Smart Packaging Is The Future: Packaging Strategies of HUL, ITC, Red Bull and more


You can bring the customer to you but you can’t make him buy your product. Many brands do heavy advertising and offer sales promotions but still fail to reach the customer’s home/office. Why?


Because the truth is that even if you have lured the customer by fancy advertising or promotion schemes, if the product fails to look good at the point of sale, all the heavy marketing investment goes to waste. If your marketing plan was incredible, the promotion offer was undeniable but your packaging was awful and unprofessional, all the previous hard work of your marketing team and investments serves no good.

So how do we make all those marketing investments worthwhile?

The customer attention span is as short as 10 seconds and if your product fails to stand out and grab his eyeballs in that time span, you lose that customer and your competitor acquires him. The basic formula to get attention is to level up the packaging! Shape is the first thing which gets noticed by a customer’s eyes while scanning through a tonnes of other products. This is why MNCs always work with professional creative agencies to bring out the smart packaging that instantly hits a chord with the prospective customers. The creative agency ensures that MNC’s products outpace their competitors’ with strategically and technology driven packaging that is modern yet feasible.


Shape matters.

Packaging that makes you look responsible

Customers are increasingly shifting towards responsible brands. Hence, it is essential that your packaging demonstrates you in good light, portraying you as a responsible corporate. For example: If you are a technology company, a simple line like “for every purchase, we contribute 2 Dirhams to fulfill the dreams of underprivileged children in the GCC, KSA, Gulf Area.” is likely to bring in 10X more attention. This is what MNC’s have been doing for a long time now. Multinational Conglomerate ITC mentions on its packaging of select food and stationery items that a part of the sale proceeds will go towards water conservation and tree plantation.

Sustainable Packaging

With the world becoming more Earth-conscious and sustainable, many MNC’s are trying to gain customer’s confidence and attention through sustainable methods of packaging. For instance, FMCG giant HUL uses r-PET blister packaging (80% recycled packaging) for its products like Pepsodent Toothbrush. It also introduced refill packaging for detergents and oils which was received well by its clientele, thereby keeping the brand in good books as well as increasing its revenue.

Innovation + Research based Packaging

As a part of its incredible packaging strategy HUL also collaborated with Disney to design packaging for its product – Kissan Jam. They featured cartoons on the pack and gave their otherwise normal packaging a twist by creating a squeeze tube. Again a huge success! The point to be driven home is that innovative packaging works magic when it is in sync with deep behavioural study of target audiences. Just putting innovative packaging or even simple packaging wouldn’t create wonders unless it has been designed with precision and backed by research.


HUL’s Kissan Jam in collaboration with Disney.

Its success story proves that good packaging results in good revenues.

Packaging that embodies your brand

Take Red Bull for example. Although an Austrian company, its packaging is often credited for its ever-growing global appeal. It’s neither sold in a 12-ounce can or in a bottle, nor does it have similar typography to that of its peers like Coca Cola or Pepsi. It stands out with its consistent packaging. “Like its product, Red Bull’s branding campaign is sleek and small,” says Nancy F. Koehn, professor at Harvard Business School.


Consistent packaging wins hearts and costs less.

The idea of consistent packaging is incredible, especially when you are dealing with a melange of similar products. All you have to do is invest in a packaging guideline which shall take care of all your packaging woes, at least cost.

Leveraging Technology

With digitalisation and Internet of Things (IOT), brands are rapidly moving towards reducing costs and increasing customer convenience by integrating technology innovations in packaging. E.G: QR codes to directly reach on the shop page or on social media pages or radio-frequency-ID tags and near-field-communication protocols, etc.


Fortune 500 brands such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Amazon have been using packaging incorporated with QR Codes. After using this packaging, these brands have observed a huge increase in sales and ROI.

What’s your packaging mantra and how do you plan to achieve it?

Taking inspiration from the brands and trending ideas we have discussed above, what is the kind of packaging you aspire for your brand? Would you want it to be created after studying the target audiences or would you go with generic packaging? Should your packaging be technology-integrated for high customer convenience? Like Red Bull, should your packaging embody the product inside? Would you work with professional creative agencies to create an exclusive packaging for your brand or go with generic packaging by common vendors which serve thousand other brands like yours?

Smart packaging or stale packaging — what’s your pick?

Also Read – Thinking About Redesigning Your Logo? Here’s How You Know It’s Time