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Effective Package Design for 'Disruptors'

Posted by Mike Woodgate on February 23, 2017
Effective Package Design for 'Disruptors'

Digital cameras, eReaders, iPods, energy drinks, Netflix, and Uber. These are just a few examples of market “disruptors”. There have been thousands before and thousands since. These are products and/or services that changed their industries and consumer behaviour on a grand scale. Disruptive products step outside the norm and, in markets that are saturated, can carve out an innovative niche for themselves.

When it comes to packaged goods that are attempting to disrupt the market, there are many things to consider for those responsible for marketing and packaging the products. Here are a couple of tips that will help you package your product right, and lead to a successful launch.

MAKE IT DIFFERENT

Match the uniqueness of your product with an equally unique package. Consider using uncommon and extraordinary materials, shapes, and sizes to set your product apart. Think of Red Bull, one of the first successful energy drink brands. Beyond the graphic design of the packaging, let’s take a look at the structure of the package design. When Red Bull expanded outside of Thailand to other worldwide markets, it was packaged in a slimmer and taller can than what was the norm for other carbonated drinks and juices. Customers that would look at the can or hold it in their hands, knew they were into something different, even before their first sip.

A few years back, we worked with 4u2u brands, a U.S. based company that was launching another beverage industry disruptor, “Fruit 66”. At the time, it was the first ever 100% carbonated juice product in America. Not only was the product ground-breaking, but so was their audience. In reaction to new restrictions being placed on what types of food and beverages could be sold within California schools, Fruit 66 was being marketed mainly to school boards themselves, as a healthy drink option with a ‘fun’ appeal. Interestingly, when asked to help package the product, we took a similar approach to Red Bull (from a structural perspective), packaging Fruit 66 in a slim can that gave the drink an edgy and energetic appearance, and was completely different than that of other competitive juice products. 
Fruit 66 Package Design

MAKE IT INFORMATIVE

Because of the unique qualities of disruptors, they can often be met with resistance by consumers who may be reluctant to try something new and unfamiliar. Marketers will have a huge challenge to overcome in a few years when trying to convince auto buyers that the self-driving car is just as safe, if not safer, than its manual counterpart.

We faced this challenge when we helped launch Muse: The brain sensing headband, to expanded markets. A true disruptor, and the first of its kind, it is a wearable device that senses brain activity and uses the collected data to help users achieve a healthy meditation practice.

The package design had to be informative enough to ease concerns about product safety, and clearly communicate how it worked along with its benefits. Not an easy task for such an innovative and new product. In this case, showcasing the product in use and clearly, breaking down the whole process in simple terms and with associated iconography on the package sleeve, helped customers better connect with the product at the point of purchase.
Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband Package Design

Those are a couple of things to consider when packaging a disruptive product, but the principles go beyond just packaging. It is important to employ a unique approach across all channels including website, POP, or advertising. If you’re looking to launch a product that is going to be a game-changer, we can help you with developing a packaging and launch strategy that will get your product off and running in the right direction.

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