Each year brings along shifts in trends and the year 2021, in particular, brought a faster pace of changes in marketing strategies, product design and execution — opening up a huge window for innovation and experimentation. It pushed all brands and agencies to think on their feet. Everyone had to go back to the drawing board to think of new ways to communicate with consumers as they started demanding products that are designed in comforting and sustainable ways with smart features that offer convenience and personalisation. Consumers’ outlook towards their health and wellness also evolved as the pandemic pushed them to re-evaluate their lifestyle. They have become increasingly aware of climate change and are willing to take an active approach to do something about it. They are also expecting brands to act as agents of change, be more transparent about the raw material they use and act sustainably.
So, in 2021, brands like Colgate, Diageo, WOW launched paper-based packaging and started keeping sustainability at the center of their products. With this trend, it is no doubt that all purchase decisions in the future will be completely driven by a product’s packaging material. Apart from a product’s ingredients, brands will be required to explain their recycling process too to attract consumers. As per a recent study conducted across Asia, consumers are paying attention to a product’s environmental impact, and affordability and quality were still the main driving factors behind a vast majority of purchases.
As a result, product designs have changed in the last two years. Brands have increased their focus on the ‘safety’ aspect of product packaging and design. And as consumers looked for ways to escape from reality, elements of optimism and local community flavours took center stage in the product design industry. Brands played more with bright, positive designs across communication, packaging, and other large facets of brand architecture.
With the arrival of Meta, the growth of artificial intelligence will also accelerate across the globe and brands will integrate AI into their product design.
As the year draws to a close, we speak to design gurus to find out what challenges lie ahead and a few trends that would monopolize the marketing world in 2022. Here is what experts had to say:
Lulu Raghavan, Managing Director, Landor & Fitch India
The design trend that has accelerated sharply in the past few years and that will explode and firmly take hold in 2022 is sustainable design. This is because of the perfect storm of environmental consciousness coupled with a desire for meaning that most of us as designers and creatives are experiencing.
The pandemic sharply exposed the horrors of climate change to us. It made us sit up and think hard about humanity’s collective actions that have contributed to the unprecedented global warming that has been creeping up slowly but surely in the past several decades. Whether it was the forest fires in Australia, the Winter storms in Texas, the devastating flooding in Maharashtra or the many other extreme weather events that popped up around the world with alarming regularity, we were choked beyond words and stirred up to think about how we got here in the first place.
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