Go Green!

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A brand is not just a logo or a name. A brand is a promise. A brand conveys the core set of values of a product or service. And the brand’s marketability depends on those core values being aligned with a current trend or the mood of the consumer.

To that end, leading market intelligence firm Transparency Market Research (TMR) has highlighted a rising trend among consumers for brands to consider their impact on the environment, specifically ‘green’ packaging.  In its report, Green Packaging Market – Global Industry Analysis, Trend, Size, Share and Forecast 2015 – 2021, TMR says the green packaging market’s value was US$132.4bn in 2014 and this will increase to US$203.1bn by 2021.

So what exactly is ‘green’ packaging? Materials used in the product, its ‘shelf’ packaging, even its outer packaging that protects it in transit, should all be biodegradable, recyclable or reusable. Furthermore, the process of creating the product and its packaging should be as ecological as possible with a minimal carbon footprint. Sustainability and environmental impact have become the watchwords of today’s consumer.

Packaging specifically is coming under scrutiny because consumers have to dispose of it themselves and this can influence buying decisions. In a study of consumers in the US, India and Sweden by RISE showed 60% would not buy a product if they perceived the packaging to not be environmentally friendly. Interestingly, the same study showed that 81% of Americans aged over 55 based their buying decisions on concerns about how difficult the packaging was to open.

So, given the variety of demands already placed on packaging (such as protecting and maintaining the integrity of the product, attracting consumers, conveying brand values, being simple and functional for the consumer to use, being cost-effective for the company) how important are its ‘green’ credentials really?

In December, a photograph of a yogurt pot from the 1970s that had washed-up on a French beach went viral. Greenpeace was quick to comment on the: “12.7 million tonnes of plastic enter[ing] the oceans every year, killing marine life and threatening precious ecosystems.” None of which did the yogurt brand’s image much good – especially when yogurt is marketed as a natural and healthy foodstuff the irony that the packaging is damaging the natural world didn’t go unnoticed. Remember a brand is not just a logo or a name, a brand is a promise.

Brands should therefore, take heed; packaging is as much of the brand’s story as the product is. You only need to consider how iconic Coca-Cola’s glass bottle is to know the importance of getting the packaging right. And the rise in consumer concern for green packaging presents a great opportunity to rethink your packaging design and materials.

It’s time to get creative. Amnet’s consultative creative design service can help your brand make a design statement that also reflects ecological credentials. As the TMR report notes, the Asia-Pacific region, especially India and China, is the fastest growing market for green packaging because of huge concentration of food and beverage industries, the US is the second largest market and alongside Europe they are showing healthy growth as consumer interest grows. Is this an area your brand can afford to overlook? It’s time to reuse, recycle and rethink packaging.

If you would like your packaging to tell your brand’s story, get in touch with Amnet today.