Future 2049: It’s all about the package.

7 May 09

This is Part II of a series of predictions of the future in 40 years. Click here to view my previous prediction, Microwave World.

It’s all about the package.

Thanks to the proliferation of computers and online commerce across all economic classes, in the future we all use online shopping for 80% of our purchases. No more grocery stores (who needs them when there’s Fresh Direct or Peapod? People used to waste an hour in a grocery store? It’s one less stop in the ‘food chain’ if I get it right from a ‘distributor’ like Fresh Direct anyway right?).

With all of our food being delivered directly to our door, our first point of interaction with a brand for many is now AFTER the purchase decision has been made, not before.

What’s the implication of this? Marketers and brand experts now put almost all their emphasis on the packaging of an item – injecting all kinds of functions, incentives, and whiz-bangs into it – ensuring that your brand ‘interaction’ is good when you open the grocery box that arrives at your door. The most important part of branding is no longer about the ‘pre-purchase’ which used to be ‘at shelf’ in the store – this is due to the shift in consumer purchase habits; marketers now almost solely focus on the POST purchase and what they can do to make their package stand-out in the delivery box.

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Arm & Hammer’s Empty Bottle

15 October 08

It’s fall cleaning time. Time to take out the air condtioners and put the summer clothes into storage for a few months. In preparation, I headed to the store to pick up some supplies. Walking down the cleaning aisle, I was immediately struck by a new line of Arm & Hammer Essentials cleaning products. 

The concept isn’t new, nor is Arm & Hammer’s presence in the cleaning aisle; but the execution deserves admiration. Arm & Hammer Essentials is a line of eco-friendly, all-natural cleaning products in little refill containers with empty spray-bottles attached. Your first time, you’d purchase the bottle (which stands out because it’s empty on the shelf) and one included cleaning concentrate ‘refill’ (though I don’t think one can consider the first use a refill).  You simply fill the spray bottle with tap water, add the concentrated cleaning formula (they have all-purpose, glass cleaner, and a de-greaser). You then purchase packages of two concentrated refills every time you run out of the product. Read the rest of this entry »


Go Ahead, Litter

13 December 07

Pangea Organics, a young, “ecocentric” skincare/bodycare company, is the first manufacturer we’ve seen to actually deliver its products in plantable packaging. All of Pangea’s product boxes are made “using a Zero Waste process with 100% post-consumer paper and organic seeds like sweet basil and amaranth.” Customers simply have to remove the box’s label, soak the box in water for a few minutes, and then plant it directly outdoors or in a pot of soil. The company, which sells its products in Whole Foods’ Whole Body stores and other specialty outlets,  offers a full line of personal products, including soaps, scrubs, washes, toners, and cosmetics. Learn more at Pangea Organics.