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the message and the reality Talking about packaging means talking about communication. By leaving out the latter, you take packaging out of its context. Throughout history, humankind has grappled with a set of universal questions: Who am I? Who needs to know and why? How will they find out? How do I expect them to react when they do? From cave paintings to satellite communications, people, communities and organizations have been developing an infinitely complex sensory palette to express themselves visually and verbally. Humanity has always used symbols to convey values such as identity, pride, loyalty and ownership. Whether embroidered on a flag, engraved in stone or inserted in an e-mail, such powerful symbols emit an endless stream of connotations and awaken all kinds of emotions. The accelerated pace of life in the future will demand that messages reinforce the power of symbols more than ever. Competition for recognition is as ancient as the heraldic banners in medieval battles. The difference is that, while the latter took place within well-defined physical boundaries, borders today are transcended through cyberspace travel. Brands are the modern equivalents of the coats-of-arms of feudal domains. Back then, disputes were limited to territory; today the aim of competition is to grab market share and win space in the mind of consumers. Promise, idea, reputation and expectations are all encompassed in forge emotional bonds with consumers. And consumers love brands.


a brand name. Brands are valuable, though intangible, assets that

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They place their trust in them, establish strong loyalties to them and believe in their superiority. Why are brands so important? The short answer is: because they build companies, or, from the flip side, because an ineffective brand gnaws away at success. Innumerable products and services on the contemporary market are barely distinguishable from one another as companies turn into faceless monoliths. This is why differentiation is key.

Five seconds is all the time you’ve got to convince the consumer. That alone demonstrates the formidable challenge we face. Fernando Angilella and Carlos Ochoa, directors of Forum


FIVESECONDS The time a package on the shelf has to attract the consumer’s attention