In today’s ‘Darwin’s world’ of change, there are only two choices: adapt or perish.
Rekha Pamani-Gulati, Director - Business Development, DY Works, shares her thoughts on change and adaptation in the world of ‘Darwin’s Packaging’


With marketers and advertisers launching ICBM’s (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) at every juncture in our lives  – media, outdoor, internet and so on – how does a brand stand the test of time and not get overshadowed by the new kid on the block?
That brand has to be Spencerian!  (Herbert Spencer incidentally coined the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’)
Creating a Brand World and owning a Brand Language has increasingly become more relevant to brand survival - Packaging and graphic design is one of the most important extensions and expressions of this.
Consumers buy packs, hold and flirt with packs and take them home - they always did and they always will – it’s no wonder that some brands are continuously repackaging themselves to look better, convey their benefits better, to stand out against the clutter, to be recognized and ultimately to be picked up!
Packaging & Design makes promises to its consumers. This could be through structure, closures, dispensing mechanisms, messaging hierarchy, refill packs, multiple skus, variants, brand extensions and graphic elements that become synonymous with that brand or product. They convey a message and fulfill a need.

Antiquity Blue Whisky – created a revolution in its space as a trendsetter – possibly the first bottle globally where the neck of the bottle was designed as the spine of the bottle. Noticeable and not replicable!
Cadbury Dairy milk promised safety sealed new packaging post its worm scare from one supplier – consumers were reassured with that new quality packaged promise seal.
Skincare cosmetics are introducing more textures and sensorials to the substrates being used.
Gold and Global packaging standards are being adopted and reinvented.
Resealable, Reusable and Recyclable packs are the order of the day – ‘be sustainable or die ‘ will be the future mantra.

The first chapter in Anand Halve’s book Darwin’s Brands (not to mention the front cover of the book) showcases Thums Up – a brand that has stood its ground and over time adapted cleverly to counter the plethora of imagery that we are bombarded with. This is in a sense an addendum to that topic!
The brand line ‘Taste the Thunder’ captured the experience while the visual complimented the concept – today Thums Up continues to hold its ground next to the other colas.
Opening Happiness or the drink of the New Generation have not displaced this Indian stalwart – its trademark Thumb has been contemporized, the visual vocabulary of the brand has been extended and the brand continues to remain true to its core – more dum/more power!

Initially available only in glass bottles – over time has extended to pvc bottles and cans – adopting the very need of the changing consumer needs and trends and reinterpreting thunder. The thunderous shadow, which held the design back rather than propelling it forward has been contemporized yet not alienated the core users, the refinement of the hand silhouette from a workman like to a more youthful thumbprint and a refinement of the typeface from archaic to modern has made the brand and the pack more assertive and taken it to a modern space making it more relevant.

Packaging has and will always be the moment of truth…. “The silent salesman has become the vociferous shelf shouter!

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