We all know the adage; ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but when it comes to packaging, the response it evokes can be the difference between a brand’s success and failure.
Whether sold online or on-shelf, packaging plays a vital role in signifying a brand’s worth to the consumer. In some cases, it may be the only touchpoint a product has, yet despite this, it’s often overlooked as a key marketing tool.
Here are 5 points to consider when packaging your brand for success.
Consider your impact
Packaging, especially the use of plastic, is under scrutiny more than ever before. Looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of your packaging should be a major consideration.
It may seem obvious but ensuring your packaging is sustainable is crucial for any credible products aimed at eco-conscious consumers. Those found wanting, risk serious backlash from savvy shoppers challenging the authenticity of your brand message.
Innovations in this field, including packaging made from plant-based materials are beginning to make their way to the mainstream and could give your product a clear USP above competitors.
The imperfect nature of this type of packaging can also enhance the hand-crafted aspect of a brand. The key here is to align your packaging with your product so the two marry perfectly.
Appeal to the senses
Packaging luxury products is all about building value perception by triggering an emotional response to the brand. This can be done using high-end print finishes such as tactile varnishes and through careful consideration of the unboxing experience. Adding layers, textures and even scents can build an element of suspense to delight the person opening it.
Providing a memorable un-boxing experience is also relevant for online purchases as that may be the customers’ first tangible experience with your brand. You only get one chance to make a good first impression!
Utilise the space available
Although minimalist packaging design may look sleek, pairing back your messaging too far could mean that your brand gets left on the shelf.
It’s important to make sure the hierarchy of messages is correct for how the consumer shops the category and that they can quickly understand how it will meet their needs. This is especially true for FMCG brands such as meal-kits for time poor consumers.
Using the available space in a clever way can provide extra room to highlight your brand’s USP. Examples of this include printing on the insides of the pack or the back of labels to maximise real estate or even including a card inside a box.
Enhance the experience through smart packaging
On-pack technology is another way to tell or enhance your brand message in a limited space. Wine brand ‘19 Crimes’ uses augmented reality, via an App to bring the different characters on their labels to life. This technology sets the brand apart in its category and enabled the producer to reach a new audience.
NFC (Near field communication) is another means of providing additional information to shoppers through a chip concealed within the packaging itself with the data available to anyone with a smart device held closely to the pack.
Think beyond the pack
If your product is designed to sit on-shelf, it’s important to consider how it will be displayed and what products it will be competing with. Shelf ready packaging (SRP’s) are a main stay for retailers so they’re able to quickly and easily restock shelves.
Quite often, these are an afterthought for brand owners, but they should be considered a valuable piece of brand real estate.
Done well, this secondary packaging enables a brand to dominate the fixture and works harmoniously with the product packaging.
Done badly and your key selling messages can be hidden from view in a brown carton that does more to damage your brand than enhance it.