Packaging Luxury Products

Discovering Luxury

What if the word “luxury” was banned? Marie Lena Tupot and Tim Stock, founding partners of a global innovation consulting firm called scenarioDNA, raise that question in their book The Culture of Luxury.

The question to most consumer goods brands is: if “luxury” ceased to exist, would their products still be relevant? With more focus on pristine packaging for luxury items, Tupot and Stock share their thoughts on the best way to package the world of luxury.

How do you define luxury?
Webster defines luxury as “something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary” – and we concur. However, we would add that contemporary luxury is further defined by what it is not: ostentatious, wasteful, and gaudy.
Today, luxury is confidence, self-possession and having the knowledge to accept all of the immeasurable intangibles that come together to make a product irresistible to one’s desire. Luxury is no longer one concept, or the vision of a singular group of people. What is defined as luxury to one person might not the case for the next.

Why is the exterior of a pack so important to the user experience?
The exterior of the package expresses the values a luxury product stands for. No marketing campaign or TV spot can take the place of how a product presents itself in person. People that are willing to spend more today, also expect to know what they are getting immediately. They are making decisions based on data and return on investment.

If you buy something that is considered a luxury, it should consistently present itself as a luxury, whether it is ermine or sausages. The feeling of indulgence shouldn’t wait until the sausage is cooked and served — there needs to be a relationship from the product to all aspects of packaging. Labels alone do not demonstrate the value of a product.

Can you give us an overview of the new trends of luxurious packaging goods?
There is a huge range of diversity across luxury products, and because of this we are also seeing variety in packaging. In some cases we see simple and discreet designs but on the other hand, luxury packages are using texture and surface to reflect the nature of the product inside.