Is Your Packaging Ready For The Vibe Shift?
Pop culture has long affected the packaging designs of many brand's products. Popular music, movies, books, and other forms of media directly impact the packaging materials of various companies.
Companies use elements of pop culture in their packaging design because doing so has proven to be an effective way to increase the sales of their products.
And while the aforementioned types of media listed above are often the major forces behind these dynamics, other cultural influences will also impact the design of many brand's packaging.
One of the most significant forces from pop culture that plays an essential role in shifting the aesthetics of many company's product packaging designs is what is known as a "vibe shift."
Vibe shifts often (sometimes overnight) change the way many consumers will interact with the products they buy.
Should companies who sell products to the consumers that are most invested in cutting-edge trends ignore a vibe shift when it occurs, there may be negative repercussions.
But, what is a vibe shift, and how does it affect consumer's buying habits? What are the consequences of not adjusting your product packaging to reflect the needs of those who value such significant trends?
And which types of companies should be concerned about vibe shifts as they relate to the success of their product packaging?
This article will explain what a vibe shift is and why it is crucial to consider when thinking about packaging design and aesthetics.
What Is A Vibe Shift?
A vibe shift is a moment in time when the most popular attitudes and aesthetics are abandoned. At the same time, a new set is simultaneously manifested and accepted by a large portion of the public.
Basically, a vibe shift is a big change in the most prevalent pop culture tropes that results in the need for brands to adopt new ideas and visuals to appease a large swath of the consumer base.
For example, what is commonly known as "woke" culture peaked in popularity between the years 2016 and 2020. However, this trend is ending as a new vibe shift is currently occurring, according to Allison P. Davis, Senior Culture Writer at the Cut - a part of New York Magazine.
What Are The Dynamics Of The Latest Vibe Shift?
Sean Monahan is the creator of the term “vibe shift” and owner of the trend-forecasting consultancy company linked to the popular 8ball Substack.
Sean says that the current vibe shift that is occurring now will lead to the mass popularity of decadence as well as higher interest in podcasts and substacks (as a potential replacement for blogs).
Sean explains that this current vibe shift follows on the heels of many previous shifts in the past, which included pop culture events related to major trends in music, fashion, film, and books.
Sean notes the rise of Donald Trump’s political career as a previous example of a significant vibe shift.
Need help optimizing your packaging design?
Why Is The Vibe Shift Important To Your Product Packaging?
Now, to be fair, when I first heard about vibe shifts about five years ago, I thought that the phenomenon was likely real but held no relevance for the world of business.
But that all changed last week when I noticed "vibe shift" was trending in the top 5 articles on LinkedIn. Shortly after, the term flooded my news feeds, and major media outlets everywhere discussed the importance of this shift in popular culture.
Now you may be wondering what vibe shifts have to do with packaging. For companies who are connected to the fashion, music, film, art, food, political, or entertainment industries, the answer may very well be "everything."
When major events like those associated with vibe shifts occur, consumers will often make it a point to buy products that are in line with the trends of the time.
This means if you are producing products for consumers who care deeply about staying on top of the latest trends, you need to be aware of vibe shifts as they happen and adjust your packaging materials and aesthetics as required.
Failure to do so may result in consumers leaving your brand for others who are on top of the latest trends which they seek to be a part of.
For example, the vibe shift that occurred during the rise of Donald Trump's presidential campaign is proof of how adjusting your product and its packaging can lead to massive sales and revenue when said trends are used as part of your brand's aesthetic.
Entire businesses were built, in some cases literally overnight, to meet the massive demand for consumer goods branded with Mr. Trump's name, likeness, and catchphrases.
Those companies which were able to gauge interest in that particular vibe shift ahead of the game were able to generate massive revenue as the trend became a national phenomenon.
For those who have eyes to see, it is easy to see how tapping into major vibe shifts can lead to selling large numbers of products.
When packaging is properly designed to meet the expectations of consumers wanting to stay on top of these explosive cultural events, you may be able to produce massive sales for your own business.
So, when a vibe shift occurs, it is essential to note what the predicted trends will be so that you can begin to brainstorm ideas for your packaging design in a way that will capitalize on those trends once they are fully manifest in popular culture.
Things To Consider When Redesigning Your Packaging
Regardless of if you are redesigning your packaging to meet the trends of the latest vibe shift or for some other reason, it is crucial to answer a few questions before moving forward.
But, what questions do you need to answer before proceeding with a packaging redesign project? Would you like to know which questions must be answered?
If you answered yes, then you will want to consider reading this follow-up article, Questions To Ask Before Redesigning Your Packaging.
With the information in this article, you will be able to figure out if you can implement a packaging redesign at this time.
About Nathan Dube
As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.