What to Expect in 2018?

13/12/2017

2018 is already looming ahead and some shifts in strategy and execution will need to be observed. Those changes, you guessed it, will need to be planned as early as possible. Indeed, our newness-greedy marketplaces will keep on dictating minimal marketing life-cycles and faster campaign change-ups than ever before in 2018.

Agencies/brand/concept teams should all currently be jockeying for pole position to kick start 2018 with a bang. That being said, you are probably currently also busy wrapping 2017 in a positive fashion and, as a consequence, you might find it difficult to mix year end’s peak in activities with pro-active planning for the new exercise.

Don’t you worry, we got you covered. With the few trends we gathered below, you’ll get the gist of what’s to come in 2018 in marketing and packaging.

1.    So fresh and so clean

We will all need to take it a step further in terms of sustainability. Customers are now extremely sensitive to how products fit sustainable standards, including packaging methods. This automatically implies impeccable selection and execution materials-wise but also clean and clear delivery of the sustainable, eco-friendly message atop product wrappings and packs. Flexible and light packaging options need to constantly be preferred over historically eco-burdening solutions.

This becomes so important that we think that 2018 is the year where re-usable packaging options will become a product trend. One example: there’s a whole new buzz going on at the moment claiming that Tupperwares are out, that glass-based food containers are in. Have a look at this slideshow effectively illustrating this.

2.    Keep up to date with the law and regulations

There are early signs available that laws and regulations will be stricter than ever in terms of products call-outs and this will mechanically force packaging makers to be as transparent as ever regarding contents descriptions. For example, a new European legislation currently being drafted will impose to include unitary code in packaging of prescription medicine and experts advise that these type of regulations usually translate quickly within other sectors including the food industry.

Our two cents regarding laws compliance? Always keep an eye out for laws updates and plan for a team-wide legal refresher every year. The beginning of a new year is always a good time to do so.

3.    Change the game, be creative.

As mentioned earlier, product lifecycles as shorter than ever. Consumers’ attention spans are extremely divided and request loads of effort to be captured. This is the industry’s biggest challenge these days: how to drive people towards an idea, a concept, a product? That is our job in 2018 to find more answers than ever to this question. How to keep things fresh and interesting these days?

Get inspired, continuously. Be aware of what’s going on around you and seek new ideas always. Communicate your enthusiasm to your clients. Build and create furiously. Convey excitement to the consumer. Think outside the box, literally!

4.    Increased Focus on e-commerce packaging

Online business penetration is at an all-time high and won’t stop growing in 2018. Related to this, the digital consumers’ expectations regarding their online orders also have stepped up and packaging is becoming a key player in the online shopping experience. Indeed, online consumers receive their online orders with such high expectations these days that the act of boxing out a fresh new product has almost become cult-like. We thus cannot fail in facilitating the best possible consumer experience as package makers in 2018. Customizable digital prints for each order needs to be made possible.

5.    Marketing at large

Going outside the packaging world, 2018 will be an intense year for marketers. Digitalization of the markets will once again be the name of the game, with visualization and imagery in particular being more important than ever and convert more visitors into shoppers than ever before (brands using videos to introduce their products now grow their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t, as per Aberbeen Group’s latest research). Marketers worldwide are also collectively holding their breath to see if Virtual Reality also full catches on and become the next big game changer for consumers.

Other trends to explore digitally in 2018: native advertising, artificial intelligence and big data-driven campaigns, tapping into micro-influencers’ niche impact.

Consumers will also be more driven by experience than actually purchasing. The fear of missing out is one of the biggest interest impulses for a millennial and therefore you will have to think more in terms of creating a wholesome experience rather than just a product to purchase. This is called experimental marketing and will be another main road to explore in 2018.

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