PACKAGE DESIGN | CONSUMER RESEARCH | BRAND EQUITY
“Product Ventures is a unique design agency because their in-house consumer research lab informs the design process. Their research team is phenomenal and the insights they uncovered informed the package design process to ensure the success of Plenity as a new-to-market product. Product Ventures understood our needs as a client and proved the value of their holistic approach to design.”– Angela Barile, Senior Director Consumer Experience, Gelesis.
SITUATION: NEED FOR DISCRETE AND PREMIUM HEALTHCARE PACKAGING
In 2019, Gelesis introduced a new-to-market weight management solution called Plenity. The company wanted the Plenity packaging to be discrete while also providing a premium, value-added, branded experience to consumers. Gelesis had launched a limited, invitation-only trial of Plenity in May 2020 and began to plan for a national launch in 2021. The company chose to revisit their packaging design by working with a packaging design agency before launching their product nationwide.
Our work was focused on optimizing the secondary packaging for Plenity’s single dose pods, including a premium unboxing experience for the initial “welcome” kit; portable, counter-worthy containers for the Plenity pods; and environmentally friendly refill kits. These packaging deliverables were designed for existing packaging for Gelesis’ Plenity pods.
CHALLENGE: UNBOXING PACKAGE DESIGN DRIVEN BY CONSUMER INSIGHTS
For Plenity to be a successful weight management solution, the packaging needed to be discrete while also aiding the consumer’s ability to stick to a schedule. The Plenity product is intended to be taken twice a day, every day, prior to lunch and dinner. This schedule of intake meant most consumers would be using the product outside of their home. The packaging of the product needed to be durable to withstand the rigor of frequent travel, while also providing a premium experience that would make the package “counter worthy” — ensuring consumers would keep the package in sight and remember to take it — without drawing attention to itself.
Research was integral to this project and required different methodologies at different stages. For example, Gelesis had already launched a limited trial of Plenity in 2020 with generic packaging. These trial participants were spread out across the United States, requiring remote or digital outreach to successfully uncover insights into satisfiers and dissatisfiers with the trial packaging.
Later in the project, our team utilized in-house qualitative research for feedback on prototype designs (including some local Plenity customers). Toward the end of the project, we relied on remote interviews for follow-ups with existing Plenity customers to gauge their experience with the new packaging design.
APPROACH: PREMIUM UNBOXING PACKAGE DESIGN SUPPORTING BRAND EQUITY AND CONSUMER CONVENIENCE
Gelesis provided Product Ventures with notes on what they hoped the packaging of their product would accomplish to provide the most value to their consumers. Among these identified preferences included the desire for the consumer to have a premium experience — specifically in the unboxing experience of the “welcome” kit. Additionally, Gelesis expressed the container for the Plenity pods should be discrete while also aiding consumers in their ability to keep on-track with the prescribed regiment of the product. Product Ventures’ design team performed an audit of inspirational packaging possibilities – both in and out the category – with a lens toward things considered “premium.”
To provide a premium experience, Product Ventures developed multiple prototypes of the “welcome” kit and different prototypes of the containers meant to hold the Plenity pods. The final design was an aluminum container that held a lightweight “sleeve” that organized the pods and slid into the container. This design allowed for the durable container to be shipped once in the “welcome” kit, while subsequent packages would simply ship additional lightweight sleeves holding Plenity pods without additional containers. This reduced the amount of materials needed for refill packages and the cost of goods for shipping refill packages to consumers.
The aluminum design was durable, but also discrete for consumers. Plenity’s brand equity was conveyed in the package design of the container through the placement of a branded “P” on the lid, but otherwise the package design did not draw attention to itself as weight management product. These containers were optimized in size to fit the Plenity pods snuggly but the pods could still be easily accessed due to the lightweight sleeve acting as an “elevator” dispenser. Consumers could pull on the tab of the sleeve to easily lift out exactly one Plenity pod without needing to squeeze their fingers inside a narrow container or flip the container upside down to access the pods.
RESULT: NEW HEALTH PRODUCT PACKAGE DESIGN SUCCEEDS IN MARKET PENETRATION
Gelesis reported great satisfaction with Product Ventures’ work — specifically because our holistic design process incorporated consumer research and insights when designing prototypes.
“Product Ventures is a unique design agency because their in-house consumer research lab informs the design process. Their research team is phenomenal and the insights they uncovered informed the package design process to ensure the success of Plenity as a new-to-market product. Product Ventures’ understood our needs as a client and proved the value of their holistic approach to design.”
Plenity launched nationwide in late 2021 with a significant awareness campaign that began in January 2022. Following that campaign, Gelesis announced the company acquired roughly 4,700 new Plenity members per week and the company anticipated a net product revenue of $58 million in its first year of launch.
Want to hear more specifics about our process for this project? Contact us.