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Is good design an asset for short term success

The BIG Packaging Debate

'Does good design ever get considered as an asset and who buys design?' will be the main focus at this year's BIG Packaging debate taking place at PACKAGING INNOVATIONS London Keynote Theatre, 4 October 2012, 3.15pm at the Business Design Centre.

There has been an increasing demand for design accountability as brand owners seek confirmation of its effectiveness. Marketers want to create new and interesting packaging to gain shelf stand out, retain consumer loyalty and attract new consumers to their brand. At the same time, purchasing departments are being challenged to reduce costs so they want their suppliers to decrease packaging.

“So how do we reconcile these two aspects of business and keep brands fresh and relevant with these apparently opposing needs?” asks Kevin Vyse, Director of IoPP UK, who will be chairing the debate.

Tim Perry Managing Partner at Webb deVlam comments: "Businesses need to be astute when identifying what consumers actually want, and why. People today are more careful with their money than ever, but value is not necessarily synonymous with low-cost or low-quality. Sometimes people want a richer experience and are happy to pay for it.”

Kevin remarks: “You often hear design professionals familiarising themselves with focus-groups to ascertain exactly what the shopper needs. This does help to create some accountability, but is this really enough? Packaging today has, in some instances, become cleverer than the product. For example, Smirnoff vodka designed its bottle to look like the skin of a fruit, Katy Perry's latest album smelt of candy floss, and a light bulb shaped bottle was recently used to reference the energy properties of a drink.”

Phil Huggett, Own Brand Packaging Manager at Wilkinson, adds: “Good design is THE asset. The UK is regarded globally as the leader of innovation & creative design, a fact we often forget! Our increasingly savvy retail customers recognise and will pay for great design, even in times of economic recession and irrespective of their social economic status.”

"Often design is utilised for short-term success - and that's OK. Who can blame our clients for going for some quick wins? They are under pressure to deliver results fast and with minimum spend. The trick is to simultaneously keep an eye on the bigger picture, ensuring that short-term initiatives are included in the long-term, higher-level strategic thinking," remarks Tim.

is a lively Question Time style session where branding and packaging professionals come together to discuss the latest topics. This year's panel includes Tim Perry, Managing Partner at Webb deVlam, Angus Montgomery, Editor at Design Week, Gordon Henman, Packaging & Technical Manager at Marks & Spencer, Sue Berry, Packaging Development Manager at Molton Brown, Phil Huggett, Own Brand Packaging Manager at Wilkinson and Kevin Vyse, Director at IoPP.

PACKAGING INNOVATIONS London takes place on 4 and 5 October at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London. will take place on the first day (4 October), starting at 3.15pm. If you are interested in visiting the show and joining in this live debate, then register for your FREE fast-track entry badge at

A drinks reception, for all those visiting the show, will be held after the BIG Packaging debate, at 4.30pm where you will be able to meet the panel and the rest of the speakers at the show.
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