Coming up in client conversations lately is domo domo’s point of view on packaging design and how to address gender neutrality and appeal to Gen Z’s – particularly in more female-driven categories.
Gen Z or those generally those born around between 1997 and 2012 (9-24 years old)
are definitely breaking with traditional norms. They are more opinionated, driven by social causes and more selective when buying products. So, the keys to understanding the gravity of Gen Z’s shift to a more gender-fluid future is to understand the fundamental notion of authenticity, diversity and inclusion that is taking over culture and impacting the way we approach packaging design.
Despite the impact of gender fluidity issues, women remain the world’s most powerful consumers. In fact, Gen Z females are actually increasing their purchasing power within certain historically male-consumer dominated areas such as tech, sporting goods and DIY (as males, likewise, are increasing purchases in historically female-dominated categories – appearance and cosmetics). But as younger generations continue to reject stereotypes, traditional lines and definitions of gender identity are likely to become even more blurred. When it comes to product packaging, Gen Z’s do pay particular attention – but not in the same way that older generations do. The challenge – how do we reflect this cultural shift in packaging design?
As a whole, younger generations, and all genders, will choose brands that are more about relevant self-expression and imagination. Be lighthearted and slightly irreverent with branding, express feelings with upbeat graphics and energized color palettes; create experiential structures that make it fun to open and interact with your product.
Last, Gen Z is huge on environmental responsibility. And it’s both easier and cheaper to make environmentally friendly product packaging today. So, if you claim to be authentic and value-driven, show it. If you sell tangible products, make every effort to use sustainable design, equitably sourced materials, and showcase your company’s values.
As a Cincinnati-based boutique, packaging and brand design agency, founded and led by women, we leverage our unique feminine perspective, design expertise and commitment to social and environmental issues to support the brands and causes in which we believe.