2018’s Dirty Word – why is it so irresistible?

2018’s Dirty Word – why is it so irresistible?

It’s 2018’s dirtiest word, with endless bad press – so why do we see it succeeding time and time again at Product of the Year? From Ariel’s 3 in 1 washing tablets to Taylors of Harrogate’s Coffee Bags, convenience rules the roost year after year at the UK’s largest consumer survey of product innovation.

And it’s no wonder! We are a time-poor nation – possibly the poorest we have ever been – and shoppers love nothing better than to save themselves a little time, gobbling up products that can fulfil many needs in one. Whether it’s bake-in-the-box shortbread or gin that makes you look good (yes, it exists! Check out Collagin), it seems us Brits will do anything to save a few minutes.

Yet there’s no doubt that the word ‘convenience’ has a bad PR, conjuring up images of TV dinner, soggy microwave meals, and unglamorous reversible cling film. Ultimately, things that are ‘convenient’ very rarely feel sexy. It’s up there on the adjective shelf with essential and useful – we may need them, but there’s no point getting over-excited about them. And with brands fighting tooth and nail for shelf space, there’s no longer room for any product that doesn’t inspire excitement or interest in their consumers.

But the face of modern convenience isn’t plastic wrapped or long life. It’s sleek and streamlined, with recipe boxes delivered to our door, multi-purpose kitchen appliances, and no-mess solutions to cooking, cleaning, and even vaping. It’s 2018 – consumers are busy, tired, and need convenient solutions to every day problems, but with more money than ever before being spent on experiences over products, we need to bring a little more excitement to the every day. It’s high time we changed the public perception of convenience, from functional to fun-inspired.

Because you’ve done the innovation – that’s the hard bit. Now you’ve got to make your product sparkle, so that convenience isn’t quite the dirty word that it used to be. Stylish, brand-appropriate packaging, as well as a clear, consistent message, go a long way to changing these perceptions and making convenience glamorous again. Even better is an endorsement from over 10,000 consumers – now, where to find one of those…?