Flash fiction. AOL’s CliffNotes in comic video formats. Retailers that gobble up high-end sale sites.
These three newsy trends all say small: Fiction that’s usually less than 1,000 words. Classics reinterpreted quickly for the non-reading public. And designer duds at reduced prices for an hour or so.
Thinking further, we figured out that packaging also ties the three together. Which got us ruminating about the power of packaging inside corporations.
Externally, we can all vouch for the impact of great packaging. After all, CPG companies spend millions and more on product look and feel, the way it’s displayed on shelves, in aisles, and end caps, how it appears in advertising and online.
As consumers, we’re attracted to bright shiny objects as well as cinematographically-challenging movies (Inception, anyone?). Many of us, regardless of generation, are captivated by the speed of Internet search and purchase, not to mention the ever-changing possibilities of digital networks. That, too, is packaging at its height, one of many time-proven ways to get us hooked into and using brands.
Rarely, though, do we ever get well-packaged communications as employees. Here are just a few examples to trigger some thoughts: For many and often legal reasons, communicating about benefits tends to be long and involved and simply not all that engaging. In quite a few businesses, corporate announcements are often ignored or stored in e-folders for later reference. Even major initiatives that bring good change to life don’t necessarily receive the kind of overall look and feel they deserve.
No, we’re not advocating good looks without quality content and well-defined metrics. Nor do we espouse internal advertising-type campaigns that are glitz sans information, and lack in-depth analysis and use of WIIFMs, up and down the ladder.
We’d like to continue the form-versus-function debate re communications: Does it matter if the package is Tiffany blue or UPS brown? Or, simply, that something worthy is inside?