget to maintain consistency.

2. Online Availability

The e-commerce market surged this year, with sales increasing by 37 percent in Q3. Though not a packaging trend on its own, labeling is a key factor in getting your product online. For small businesses, perhaps the fastest and easiest method is setting up an Amazon shop. With no proprietary website necessary, you’ll just need an ASIN code for each of your products and the right shipping materials before launching your digital business.

3. Sustainability

Unsurprisingly, sustainability and environmentalism remain at the forefront of packaging trends for next year. 67 percent of shoppers say that the packaging material influences their purchasing decision, and 70 percent of Americans and Canadians prefer brands that are environmentally friendly.

Beyond opting for recyclable substrates, brands are also choosing packaging that can be reused. This includes containers that can be brought to a store and refilled, mailers and envelopes that can be used for multiple trips, and other options like glass bottles or jars that the buyer can keep and use in their home.

4. Interactivity & Personalization

We all love getting something that’s been made just for us. In a world of digital noise, personalization can help cut through the clutter – marketers see a 20 percent increase in revenue when the buyer experience is personalized – and in a world of crowded shelves, personalized packaging can help you stand out. Notably, Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign created the illusion of personalization with various names printed on their bottles, encouraging buyers to find their own name or that of a friend.

For e-commerce brands, personalization can be as simple as adding a hand-written note to the package or printing the buyer’s name on the box. Care/of vitamins, for example, ask users to take a quiz to determine which supplements are right for them. The daily vitamin packs each come printed with the user’s name to complete the personalized experience. (Their packs are also each made of compostable film, supporting the brand’s sustainability mission.)

If you’re not looking to personalize the packaging itself, adding an interactive element can still help connect the shopper with the brand on an individual level. A QR code, for example, can direct buyers to an “exclusive” discount or encourage them to sign up for a mailing list. Plus, offering an easy way for the shopper to leave feedback can help your business personalize your product and buyer experience in the long-term.

Minimalism Packaging Trend

5. Minimalism

Though color trends may be moving away from black and white and into earthy, neutral tones, a preference for sleek, minimal packaging is still strong. In fact, the idea of minimalism is pervasive in many of the brands we encounter daily, including Apple’s instantly recognizable design. This umbrella covers both the design of the packaging and the materials it requires, with slimmed-down, sleeker packaging also playing to the waste-not mentality of sustainability.

6. Brand Values

There’s never been a better time to tell your brand story, and your packaging is the first chapter. One survey found that 83 percent of Millennial shoppers want the companies they’re buying from to align with their beliefs and values. Don’t miss out on these potential buyers – make sure your packaging clearly communicates what you stand for and how you support your cause.


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