Move the lines to a creative and innovative perspective: design and branding as tools for change. Pixelis’ goal is clear. Through “Design Papers”, the French Agency for Communication and Branding Design wishes to rally mass consumption players around issues of inclusivity and sustainable development. For this purpose, eight themes have been selected In 2022 to prepare an inventory and analysis of a topic – such as digital marketing, the human factor, shopping malls or the agri-food industry – through examples and case studies. “With this first set of design papers, our team of experts and contributors engage in reflection on the key emerging themes that fuel our economy.Aurélia Cocheteux, Co-Director of Pixelis, explains. These analyzes, the fruit of many months of studies and exchanges with stakeholders, make it possible to emphasize in a synthetic and informed manner the different contexts, observations and salient elements as well as new challenges to be faced and for which companies, brands and consumers expect the solutions we intend to offer. » The approach is developed from the point of view of brand commitment in an effort to provide methods and tools that will facilitate the implementation of projects in the interest of a more sustainable and responsible economy. But what caught Emballages’ attention was a topic titled “The future of packaging and beyond.”
Three engines of change
While consumer expectations have led to a shift in packaging, Pixelis is taking a step back to try to show good initiatives to reproduce, but also to avoid repeating dangerous changes. Because reinventing packaging is above all a puzzle between legal constraints, consumer desires and citizens’ expectations. In its three-part study, a brand communication and design agency first assesses all their stresses, before presenting a methodology for change, and finally ends with a list of points on which brands can act. All sprinkled with already marketed examples.
for you Indications
To put it in context, the Pixelis study goes back to the three main drivers of change for packaging solutions. First, legislation and implementation of new commitments: taking into account the Anti-Waste Act for the Circular Economy (Agec). Next, the digital transformation of brands, which has repercussions from several angles. While the explosion of e-commerce imposes new specifications of mechanical resistance or display, packaging has also become a link between the physical product and its digital world through the emergence of augmented or virtual reality as well as blockchain-related applications. Finally – and above all – it is buyers’ expectations that severely defy packaging. The citizen and his demands to silence the mouths of the consumer and his desiresStudy copy. Responsibility has gradually replaced desire: we have entered an era of consumer guilt in which our purchases have become political acts. »
Among the keys to understanding packaging transformation, the study describes a tool for identifying areas for solution improvement. Based on the principle of life cycle analysis (LCA), four main moments are determined: production, distribution, use and end of life. But Pixelis insists above all on the need for global thinking. Thus, the study opposes modifications that improve already existing products and more advanced approaches that imagine a more effective and attractive new deal. In cosmetics, some brands are trying to make shower gel or shampoo bottles in home-collected plastic, while others are trying to modify their formula in favor of solid products with higher benefits: getting rid of plastic thanks to cardboard boxes. Moreover, this difference in approach is sometimes seen even within the same company. Evian introduced a bottle made entirely of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) but at the same time developed a five-liter eco-design fountain.
To complete its study, Pixelis provides guides and examples to guide brands according to their maturity. Today, there is a huge disparity between the legal entities of the department and the newcomers. This is where the perception of the company’s environmental approach comes into play. Some are content with complying with expectations and regulations (“environmentally compatible,” according to the design agency); Others take the approach with creativity (“eco-friendly”); The latter will display a will engraved in their DNA (“Environmental Indigenous Peoples”). In the face of these features, the objectives of change and degrees of innovation will not be the same. This raises the question about the reasons for modifying the packaging. The Nesquik example is striking. By replacing her plastic box with a paper bag, the price of one kilogram of the product jumped by nearly 50%. Increases – although limited – have also been noted in some references to ecological refills in flexible packaging such as Doypack. In these cases, eco-design efforts are destroyed by budget constraints on the consumer side.
The search for new standards is very real. Like the tubes, which are diverted in their composition to reduce their environmental impact, so are the bottles involved. Paper forms are trying to impose themselves through the techniques of Paboco or Pulpex. The same goes for practical needs related to distance selling. By trying to combine shipping cost with usage functionality, products like Unilever’s Tide Ecobox have been reinvented.
In conclusion, Pixelis reviews new consumer trends: bulk and access to supermarkets or even deposit and refill at points of sale. The purpose of each of the disorders used is the same: to attempt to enter into an increasingly restricted closed loop with minimal actors for minimal impact. Be that as it may, the Design and Communication Agency assures us: “Packaging is a major strategic issue, a huge environmental challenge and a huge playing field for brands to exploit.”
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