Every year sees the launch of almost 30,000 new products, but 70% to 80% of these offerings fall flat. Your business can beat the odds by paying attention to your product packaging. Done right, packaging can be as memorable as the product itself and significantly impact consumer buying decisions.
Product packaging is an essential part of your company branding and presents opportunities to set yourself apart from the competition. Whether you work with a design team or go it alone, using specific colors and images can evoke moods and inspire customer feelings that you can leverage to improve sales. Just follow these packaging tips to win buyers’ hearts.
How to package your product
Your packaging should articulate what makes your brand different. Try to think outside the box (no pun intended!) while keeping the material functional, and focus on how the packaging can cultivate a holistic customer experience.
If your budget allows, it’s wise to hire an experienced packaging designer or design team to help bring your brand’s identity to life through your packaging. They will help you choose the right design and color scheme to evoke whatever mood you’re looking to create. Furthermore, when your packaging shows craftsmanship and attention to detail, you’re more likely to create a unique brand identity and stand apart from the competition. Consider the following tips to create a “wow” factor with your packaging and increase sales.
Know your target market to make an impact.
For a brilliant packaging design, always consider the demographics of your ideal customer. If you want to succeed in a competitive market, it’s important to know the consumers most likely to purchase your products. Understand your target audience; know their pain points, preferences and buying habits; and customize your packaging accordingly.
Make low-cost packaging look chic with customization.
Great packaging doesn’t have to mean expensive packaging. Some brands can make an impact with even the most straightforward product packaging. You can step up your packaging strategy without breaking the bank by adding layers, textures or stylish typography. In fact, a simple packaging design is more effective if the market is visually agitated.
FYI: Product packaging can have a direct correlation to profit margin. For example, if you decrease your overall packaging costs by volume or material, you can reduce the price of your product. Conversely, upgrading your product packaging in material or customization can help you increase the cost of your product by making it seem more valuable.
Use clever packaging to create an unboxing experience.
Nothing works better at sparking brand loyalty than triggering an emotional reaction. If you can get your product packaging to make the consumer feel something, it’s sure to create a buzz in the market. Just as people love to unbox the newest Apple product, your packaging can offer a fun, hands-on experience that lends itself to sharing on social media.
Did you know? YouTube’s unboxing videos, which feature people opening products of all types, have millions of views. In fact, Packhelp found that 90,000 people type “unboxing” into YouTube every month.
Go eco-friendly with the design to boost your brand identity.
Any product packaging that can be reused or recycled will appeal to the eco-conscious consumer. Research from Statista revealed that 45% of consumers are interested in sustainable or environmentally responsible brands, and 44% of consumers are interested in brands that support recycling. If your product packaging has a positive environmental impact, you can really stand out in the market and earn respect. Puma’s product packaging that doubles as a reusable poster is a brilliant example of product packaging that communicates a purpose and makes the brand stand out.
Your consumers are actively screening multiple products simultaneously. The surest way to make a difference at this point of consideration is by being smart with your product packaging.
Benefits of good product packaging
Good packaging is an essential feature of a successful product. Proper packaging significantly influences consumer behavior, and it’s more effective than even traditional advertising at setting a brand apart from the competition.
Packaging is the first thing a shopper sees when they encounter a product in stores, and this first impression has a subtle yet lasting impact. If your packaging is dull or poorly designed, it will psychologically lead buyers to assume the product quality is the same as its outward appearance. But if the packaging successfully grabs attention and radiates quality and luxury, consumers will be more inclined to sample something they’ve never tried before.
Here are four reasons product packaging gives businesses a competitive edge.
1. It helps you stand out.
For every product on the market, countless brands are vying for customers’ attention. One way to clear the clutter and stand out from the crowd is to ensure your product packaging is captivating. You can be incredibly bold and playful to attract attention, use stylization with quirky patterns to make your packaging shine, or tell a unique story with your packaging’s text and imagery. You have endless possibilities to make your product’s packaging speak for itself.
2. It influences a consumer’s purchase decision.
The colors, patterns and textures in your product packaging play a role in a consumer’s purchase decision. The human brain reacts to patterns and colors in unique ways, so choosing your colors wisely can really pay off. Study your target demographic and customize product packaging for maximum impact on the retail shelf.
3. It makes a great marketing tool.
People make a purchase decision within seconds of being presented with a product, which is why product packaging is a brilliant marketing tool. Messages on packaging can bring a smile to your face or trigger a sweet memory. Messaging has emotional appeal, which is key for establishing a connection between customer and company. Use the text on your packaging to sell the prospective consumer on your product and your business.
4. It increases brand recognition.
Ever wonder why consumers recognize branded products in an instant? Product packaging that includes the company logo with signature fonts and colors boosts brand recognition and increases recall. So take a moment to make those minor tweaks to leave a massive impact on the consumer’s mind.
Bottom Line: Your packaging should be your company’s calling card and an essential component of your brand identity. It should show your customers why you’re superior to the competition in a bold yet subtle way.
Importance of packaging for online businesses
Packaging isn’t crucial for brick-and-mortar companies only. Attractive and useful packaging is vital for e-commerce businesses too. You can easily save money on shipping, delivery and overall marketing costs by making smart choices with your packaging design for products sold online.
It reduces your overall product costs.
With customer returns on the rise, it’s important to ship your product with care to minimize product returns. If your product is consistently arriving damaged, you will incur return shipping fees and inventory costs. To prevent this, use packaging that is a common size, is uniform in shape and arrives in giftable condition.
It helps you build brand identity and improve your marketing.
Has a customer’s online review of your products ever mentioned the packaging? If not, chances are you have room for improvement in this department. Packaging often affects the first impression your customers have when receiving your product. In a sea of generic Amazon packaging, you can make your product stand out by incorporating a personalized feel. Does your packaging reflect access to additional information, such as your company website or social media? Both primary and secondary packaging can make or break a second purchase.
It’s a source of information for the customer.
Packaging can inform the customer of ingredients, expiration date and instructions. A product that lacks essential packaging information can lead to more returns, indifferent reviews and a competitor taking your share of the pie. You’ll also save the customer time if everything they need to operate or build your product is right in the packaging instead of located somewhere online.
It could inspire social media shares.
Many customers like showing off not just their new products, but the cool packaging those products come in. If potential consumers can’t window-shop your online-only products in physical stores, social media sharing may be the only way they learn of your eye-catching offerings. The more your packaging stands out, the more likely the purchaser will consider it Instagram-worthy, leading to word-of-mouth marketing.
It’s a way to keep up with the times.
As technology advances, packaging continues to evolve in complexity and is no longer limited to 2D ideas. Companies are currently experimenting with packaging powered by AI (artificial intelligence) or AR (augmented reality). AR can be implemented through QR codes or by adding advanced features to a mobile app. With these tools, your traditional flat packaging now provides the customer with videos, 3D models, audio and linked text. If you have an online business, digital-minded packaging will give the impression your company is on the cutting edge.
Abhijeet Shah contributed to the writing and research in this article.