On June 24th, DeeDee spoke at the 2012 Dieline Package Design Conference about a topic near and dear to our heartsâ€”co-creation with consumers.
What is co-creation?
We define co-creation as the process in which consumers and experts collaborate in a meaningful way with brands and product developers. At Sterling, we believe that co-creation is about establishing an open transmission of ideas, and an honest exchange between a brand, our team, category and topic experts, and consumers. The result? Big, actionable ideas that resonate with consumers and address specific needs and motivations.
Why is co-creation so important in design?
While we believe co-creation is appropriate for any branding challenge that involves a human being as the end user, weâ€™ve seen a growing need for co-creation specifically in package and structure design. This is due to the evolution of todayâ€™s consumers to become increasingly conscious of design, and as demanding about the presentation of a product as they are about the product itself.
Todayâ€™s consumers are inundated with beautiful design across all categories. They have come to expect nothing but the best when it comes to design.
The package is very often the first touchpoint of a brand with which a consumer interacts. To this end, itâ€™s incredibly important that structure and package design speaks to consumers, piques their interest, and encourages trial and usage. Co-creation helps us to ensure that it does.
Co-creating with the-Collaboratory:
In almost all of our work with clients, we engage the-Collaboratory, our proprietary database of brand enthusiasts from around the world, to gather insights and to work with us to develop new products, services, and designs. We seed hypotheses into the-Collaboratory and then we receive feedback, builds, and even blue-sky ideas in response.
Sterlingâ€™s co-creation process involves a number of unique inputs and an open feedback loop with consumers and experts.
Keeping this feedback loop open with consumers is incredibly important and a task that we put a great deal of time and energy into. To this end, DeeDee rounded out her presentation at the Dieline Conference with some design assertions that weâ€™ve heard first-hand from members of the-Collaboratory. What entices consumers? Gets them excited to try a new product? Keeps them coming back for more?Â Here are some thoughts, straight from the mouths of members of the-Collaboratory:
â€śExcess is out. I want understated, clean designs that let the product shine.â€ś
Unico Musk perfume designed by Lavernia and Cienfuegos; Voda Vodka designed by Mass Design; Sifteo Cubes designed by New Deal Design
â€śI see inspiration from around the globe in everything I do. Packaging should be no different.â€ť
Taiwan Centennial Blessing Tea designed by Bonho Inc.; Brickhouse Soaps designed by The Soap and Paper Factory; Ojon Hair Oil designed by designpackaging
â€śHand-crafted packaging and structure is a key indicator of a high quality productâ€¦and Iâ€™m not one to settle.â€ť
Bar Gelato by Naia, designed by Mette Hornung Rankin ofÂ Bureau of Betterment; Wahlâ€™sche Schnapsbirne by Stahlemuhle
â€śThereâ€™s something about haptic packaging. If it makes me want to touch it, Iâ€™ll likely also want to buy it.â€ť
Coopâ€™s Hot Fudge designed by Marc Cooper;Â Seedbom by Kabloom, handmade in the UK; Ten over Six Unisex Perfumes designed by Henrik Vibskov
Sustainability and Substance
â€śThese days, I want a package thatâ€™s more than just green. It needs to stand for something.â€ť
Boxed Water designed by Kevin Hockin and Benjamin Gott; Guactruck Mobile Eatery packaging is designed by Michealle Lee (owner of the truck) and encourages consumers to bring their packaging back in order to receive a free meal; The Replenish cleaner bottle reduces materials usage by 90%, designed by Jason Foster
Display-Worthy Design Objects
â€śI try to surround myself with beautiful design objects. Why should packaging and structure be any different?â€ť
Evian by Jean Paul Gaultier; 21 Drops designed by Purpose-Built; Lov Organic tea
â€śEverything in my life is mobile. I expect packaging to follow suit. I want streamlined, portable options.â€ť
Help Remedies designed by;Â GoGo Squeez Applesauce designed by Menage a Trios; Loffle Mich designed by Createam
What does this mean for brands?
In todayâ€™s environment, brands must do more to surprise and delight consumers. At Sterling, we believe that co-creation is one important way to do this.
As brand practitioners, we must not only listen to consumers, but also engage them in the creation process. We believe that the best packaging of the future, wonâ€™t just be designed for the consumer, it will be designed with the consumer.
DeeDee Gordon, President of Innovation at Sterling
Check back in for Full coverage of the concurrent,Â HOW Design Live Conference from the expert lens of Debbie Millman-Coming Soon!