For most of the past decade, consumers around the world have increasingly shifted their spending from brick-and-mortar to online stores, appreciating the convenience and immediacy of digital shopping. But that trend could be reversing as members of Generation Z — people born after 1995 — begin flexing their economic muscle. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands should pay close attention because this trend could have make-or-break implications for many of them.
According to a global Criteo study, while 75% of Gen Zers say they prefer making purchases online, 80% look forward to the experience of shopping in stores when time allows. The generation already commands $44 billion to $150 billion in annual spending power and is expected to make up 40% of all consumers by 2020. With so many young people becoming full-fledged consumers, it has never been more critical to consider the importance of packaging to a brand’s marketing mix.
According to studies, Gen Z is willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, including packaging. Packaging designs that prioritize sustainability and eco-friendliness can increase customer retention, loyalty, and sentiment.
From this article, let's focus on Gen Z 's characteristics as well as look at how to their buying power with packaging. So far, we have summarised the following 5 points:
Everybody appreciates products that are personalized just for them, and Gen Z is no exception.
Generation Z tends to be more serious about work than experience-driven millennials. But certain types of experiences still matter to them.
Supporting or driving a philanthropic campaign is one of the best ways to connect with Generation Z. Nearly 60% see themselves as socially conscious, and more than half say they’re more likely to buy from socially conscious brands, according to a survey by MNI Targeted Media.
Every marketer or sales representative understands the value of a good promotion, but for CPG brands seeking to connect with Generation Z, that approach is even more relevant.
For modern consumers, authenticity is an increasingly critical component of interactions with friends, family and brands they associate with. In custom packaging, the key to reaching this audience on an authentic level is to keep designs simple, avoid any claims that feel exaggerated and limit celebrity endorsements, since Gen Z tends to be more influenced by “real people” versus celebrities.
Obviously, packaging designed for the young audience also stands out for being vibrant, modern, and creative, with the aim of instantly capturing the attention of a dynamic and ever-evolving audience. Based this condition, here are some recurring characteristics of these packaging for your reference:
- Modern Visual Aesthetics:
The design focuses on contemporary visual elements that reflect the latest trends in art, fashion, and youth culture. From abstract illustrations to geometric patterns, the goal is to convey a sense of modernity.
- Curious and Eye-catching Typography:
Fonts used in packaging for young people are often informal, playful, and attractive. They may include handwritten letters, large and striking typefaces, or even custom styles to add a unique touch.
- Dynamic Graphic Elements:
Dynamic graphics that generate a sense of movement and energy are incorporated. Curved lines, arrows, gradients, or other details bring dynamism to the product presentation.
- Vibrant Colors:
The use of vibrant and bold colors is distinctive. Palettes are carefully chosen to grab attention and convey a sense of vitality, evoking specific emotions.
- Interactive Packaging:
Some designs integrate interactive features to engage the consumer. This could include fold-out labels, customization areas, or QR codes leading to additional digital experiences.
- Balance Between Simplicity and Complexity:
Although the design can be eye-catching, a harmonious balance between simplicity and complexity is sought. Key elements stand out without overwhelming, creating an attractive yet accessible design.
In summary, the design of these packages is distinguished by its ability to creatively adapt to the changing preferences of the young audience. Gen Z is a hyper-cognitive generation that requires brands to reimagine their packaging design. While it might be argued that it is not feasible to fully capture the market needs and desires of any given market segment, employing some of the tips highlighted above when coming up with your packaging design should see you earn significant mileage. After all, as you allocate your advertising and marketing budget, it would be counterintuitive to fail to capture what would most attract the population that makes up at least half of the current consumers.
These consumers know what they want and are willing to shop around to get it. That’s why making the CPG packaging appealing on store shelves and online will pay off in a big way. These consumers will go on to share their experiences on social media, influencing the buying decisions of their peers. This broadens the scope of brand loyalty and takes brand trust to a whole new level.
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