Our increasingly busy, modern lives mean that convenience is more relevant and important than ever. A 24/7 society has demanded functional solutions and ready meals and takeaway packaging in the food and drink sector have largely led the design evolution.
But, we are now looking for convenience – to some extent – in each and every sector. By and large, today’s consumer sees portability and function as a given and is, therefore, expecting more innovative and stylish offerings. And so, the question is, just what are we doing to meet the needs of the consumer who wants convenience but who has a creative eye?
Just this week, Popsop is previewing a convenient solution for the gum chewers amongst us. Green Seeds, from designer Gonglue Jiang, is a new way of disposing of chewing gum. Yes, as other brands do, Green Seeds uses the paper packaging to wrap the gum in but the new bottle gum dispenser (almost like a small pill bottle) allows you to deposit the gum in the bottom as a temporary storage space. A fast-moving, 24/7 society does not (now) mean a disposable and throwaway one and an eco-conscious consumer is demanding convenience with commitment to the environment where possible.
We have, of course, welcomed the idea of – for example – the re-usable coffee cup and shifted our mindset to embrace recycling, refilling and re-using. But, it’s more than this. It’s also about keeping our ‘convenient’ brands and products covetable and collectable. By taking a more holistically creative approach, we should be able to provide a unique and targeted consumer experience or connection time and time again. Convenience does not need to be about brevity and can most definitely be about brand longevity and desirability.
A new wine gift box designed for Greek winemaker Ktima Gerovassiliou is a perfect showcase for this way of thinking and design approach with its focus on perfect craftsmanship. Made from Oak plywood to reflect the barrels used to mature the wine, the shape of the box is sympathetic to – and moulds to – the shape of the wine bottle and each box can accept two sizes/forms of bottles of the same capacity. The box can be carried like a bag with no need for additional packaging and several can be stacked together to create a wine rack. Sustainable and innovative – and, ultimately, a more premium, tactile and stylish answer to transporting, presenting and storing wine.
With so much uncertainty in our lives, we are looking to focus on the here and now and the onus is on finding more personal concentrated experiences that involve, engage and inspire us. Convenience is about giving us the brand in the hand. And whilst functional structural solutions are still important, the future of convenience equals seduction and this is where all the elements of the packaging design – including clever structure – have the scope to tell, or at least tease out, the story of the brand experience by focusing us on the texture, look and delivery of what we are buying and using.
As we move into the future, we are redefining convenience and need to use design to find new and creative ways to deliver something disproportionate to the expectation: moving from pure convenience to connection, consciousness, craftsmanship, commitment and creativity.