Mark Christou, Founder & Creative Partner of ROOK/NYC, began his enlightening talk on "Packaging that Sells" with what he terms as the MVP of the company.
According to Mark, a brand's package is what constantly and consistently tells the story of the brand. It does it quickly, cleverly and disruptively. And consequently, it opens the doors to new partnerships in terms of consumers and investors.
Christou said: "Our job is to work as a team with clients to drive velocity. Don't sell the client the work. Sell the client the idea that sells.
He outlined six approaches to create successful packaging:
1) Packaging must make you smile, not just physically, but also in the mind.
2) Packaging must trigger a memory.
3) Packaging must make you feel that it was made for you.
4) Packaging must tingle the taste buds.
5) Packaging must speak without saying a word.
6) Packaging must sell and it must last.
He augmented each point with examples from his body of work, showing the "before" and the "after" transformative power of packaging that adhered to one of the six approaches he had highlighted.
He also urged designers to consider three principles as the consumer gets closer to the packaging. The first is "Intrigue at 10", which means designers need to study the environment, understand the category cues in order to disrupt the status quo and draw the consumer in; "Encourage at 3" where crafting is crucial to help consumers understand the message; and finally, "Convince at hand" when the consumer has the product in their hand.
Last but not least, Mark Christou talked about the results. He reminded his audience that their job as a designer is to build a valuable partnership by helping clients create tools to become successful or drive change.
Christou added: "When you create a great brand then customers are willing to pay for it."
Barbara Levy, President of LIA, said: "The role of a designer is so much more than nice visuals or typography. Packaging is not just the pretty face of the brand. It has evolved so much. Design today is not merely functional; it has become personal and can transform the way we live in terms of sustainability. It has a big say in how we solve problems, Ultimately, designers play a crucial role in the success of a product, brand or service."