Sensory Packaging: Beyond the Box

I was interviewed by Packaging World Magazine about "sensory packaging" last year. I think that the topic is more important that ever. Everywhere you turn brands are engaging a broader range of senses to elevate the customer experience, improve engagement, driving trial and purchase. 

I had a conversation with Microsoft a few months ago about how they might be able to "consider" with much more intent and attention the experience people have when they open one of their products. They have come a long way from the days of "What if Microsoft designed the iPod packaging"  but they still have a way to go. Their Surface box is really quite sexy with a really nice use of clean lacquer on black matte.

I discussed Apple with them, of course, how could you not? That's who they are watching and chasing of course. Who isn't? Apart from the admirable visual cleanliness of the pack design, the tactile experience, the tightness of the box seams, the nesting of the product, the feeling in your fingers when the box top pulls off is all completely "considered". Even the smell of the interior. 

Have you ever smelled the interior of a new computer box? You probably wouldn't even mentally register it, but I would bet that you have a olfactory memory of it.  There is even a company that makes a USB device that exudes smells. Imagine if they offered a "new Mac smell". I'd buy one. Just like the car "scent pine trees" that smelled like "new car". 

Olfactory memories are the most indelible that humans have. Every time I smell Chanel #5 I think of my grandmother. Every time. She passed 20 years ago. Every time I smell root beer I think of Deerhorn Camp in Wisconsin (long story…)

Here's my extended interview "The Sentient Side of Packaging" from Packaging World Magazine Anne Marie Mohan was a fantastic interviewer and I thank her for making sense of my ramblings where I discussed everything from scratch and sniff to velvet flocking.

You can download a pdf of the interview here.