Management Practice Insights


Management Practice Insights

Year: 2024, Volume: 2, Issue: 1, Pages: 6-10

Original Article

Package Simplicity Is Complex: When Simplicity Works And When It Doesn’t

Received Date:26 December 2023, Accepted Date:06 March 2024, Published Date:29 March 2024


As the global product packaging market is predicted to soar to $1.1 trillion in 2024, the challenge for retail marketers is “How I can make my packaging stand out on a retail shelf?” 1 And a related question, relevant for all packaged products, is “Can my packaging help not only increase customer acceptance, but also a customer’s willingness to pay?”, implying that the product can command a premium. Recent research by Lan Anh N. Ton, Rosanna K. Smith, and Julio Sevilla suggests that for most product categories, packaging simplicity enhances a customer’s willingness to pay, as it emphasizes perceptions of quality, purity or other benefits.2 However, the research also uncovered an exception to the rule: consumer-indulgent products. This essay provides cues for marketers, branding managers, market researchers and senior sales managers who want to enhance customer perceptions and improve their price premium.


1PlasPack, “What Does 'Packaging Is a Silent Salesman' Mean?,” Flexible Packaging Solutions - PPC Flexible Packaging (blog), July 5, 2022,

2 Lan Anh N. Ton, Rosanna K. Smith, and Julio Sevilla, “Symbolically Simple: How Simple Packaging Design Influences Willingness to Pay for Consumable Products,” Journal of Marketing, July 22, 2023, 00222429231192049,

3 Sean Walsh, Sean Walsh, and Walsh, “The Future of Global Packaging to 2028,” Smithers, December 22, 2023,

4 Walter Isaacson, “How Steve Jobs' Love of Simplicity Fueled A Design Revolution | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine,” September 2012,

5 The Yebo Group, “How the Tiffany's Box Redefined the Standard of Luxury Packaging | The Yebo Group,” March 30, 2021,

6 Shubhranshu Singh, “Simplicity Is Important To Win The Market - Forbes India Blogs,” Forbes India (blog), accessed February 5, 2024,

7 Christine Moorman, “Why Apple Is Still A Great Marketer And What You Can Learn,” Forbes (blog), January 12, 2018,

8 IKEA Museum, “How IKEA Took Flatpacks to a Whole New Level,” WordPress På Azure (blog), accessed February 5, 2024,

9 IKEA Global, “IKEA to Phase out Plastic from Consumer Packaging by 2028,” IKEA (blog), November 23, 2021,

10 Jennifer Bailey, “27 Chocolate Packaging Designs Delicious Enough to Devour,” 99designs (blog), October 4, 2021,

11 Steven Begley and Angus McOuat, “How Retailers Can Turn Private Labels into Powerhouse Brands | McKinsey,” October 30, 2020,

12 Vinyasa C., “(24) "Design Not Just What It Looks like and Feels like. Design Is How It Works.” — STEVE JOBS,” accessed March 5, 2024,


© 2024 Published by SPJIMR. This is an open-access article under the CC BY license (


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