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Packaging Innovations – breaking Clutter, creating engagement

This is the second post in the series on Packaging Innovations. Click here to view the first one.

Packaging Innovation

Creating Functionality

Packaging innovations can create functionality by adding simple features that help in consumers handling, or consuming the product. The beauty is that in some of the examples shown below, increased functionality can be achieved without any additional costs (ketchup on the side example).

Key here is to gain insights into the ‘ritual’ in the usage – i.e experiences, situations, complementary behaviors, etc.  Is your product always served along with something else? Is it served and shared or consumed on the move? Do consumers buy many items at once and have a tough time balancing them?

 For example, If you know that consumers have nuts along with different mixtures at the same time, why not mix the two into one pack that also opens up while serving? Or have a cut out for ketchup along with fries?

Packaging innovations - Functionality 2Packaging innovations - functionality 14

Packaging innovations - functionality 7 Packaging innovations - functionality 11









Packaging innovations - functionality 12 Packaging innovations - functionality 15

At times, the package can by itself help in further storage, perhaps? such as this package of wires which can be torn to into smaller strips, to hold smaller units.

Packaging innovations - functionality 8

Packaging can also provide additional information on key requisites for consumption – temperature, freshness, etc. Beer can / bottle which turns blue only if cooled to the right temperature. Or meat packaging that changes colour if the contents are not fresh.

Packaging innovations - functionality - temperature Packaging innovations - functionality 5


If the product is not very pleasing to touch, many options can help in dispensing or consuming it. The top of the yogurt pack can act as a spoon, the heinz ketchup bottle can also open up for dipping your chips, the top of a butter pack in the shape of a knife for easy spreading, or even a different pizza pack which lets you hold the pizza without making your hands feel cheesy.

Packaging innovations - functionality - yogurt Packaging innovations - functionality 3

Packaging innovations - functionality 4 Packaging innovations - functionality 10


This is another favourite of ours – which takes on a good insight about the usage ritual. Haven’t you always fumbled around with band aids despite using both hands? Also, since they are needed in an emergency, shouldn’t they be ready-to-fix at any time? And Voila .. we have Bandiful.

Packaging innovations - functionality - bandages

This is another innovation which actually managed to go against the ritual but just gave awesome functionality – A Parmesan Cheese Pencil and Sharpener. A simple design which gave an effortless way to parmesan shavings. And in 3 flavours !

Packaging Innovations - functionality - Cheese pencils


And lastly, for the right consumer, the functionality of this dispensing cap would be priceless.

Packaging innovations - Functionality


Adding engaging touch points to the product creates a strong emotional connect. It provides your product with something more by having a simple conversation with the consumer, in what could otherwise be a dull day. And if you think engagement works only in high involvement products, think again.. they have a deeper impact in low involvement products ! Look at the cement bags below (yes, they are cement bags), or the photocopier paper (which digs in to a little office humour), or the most rudimentary product – tissues.

Packaging innovations - engagement - commodities
PAckaging innovations - engagement - commodities - papier
Packaging innovations - engagement - commodities - tissues



They can also lighten up a serious product category like medicines.

Packaging innovations - engagement - medicine (2) PAckaging innovations - engagement - medicine







A Limited Edition extra wrap of the product can create excitement in any category – be it honey or vodka !

Packaging innovations - engagement - wraps Packaging innovations - engagement -wraps Smirnoff


Many such design changes can bring in excitement to the category, and sometimes, at no extra cost! (And at the same time, while breaking clutter or driving brand personality).

Packaging innovations - Engagement - McDs

Packaging innovations - clutter 3 Packaging innovations - engagement - cover 3


Breaking Clutter

Today’s shelf is simply confusing with many manufacturers selling similar looking products in similar places. Breaking the clutter at the point of sale can definitely give you the edge. However, do note that while consumers would probably notice your product more, it is doubtful if they would pay a premium for your clutter breaking pack. However, here are a few examples, to spark some ideas on your brand.

Packaging innovations - clutter 1 Packaging innovations - clutter 2 Packaging innovations - clutter 4 Packaging innovations - clutter 5 Packaging innovations - clutter 6 Packaging innovations - clutter 7 Packaging innovations - clutter 9


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Suggested Further Reading:

Packaging the Brand, Gavin Ambrose, Paul Harris




  1. Pingback: Innovation in Packaging | brand manager guide - October 18, 2014

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