5 Packaging Strategies to Reach Millennials

September 01, 2015

Oh, Millennials, how we love to write about you, talk about you, write long-winded think pieces about you. And quietly you just keep moving along and changing the world…seriously, you are. Millennials comprise the largest generational group ever, with 75 million millennials in the U.S.

Let’s put it this way … in 2014, there were more people who were 22-years-old than were people of any other age.

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Resistance is futile.

When it comes to packaging—and it always comes back to packaging with us—we know that millennial buying trends are shifting the industry. This generation is blurring the line between packaging and product. In short: there is no package because the package is part of the product. This presents unique challenges to companies who want to reach millennials, requiring brands to overhaul packaging strategies.

To help get your brainstorm wheels turning, we’ve put together this list of five strategies to reach the hearts and minds (and buying power) of millennials:

1 – Change it up with limited-run retail packaging.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 9.10.17 AMLimited-run packaging helps break through the retail clutter by creating a sense of scarcity. By simply changing up your look, you can keep the attention of a shopper for a split second longer (an eternity in the retail shopping game).

Sprite is doing this now with lyrics from platinum-selling rapper, Drake, on cans and boxes, exemplifying a limited-run design positioned to hit a target market, showcase design creativity, speaks the brand’s values…and only available for a short time.

2 – Make your packaging sustainable.

If you’re a regular visitor to the Ernest Blog, this is no surprise to you. We’ve been preaching the sustainable trend pretty hard. Hopefully, you’re getting the message. Sustainable packaging marks a key trend moving the industry—partly thanks to millennials’ desire for eco-friendly products…and it’s the right thing to do.

If you want more, you’ll find a lot of great sustainable packaging ideas on our Pinterest page.

3 – Tell them what they want to hear.

If your packaging and processes are earth-conscious, you need to tell shoppers! Be visibly sustainable. Or, if a percentage of sales are donated to a charity or cause, be sure to highlight that in your design. Millennials want to have a positive impact on the world. If buying your product makes the world a better place, then it’s a win-win (for you, not the competition).

4 – Make them want to keep/reuse packaging.

Millennials who love a product’s packaging don’t want to throw it away. If they like it, they’ll keep it and find a way to reuse it to store or decorate their home.

5 – Make the experience shareable.

Social sharing from consumers is a booming trend, and digital-savvy millennials love sharing good experiences online. Having packaging that is exciting, unique, creative and reusable makes it more likely that a buyer will take a photo and share it with their friends. Check out our “Unboxing Better Customer Experiences” white paper to learn more about this social sharing trend.

Pro Tip: Go With Ernest

We love engineering custom-built and environmentally friendly package designs. In other words, we’re experts in packaging millennials love, which isn’t too bad considering we’ve been around since the 1940s—we’re young at heart and always evolving. Contact Ernest Packaging Solutions today to learn how we can craft the kind of packages that let millennials know you’re talking about their generation.