BXP - May 2018 - 29
A D V E R T O R I A L
As retail evolves, packaging becomes
a brand's best advocate.
Bill Hodges of Boutwell Owens challenges our assumptions
about today's retail environment.
Everybody talks about the unboxing experience as it were the last word
on consumer engagement. But there is more at play when we look at the
entire landscape of modern day retail. There is in-store vs. online, legacy vs.
challenger, omni-channel vs. multi-channel, and the biggest fear of all -
commoditization. These are just some of the trends that impact how we now
do business. With all the change going on, though, it's easy to lose focus on
what we, as packagers, need to deliver...the giddy moment when the shopper
opens the box and feels that special delight. You can package that feeling, but
there's more to it than that.
the consumer. The package turns into a tabletop
game board where kids can play air hockey with
the candy as puck and a couple of straws. What
better way to appeal to a whole new generation? It's
kind of like when you discover that your kid loves
Earth, Wind & Fire and doesn't even know how long
they've been around! That's the power of deliberate
The importance of staying grounded
As most packaging ultimately ends up in a landfill,
Packaging meets the future - what
started with Jobs evolves to AI.
creating a secondary use can be a game
Who set the standard that every brand owner
nials who demand that their brands take
wants to emulate? Two people come to
a responsible approach. In fact, there are
mind, Steve Jobs and his designer, Jony Ive.
a slew of brands today that are using eco-
These innovators set out to create a sensory
friendly, plantable packaging. Wildflower
experience for the Apple brand, starting with
seeds are part of the inner coating so, as
the packaging. In a media environment of
the package biodegrades in the ground,
blinking ads and shouting videos, this team
the earth is nurtured.
changer. This is especially true for Millen-
offered an image of cool, subtle minimalism,
underscored by the quiet "whoosh" you hear
each time you open an Apple box. This expe-
The whole is greater than
the sum of the parts.
rience elevated Apple products to the zenith
Packaging should engage multiple sensory
of quality. How else could they charge such a
centers in consumers as they interact with
premium price? In short, products you never
the product. Some of the ways package
knew you needed, delivered in the most artis-
designers can contribute to this is through
tic packaging, resulted in market dominance.
the use of tactile coatings such as: em-
Others have had to rethink their "unboxing experience." Many DIY brands are taking the
bossing, lenticular, holographic, olfactory,
Brand owners need to have an omni-channel
motion coat and, of course, color. As I mentioned
next step in consumer engagement. The idea was
strategy - not just for marketing - but to support
earlier, embedded QR codes open a whole world of
great- stylish home decorating at an affordable
the brand experience all the way from "I like it" to
content possibilities just by pointing a smart phone
price and available to the masses. Just shop, ship
"I got it and assembled it without a hitch." That's
at the packaging - something that wasn't possible
and assemble. Easy right? Not so fast. How many
how you maintain customer loyalty.
only 5 years ago. Think about it; you buy a package
have spent up to 9 hours trying to put together a
bed or shelving, following an almost indecipher-
of Fruit Loops, scan with your phone and presto,
your child is now in the club. The best brand strat-
able instruction booklet, just to give up in frustra-
Putting a whole new spin
on a legacy product
tion? Home decor brands have learned a lesson.
I recently bought a box of candy that I thought a
them like a symphony, so that the whole is greater
Today, embedded QR codes enable consumers to
child might like. Mars is a well-known brand that's
than the sum of its parts.
open a how-to video just by pointing their smart
been around since I was young. But now they're
phone at the package.
doing something with packaging that really engages
Boutwell Owens is one of the premier, independent North American designers and
manufacturers of printed paperboard packaging solutions. As VP of sales and marketing,
Bill Hodges is a leading voice on the evolution of packaging as a marketing channel.
egies leverage all of these new tools and integrate
Visit Boutwell Owens at