Visual merchandising and product packaging is crucial in bridging the heritage of a brand’s identity and the uniqueness of its products. Whether your company is a savvy start-up or an established brand, an innovative product’s packaging is just as important as the product itself, as it’s one of the first touchpoints between your consumers, what your brand stands for, and what it means for your them.
Huemen works to deeply understand the desires and realities of the people we design for, and is focused on innovating at the convergence of product and service design. We’re committed to developing products that transforms the way experiences impact our lives. Creating aesthetically pleasing retail packaging that catches the consumer’s eye is the first step in that process.
Thus, while design – from a holistic standpoint – including visual, auditory, functionality and performance aspects has always been at the core of HARMAN, never before has it been more prominent than now, with the launch of our new Huemen Design agency.
We caught up with Huemen’s Senior Graphic Designer, Aina Moen, to discuss her role in retail communications with our Heumen Design team, and to uncover why it’s vital for brands to create smart, branded packaging that is attractive and also conveys the company's message.
Q: With so many factors competing for attention in the retail space, what does it take to create product packaging that is recognized by consumers and how can you maintain their attention for a longer period?
A: Many factors come into play when we develop new packaging design for our brands. We analyze our competitors and work closely with our business team, who obtain a good understanding of the customer’s wants and needs. HARMAN’s business team will share requests from retailers on what products sell best in store(s) and what improvements are needed to grab the attention of customers and essentially sell a larger quantity of our products. When our design team has a clear view of the market and customers feedback, we, as designers, create design concepts by referencing existing information. Simultaneously, we keep the core of the HARMAN brand top-of-mind. After the team has developed new artwork, we’ll then conduct consumer testing to see the effect of changing or updating our design effects (e.g.: do consumers respond to the design positively or negatively?).
To attract and retain consumer attention, I think it’s important to build consumer loyalty to the companies’ overall brand. As it is vital to develop a superior-quality product that functions effectively, I believe the packaging of the product and how it is marketed to the world is influential in converting product users into ‘fans’.
Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about your work? The most challenging? Do you get excited when you see something you designed ‘out in the wild’, so to speak?
A: It’s surreal to see the packaging we created out on product shelves in the real world! It’s truly rewarding, and makes me reflect on how proud I am to work with such an incredible team.
I would say designing a product package that follows the brand guidelines could be challenging at times, as it is important that the packaging looks like it belongs within the same family, but must differentiate each other at the same time. For instance, HARMAN’s JBL brand has such an incredible, wide product line – from small portables to large home systems, to sport designed headphones, to lifestyle audio; our goal is to differentiate each product to display its uniqueness to different user groups, all while maintaining the overall iconic JBL style.
It also could be challenging to work under a very large corporation with many decision makers. Similar to many other companies, although we are producing at a very fast pace, our new designs and developments have to go through a lengthy review process to be approved by many different stakeholders. However, it is a fulfilling feeling once they are approved internally and then distributed out in the world for consumers to see and experience.
Packaging plays a larger role than just protecting a product. It serves as a brand’s essential marketing tool, which emphasizes the product’s best features. From the moment of purchase, everything leads to the customer opening the box and this should be a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience.
Driven by strong creative rooted in technology, data, and business strategy, HARMAN has a deep understanding of the desires and realities of the people we design for, innovating at the convergence of product and service design. Thanks in part to Aina’s design expertise and direction, our design agency comprised of more than 250 highly esteemed, experienced, and award-winning designers is engaging audiences on an emotional level to transform customers into enthusiasts. And it all starts with the product packaging!
We’re always on the hunt for talented designers to join our expanding international design team. If you’re a gifted creative who strives to explore and push the edges of technology through innovative design, check out our careers page: https://jobs.harman.com/key/harman-design-center-jobs.html