Packaging is everywhere. It is fundamental to the consumer lifestyle, so it is hard to imagine life without it. It serves to contain, protect, preserve and market products. It enables products to arrive from any part of the world and reach your home. It sustains the quality of products over extended periods of time without losing quality, thus reducing environmental and monetary losses. Nevertheless, packaging, particularly plastic packaging, has developed a bad reputation when it comes to its environmental impact. Regulatory and consumer demand for eco-friendly packaging, driven by the desire to combat the scourge of plastic pollution, shows no signs of slowing.
Our mission is to accelerate the shift towards an ecologically sustainable future. Our strategy is a step forward ensuring that fossil resources are replaced by sustainable, natural alternatives. In order to do that we have developed an ecological, wood-based packaging material that is suitable for replacing traditional plastics in various consumer goods. The Woodly label signals the ecological values of packaging material to the consumer.
The consumer might not be an expert in environmental issues
Between 60-80 per cent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption. If we change our consumption habits, this would have a drastic effect on our environmental footprint as well. Households have a relatively large degree of control over their consumption, but they often lack accurate and actionable information on how to improve their own environmental performance and make better decisions. The role given to consumers to be an expert in environmental issues and ecological decision-making is problematic. The vast amount of information regarding the environmental impacts, technologies and legislations of different types of packaging is not easy to remember, compare and implement while shopping for groceries.
In our opinion the consumer does not need to be an expert in technology, science or in legislation. It is enough that the consumer recognizes the Woodly label we have developed with like-minded consumers. Our promise of better packaging options includes further developing our products and making the products with our packaging easy to understand and purchase.
Iterative co-creation helps understand behaviour and builds trust
The iterative process of co-creation – rethinking and redesigning with consumers – has built trust between us and the average consumer. This has been our way to involve consumers in product development and in the process, we have learned to communicate complex issues simply, truthfully and with openness.
The iterative design and research process we used is a simple concept. We interviewed and studied consumers through user research in small focus groups of 12 in several occasions with various products. We have identified user needs and generated ideas to meet those needs with a prototype for the label. Then we tested the prototype to see whether they meet the needs and standards of consumers in the best possible way. After that we took what we learned from testing and revised the label design with other focus groups.
Following that, we created a new prototype and began the process all over again until we and the consumers were satisfied that we have reached the best possible packaging label for release to the market. Over 400 consumers were developing the Woodly label with us and the result reflects the needs and wants of consciuous shoppers.
As a result of this co-creation, we learned how consumers feel about environmental issues and concerns regarding packaging materials. We were granted an insightful journey to the mind of a conscious consumer.
According to our studies:
- consumers pay attention to product packaging materials
- the packaging material in a product affects consumer’s willingness-to-pay, preferences and likelihood of purchase
- Sustainability is important to majority of consumers, but corporate promises of sustainable products and packaging are met with suspicion
- the most significant action is to communicate openly and sincerely with consumers and thus prove to be trustworthy
Brands who signal ecological interest win in the long run
Woodly’s features and environmental benefits were communicated with care to consumers and the communication process was refined throughout the research process. As a result of co-creation, the Woodly label encapsulates the essential core message – better for the nature. The label has a clear message, but it also guides the curious consumer to seek additional information from our website.
The promise of a more environmentally friendly material must be redeemed and thoroughly proven in the eyes of the consumer by providing open and truthful information that is easy to access.
In recent years many brands have sworn to adapt their existing packaging to respond to the needs of the environment. Brands communicating and educating their customers on how to responsibly use and dispose of packaging are winners of sustainability brand value in the long run. Clear messages of sustainability efforts as packaging symbols are also a solution to the problem of packaging seen as harmful to the environment. Woodly helps brands to fulfill their promises of sustainability to consumers and are forerunners in communicating it in product packaging.
We welcome You to follow our social media and website for more up-to-date information on our product development, partnerships, new products and services.
Download the consumer label study
Jaakko Kaminen, CEO