Brand Strategy & Packaging Design

TIN FOR THE WIN

Dyfed “Fred” Richards
CMO & Partner

June 13, 2019

I think we have all been tempted into buying that little tin box of mints, chewing gum or chocolates in the supermarket check-out line. These clever metal containers seem irresistible, special, even cute. Tin is a very flexible and malleable medium and something magical happens when we place products inside tiny tin containers. They transform the consumer experience, making it more special and turning the product purchase it into a collectable moment, while delivering on a unique opening experience.

Lately there seems to be a revival of tin packaging. Some designers – and consumers – see tins as nostalgic; a nod to times gone by when tin was the best packaging medium to protect food from spoiling. Granted, today’s tins are being marketed as an added benefit: In the case of beer, for example, we are now supposed to believe that beer in a tin-shaped bottle will stay colder longer than beer in a glass bottle. Call me a cynic, but to me the real advantage of this packaging is brand recognition from a distance, plus the added benefit that a tin bottle form can be branded all over as opposed to branding a paper label on a glass bottle. After all, if you really need to keep your beer cold for that long then you’re not drinking it fast enough in the first place!

Tinned goods also have value beyond looking good in a home, office, restaurant or car. Tins still keep their contents safe from harm – whether it is caused by heat or cold. However, the humble tin now serves a more noble purpose – enhancing product collectability. Tins can make their contents appear more precious to consumers. Often you will see the descriptor “limited edition” or “collectable” on a tin, suggesting that the 1 million-plus production run is restricted in some way. And this collectability extends beyond food products – DVDs, cameras, lip gloss, gift cards, tea bags, board games, herbs and power tools are now being housed in “tin-tastic” packaging.

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