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Change is an amazing accelerator of innovation. This past week, Forbes estimated that the necessity of solving for distance will lead manufacturing to achieve five years of innovation and technical advancements over the next 18 months. It’s an great time to be so well-positioned to help solve the new challenges our customers and end consumers are facing.

In general, life these days has required innovative shifts to achieve important outcomes: connecting via digital “happy hours”, doing drive-by celebrations for birthdays and graduations, learning to be effective working and living in the same space, and even reducing our trips to the store. Think about the changes you’ve navigated in your own life, and take a few minutes to congratulate yourself on all of your adaptive innovating! Then, keep looking ahead.

Speaking of looking ahead, here’s what’s coming up in this week’s roundup:

  • How designers drive business results
  • The art of executing remote workshops
  • PepsiCo launches DTC websites to capture online shoppers
  • The challenges facing beauty & personal care
  • Maintaining resilience, your fitness, and your Teams meeting background



“The designer’s job is not to design. Instead, it’s to help the organization “win” by creating a competitive advantage.” -Ryan Rumsey, author of “Business Thinking for Designers”

Tips for Leading Remote Workshops

User experience researcher Nikki Anderson provides tips for hosting successful digital workshops. Many of her insights could apply to any meeting, such as:

  • Create structure– Define the goals of the meeting and provide an agenda
  • Gather your tools  – Understand what tools will facilitate the outcomes you’re looking for, then test them with someone else to make sure they work
  • Build rapport – Start off with a fun ice-breaker to get participants smiling and engaged
  • Mix up activities – Bring in physical materials and a mix of group and individual exercises to maximize thinking styles and creative potential
  • Seek feedback – Gather feedback on how things went, implement improvements, and follow up to say thanks and provide next steps
  • Have fun – Play background music during activities. Have treats, snacks, or a leave-behind scheduled for delivery before or after the meetings

Perspectives from the Field



Pepsi and Frito-Lay Betting Their Chips on DTC Websites

In April, PepsiCo reported a boost of 10% in sales due to consumers stockpiling of in-store snack staples. As consumer habits now show signs of permanent shifts toward online shopping, the company responded by launching two direct-to-consumer websites last week ( and


Challenges Ahead for Beauty and Personal Care

Fewer social and travel occasions, lower economic activity, and a reliance on in-store retailing are creating strong headwinds for the beauty and personal care industry. Here are a few predicted BPC outcomes from the attached Euromonitor report:

  • Personal care staples will fare best, with the most stable categories including core essentials such as liquid soaps, skin care, and hair care, especially among mass beauty (retailing through Walmart, Target, etc)
    • Private label is set to see an uptake also as customers maximize value-for-cost
  • Travel retail is poised to suffer the most devastating losses, leaving brands like Estee Lauder (23% in travel retail sales) in a precarious situation
  • Incorporating a digital/e-commerce strategy (see PepsiCo article above!) will be critical to stem losses and capture share among consumers who are now shopping online
  • As the self-care mindset sets in, opportunities exist for products that offer moments of indulgence and happiness in consumers’ daily lives and beauty routines



  • Check out this quirky video with solid advice for maintaining resilience during social distancing
  • Sneak in a quick workout in with the “Bring Sally Up” Challenge to the lyrical cues in “Flower” by Moby. Pick your move(s), track your progress, and see how many more reps you’re able to do by this time next month!
  • Add some visual interest to your next zoom call with this roundup of creative and pop culture backgrounds

Be safe, be well, be innovative… and I’ll be back next week.

Melissa Fehsenfeld

Design Contours is a series of weekly emails oriented toward helping you stay current on news and trends that are relevant to packaging design work, users, and customers. Please feel free to share feedback or suggest ideas for content you’d like to see in future editions.