Jul 13, 2012
Consumer expectations develop along with technologyBack
Engineering|Dell|Design|Environment|Packaging|Storage|Sustainable|Switch|Technology|Harmful Printing Products|Information Technology Sector|Media Emphasis|Packaging|Printing|Product|Products|Environmental|Act|Adam Botha|Information Technology
© Reuse this
“While consumers tend to focus more on what a brand represents than the type of packaging used, media emphasis on the green phenomena has resulted in strong awareness about the importance of green packaging materials,” he comments.
Different packaging materials are continuously being developed in the industry to comply with technological advances and consumer needs.
“Bamboo packaging is a popular trend in the industry as it is recyclable and bamboo grows quickly.”
Engineering News reported in November 2010 that computer and consumables company Dell was contributing to greening the information technology sector through several packaging initiatives, including the use of bamboo packaging for the shipping of its Dell mini products.
He points out that it is the responsibility of packaging designers and product manufacturers that use the packaging to ensure packaging methods are environment-friendly and move away from using harmful printing products, such as ultraviolet varnishes, to more sustainable methods, such as vegetable dyes.
The natural dyes contained in vegetables and plants can not only be extracted but can also in future possibly be used as ink to print packaging designs, which is a sustainable green method, he explains.
The problem, however, is that the industry has not developed this method to its full potential as it is not yet suitable for use in the printing of packaging materials.
Nevertheless, Botha believes that, going forward, manufacturers should consider using this method as companies are increasingly pressured to comply with green standards.
Further, he states that technology continues to change how brands communicate and interact with consumers. This results in the replacement of traditional touch points with online alternatives, such as the distribution of online brochures instead of printed brochures, which is more cost effective.
“Consumers want a 360° view of packaging and seek interaction with a brand through the information provided on packaging material.
“Companies need to communicate with consumers through blogs and competitions. Those who do not interact fall behind,” says Botha.
The packaging world has become fast-paced and it is increasingly challenging to be creative with design, as more information is needed on the material, resulting in limited space.
He points out that the negative aspects of a product cannot be hidden in small print on the back of packaging, as potentially dangerous substances or ingredients need to be made visible so that consumers like diabetics who may be affected, will not miss important information.
The CPA came into effect on April 1, 2011. Its aim is to protect consumers and, therefore, it impacts on the way companies are required to present their products to them.
“In the past, packaging did not tell consumers everything they needed to know. This law will help to make packaging more authentic and truthful. It is a great way to ensure that consumers are protected,” comments Botha.
Meanwhile, he states that because packaging is such an important part of the purchasing decision and experience, many brands need to rethink their packaging in terms of how digitally savvy consumers expect to engage with it.
“It’s not enough to put a quick response (QR) code on a box or packet, especially if you’re a high-end, fast-moving consumer goods brand. Consumers want immediate access to information.”
A QR code is a two-dimensional code with a large storage capacity, compared with universal product codes.
However, the use of QR codes did not receive the desired feedback from designers and consumers in the packaging industry, he states.
“Many companies placed QR codes on packaging materials and when consumers scanned the code with their phones it diverted them to the company’s website address. This questions why companies do not put their website address on the packaging instead of a QR code, as it would be less work for the consumer.”
Packaging needs to enhance purchasers’ status and it has to help them navigate information and appeal to their senses, while capturing the brand’s essence, says Botha.
As such, packaging design that provides adequate information and interacts with the consumer at this level, while also conforming to environmental responsibilities, has arguably become more important in our digital world, he concludes.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
Other Environment News
Electrical engineering and electronics company Siemens will, by 2017, have supplied a total of 157 wind turbines to wind energy projects in South Africa, following a 2014 contract that committed Siemens to supplying wind turbines to a consortium led by wind and solar...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...