Ingenious packaging: 5 examples that catch the eye
One vital function of packaging is identification. It should carry information about both the product and the brand. With so many brands vying for consumers’ attention, it is important for products to be eye-catching. Since packaging provides the consumer’s first contact with a product, it plays the primary role in making that product stand out.
Here are five brilliant examples of ingenious packaging that makes customers take notice of products.
The cow-shaped milk bottle
Flavoured milk is a popular drink, second only to ordinary milk in terms of global consumption rates of liquid dairy products. Children enjoy drinking flavoured milk, and a Belgian study from 2013 found it was important children associate a flavoured milk brand with a positive emotion.
American brand Kemps capitalised on this by using a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottle that incorporates the physical features of a cow. HDPE is the same material used for normal milk bottles, and in this case, it has been extrusion blow moulded into the cow shape.
This creates an instant association with the origin of the product, and makes the bottle stand out in the chiller cabinet among the other cartons.
The Kleenex tube
Tissues are usually packaged in boxes with perforated lids, or, for convenience when travelling, small plastic packages with perforated flaps.
Kleenex has literally thought outside the box and packaged its tissues in something normally associated with snack foods and toiletries: a tube. Not only is the shape eye-catching in itself, but the original design involved Brazilian artist Romero Britto. The result? An everyday product that stands out on the shelf, looks good in the home, and fits easily into handbags, rucksacks and car cup holders.
The tube is made of cellulose paper pulp, which is better, sustainability-wise, than plastic. The base was originally metal, but has since been replaced with a cardboard one, making the entire tube recyclable.
The portable dog food package with built-in bowl
The dog owner who is taking their dog on holiday may have a car full of suitcases and other essentials, so space will be at a premium. A large bag of dry dog food is unnecessary for a week away, and too large to pack. Also, scooping the required quantity into a large freezer bag is time-consuming and potentially just downright messy.
Benjamin Yi has designed a range of dog food packaging, Top Paw, which solves these problems. It is a cardboard box whose shape resembles a Toblerone tube with a flat top. It also has handles, for portability, and contains a limited supply of dog food.
The design makes it possible for the owner to feed the dog without the need to carry a separate bowl: the front flap folds down to become a bowl, into which food can be dispensed from the box. Ingenious.
The flip flop tin for mints
Mints often come in tubular foil-and-paper packs, bags, pouches, or small tins. These small tins are attractive and popular, but they can be difficult to open.
AmuseMints has come up with an ingenious solution: the flip flop shaped tin. As its name suggests, it resembles beach footwear, even down to the plastic toe-straps. These straps act as a handle, so the top of the tin can be opened to reveal the mints within. Also, the flip flop tin comes in a range of plain and decorative designs, which may appeal to collectors.
This example demonstrates that a design doesn’t necessarily have to relate to the product it contains. Sometimes, being eye-catching is enough in itself.
The Nike Air ‘bubble’
The Nike Air clear bubble packaging for Nike Air Max shoes is made of two layers of transparent plastic. The inner layer surrounds the shoes, and when air is blown between the inner and outer layers — via a valve similar to a football’s — the package inflates to cushion the shoes. This protects them, and gives the appearance that the shoes are floating inside the bubble.
Since this is such an unusual and innovative package, it cannot help but catch the eye and be instantly memorable. Opening the package involves releasing the air from the valve, then unsealing a stuck-down flap, so the shoes can be removed.
The Nike Air Max bubble illustrates what can be done with flexible packaging to give consumers something different. Flexible packaging is already widely used, and its properties enable brands to make their products stand out. It is easy to print bright colours directly onto a pouch, for example, or, as Nike Air has done, keep the design as minimalist as possible — leaving the product to speak for itself.
For more information about making your packaging stand out, check out our Brand Building Centre.