At all times, but especially now, luxury brands have a huge amount to think about when it comes to their packaging.
Striking the perfect balance between product protection, brand experience and sustainability is still creating plenty of headaches; knowing and understanding the values and demands of Gen Z remains a work-in-progress for many; and mass economic uncertainty is causing, well, uncertainty.
But as history so often proves, challenges create opportunities: lots in the luxury packaging space will change for the better over the next 18 or so months. Here are four trends we at BellaGiada believe will drive that change.
Material innovation will be on everyone’s radar
The big theme that’s dominated almost every decision in the global packaging industry for years already and surely many more to come, is of course sustainability. Which is why it appears on this list a few times!
Within this giant focus area, sustainable material use is the big one brands must get right – and plenty of exciting new suppliers are innovating to meet this demand: we’re seeing everything from grass-based “cardboard” to seaweed packaging. But change is everywhere, and the major suppliers are building more and more recycled content into their packaging.
Luxury brands will be thinking about how they can best keep up with these innovations without jeopardising the experience customers want from them.
We’ll see new artistic collaborations
We’ve seen a new wave of brand collaborations take off in the fashion world, and I think we’re going to see a rejuvenated trend in luxury packaging.
Artistic collaborations were a big focus for many brands a little while ago – across the luxury sector and beyond – and plenty did very well out of it. No matter where the industry is and what its focuses are, standing out through packaging will always be a top priority, and that’s why artistic collaborations can be so powerful.
The big focus will be bringing creativity to life in a way that doesn’t compromise sustainability efforts. The brands that do this really well could receive huge plaudits.
Sustainability-driven minimalism could take over
This may feel slightly at odds with the above, but to us, the two can certainly co-exist.
We’ve seen maximalism adopted by some brands of late, but we think minimalism is what’s here for the long haul – mainly because it’s far better suited to meet sustainability demands. Be it manufacturing, recycling or reusing, a minimalist approach to materials and design enables sustainability throughout the packaging lifecycle.
The good thing is that minimalism and luxury are already very familiar!
More experience-focused smart packaging
Smart packaging has been on every industry trends list for as long as we can remember. Plenty of that focus has been rooted in anticipation, but we’re now at a time where the technology is much more accessible.
Smart packaging can mean plenty of different things, but our focus here is on the customer experience – what many instead call connected packaging. Here we’re seeing consumer brands in every industry innovating to provide exclusive, value-add experiences to their customers, and there’s no better fit for this trend than the luxury sector.
There are so many possibilities here: we’ve seen wine companies partner their bottles with exclusive music playlists, and major drinks players transform their packaging into invitations to digital and real-world events.
The aim of the game is brand engagement beyond enjoying the product itself – and stretching the realm of possibility beyond a QR code!