Pentawards Packaging Conference | Wrapped Up


Wrapping up some packaging design hot topics…

Merle Hall our Managing Director, joined industry experts to chair a discussion panel, reflecting on a day of seminars at the Pentawards Conference at Packaging Innovations 2017. The panel was made up of Asa Cook, Creative Director at Design Bridge, Cameron Worth, Founder of SharpEnd Partnership, Elliot Wilson, Founder & Strategy Director at The Cabinet and Steve Honour, Design Leader – Innovation & Futures at Diageo.

From toilet roll subscription services, to political brand purpose, vodka packaging to the Internet of Things, this panel enjoyed an eclectic discussion. We share just a few of the questions and themes that emerged during the ‘wrap up’ of the day…

How can creativity & business effectiveness align?

Merle kicked of the session asking how, in their view design and creativity could add commercial value in a quantifiable way. The panel was aligned with the view that if creative work can be bold and meaningful to consumers, then it will cut through our busy world and engage. Consequently, there is likely to be a strong correlation between the most creative solutions to design challenges and those that have had the biggest commercial impact. It was noted that to ensure creativity can add value, our industry must actively foster ‘thinkers’ and ‘superseers’. These are the people that can extract and simplify complex information to get to powerful big ideas. Those ideas are the ones that will be meaningful, disruptive, stand out and deliver business results.

How do brands stay ahead when the pace of change is so fast?

The panel agreed that we are experiencing an era of unprecedented speed of change. Ultimately brands must now be smarter and more creative, in order to find new ways of engagement. Maybe this will involve ‘smart’ packaging? The panel had a healthy discussion about what is ‘smart’? A consensus was found that whatever ‘smart’ is, be it a button that orders your loo roll so you never run out, or a vodka bottle that is personalised, ‘smart’ packaging must offer the consumer something intuitive and compelling.

Collaboration is key

One of the big themes explored by Merle and the panel, was collaboration and the need for clients and agencies, manufacturers and suppliers, to all work much harder at collaborating. It was agreed that the need for ‘collaboration’ was often a false promise expressed at the start of a project. A noble ambition was expressed in the discussion, that our industry should lead in embracing fully transparent and open collaboration, as this will truly give consumers the best solutions.

Packaging is the future

In a world of multiple brand touch points, packaging was argued to be potentially the most enduring element. After all, packaging is the part of a brand that actually ends up in the hands of the consumer. Designing for effectiveness, will mean that packaging is going to be increasingly important in the future and will impact the relationships brands have with their consumers, more than ever before.