With the increasing consumers’ environmental awareness, brands are putting more effort into becoming more sustainable companies. While it is difficult to change the product itself, the packaging, on the other hand, is more flexible to adjust. Therefore, product packaging became a critical sustainability point for many brands. Despite hygiene and safety being the main focuses in 2020, sustainability has remained an essential topic of discussion in the packaging industry. This blog seeks to provide a roadmap to understand how to become more sustainable with your packaging.
1. Understand your consumers and what they are looking for from brands.
Too often, brands begin packaging sustainability initiatives without considering a consumer’s expectations. Does the initiative help to improve sustainability? Sure, however, it may not align with what consumers want from the brand. While sustainability is important, US consumers are still ranking price, quality, and brand recognition as higher than packaging environmental concerns. Brands need to combine sustainability and other aspects of products to approach consumers successfully. The materiality analysis (Nestle has a good example) is a great way to visualize issues that matter to consumers.
2. Set up a brand goal that includes the consumer.
After understanding consumer expectations, now it is time to set up a goal. Nowadays, “sustainability” is a keyword for many brands. And there are many packaging options available, including monomaterial, PCR, paper, reuse, refill, etc. However, before launching new packaging or promotions, brands should have a clear and specific sustainability goal. Having a focused goal such as reduction of packaging materials helps you to navigate the suitable packaging options. A focused goal also gives transparency to the consumer. Over 90% of consumers are more to be loyal to a brand with transparency.
Once you have set a goal, communicate with consumers. However, don’t just tell your side of the story. Tell a story that allows the consumer to be part of the initiative. Over 60% of consumers prefer to buy products from brands that stand for a purpose that reflects their values. Focus on the user experience with your packaging that helps and excites the consumer. Providing packaging that connects with consumers will ultimately lead to a positive impact on your goal.
3. Educate consumers. Connect brand and consumers with sustainable packaging.
Sustainability is a complex topic. Many consumers already have a cursory understanding of the subject, but this often wrought with inaccurate information. For example, some people have a negative perception of plastic packaging, despite it having many benefits in the pursuit of sustainability. Why is this the case? Because like most things, the topic of sustainability is quite complex, requiring more time than most are willing to give in order to fully understand it. Instead of simply informing consumers, think about what you need consumers to do to support your sustainability goal. Communicate and guide consumers that how their actions help to improve packaging sustainability. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Becoming a more sustainable brand is a long journey. A clear and consistent message is crucial. Stick with your goal and connect with your consumers with your packaging.
There are many paths to improve package sustainability. Do what is suitable for your brand and for your consumers.
At ZACROS, our goal is to help find the perfect solution to meet your needs. We develop innovative packaging together with you to help you achieve your sustainability goals. Not sure where to start? No problem. Our experts have all the experience and knowledge about sustainable flexible packaging you need to start your project. Contact us for more information about our capabilities and products.