Digital models and bulk packaging
“We’re probably going to see the shelf and stack redefined and POP danglers vanish into the night. We will have digital avatars instead. I do see packaging by retailers for home delivery as an option to intervene in and make some sustainable interventions there,” says Anando Dutta, dean (academics), Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai.
According to Dutta, product packaging doesn’t need to be shiny on the rack, it needs to be presented better on the site. He also envisages that a lot of semi-urban customers will come into the fray of shopping online in the coming years for ease of shopping, saving the effort of travelling and so on; and transactions will be carried out through apps.
“When this shift happens, gloss will have to be replaced by reason. The persuasion is likely to alter. They will become economical anyway and there’ll be lots of deals on offer for bulk buying, which is where we are headed. For instance, instead of a set of single fruit there will be baskets of assortments; instead of just one snack, one might see an array of fattening goodies to help you sin in bulk (laughs).”
“When the shift of semi-urban customers coming into the fray of online shopping happens, gloss will have to be replaced by reason.”
The driving factor behind brand messaging
Clarity will soon become the core focus for brand messaging. “To achieve this, packaging will have to become uncluttered and product photography will become crucial.” Dutta believes that brands will become less important and product nuance and novelty will become more exciting for customers to transact.
The buying time spent online is also likely to reduce in comparison to the time one used to spend in a grocery store. “This means messaging would probably be direct, poster-like and unfussy.”
The industry needs a re-think
Sharing his views on artwork approval processes, the industry veteran, at first, says that artwork is a prehistoric term and they should be looked at as product communication tools and not as packaging artworks at all. Furthermore, he sheds light on the need for adopting a holistic approach for package design.
“The design task should be an extension of brand communication and if it’s done independently it’s a wasted exercise to bifurcate company resources into two tasks which ideally should be done by one design firm.”
The leader and innovator
Dutta’s career as a practising professional spans over 32 years. He has worked on projects for the government, in conjunction with diverse ministries. He leads a team of communication professionals under an entity named addventures. He is also a visiting faculty for design courses with various leading educational