‘The new luxury’ – what does it mean and how does it affect the packaging industry?

Pearlfisher explaines

The concept of luxury is being redefined, particularly by a younger affluent target group. They increasingly value technology and experiences at the expense of traditional luxury goods such as jewellery, watches and bags. What does this mean and what significance does it have for the packaging industry? We asked Pearlfisher’s Strategic Creative Director, who works with many clients in the premium segment, about his views on this.

Pearlfisher has recently set up an office in Copenhagen and the Scanpack team had a coffee with its Strategic Creative Director, Jesper von Wieding. With over 25 years’ international experience, Jesper has won a large number of awards. He has long been a board member of Design Denmark and is one of the initiators of Creative Circle, Denmark’s most prestigious advertising, design and digital award.

The definition of luxury is undergoing a major change. What’s happening?
According to Jesper, it’s about a sense of responsibility and an attitude that ‘less is more’ from a CSR perspective. A modern view of luxury is knowing what you need and choosing it. Not more. The product or experience should reflect yourself, your intellect and what you represent. It’s also more important that the company you buy from operates in a sustainable and conscious way, that they demonstrate a ‘point of difference’ both socially and environmentally. The extravagant mostly generates a big ‘Why?’ and often feels old-fashioned here in Scandinavia.

How does this affect the packaging?
“Previously premium packaging used the most expensive material, had the most exclusive printing and as much bling as possible, but that’s no longer the case, and it’s mainly the younger generation that has a different attitude. A clearer awareness has developed. The product, its function and what it says about the user are most important and the packaging should reflect this. Consumers want quality and function, not just a prestigious brand.”
Jesper continues: “At Pearlfisher we see ourselves as a partner to the client and we take part in the whole work process, including the product development itself. A team may comprise an agency, a brand owner and a packaging company. When we work together and can start the joint process early on, the result is also best of all. We want to demonstrate that you can improve efficiency through good design and also create a wow feeling.
“We talk about an ‘actual effect’, a ‘desired effect’ and finally a ‘perceived effect’. The last of these – how the end-consumer perceives the product – is the most important. The battle for the customer will take place on social media and on the store shelf, not through advertising and newsletters.”