Packaging is the first thing consumers see. And whether we like to admit it or not, packaging influences how we feel about what’s inside.
How can you stand out in a crowded marketplace?
Exceptional package design is as strategic as product development. That outer wrapping must be attractive and align with your brand. It has to be easy to open but not flimsy. It needs to tell people that what’s inside is exactly what they want.
In other words, packaging is a powerful marketing tool.
How does your packaging measure up?
Read on as we dig deeper into the power of product packaging and offer tips for boosting the value of your current packaging.
Great product packaging draws consumers. It compels consumers to open it.
But be careful. The expectations set by the packaging must align with the product inside.
Whether you plan for it or not, packaging creates a promise.
Unappealing packaging signals that what’s inside isn’t appealing. Yet, high-quality and beautiful packaging makes people believe the product will be of equal value and beauty.
No matter where your product lands on the quality spectrum, make sure the packaging sets appropriate expectations.
Typography and Colour
The first thing most people notice about packaging is colour. It’s the one facet that can be assessed from a distance and in an instant.
When choosing colours, address the basics before anything else:
- Colours must align with and reinforce your brand
- Production cost must fit the product price point
With those aspects covered, look to see how you can use the psychology of colour to make your product packaging stand out next to competitors.
Sometimes, the distinction can come from the typography used on the package. The main colour of a package can be neutral or common if the typography has a distinct colour or style.
The goal is to make it easy for consumers to spot your product from a distance and draw them toward it.
Don’t forget that clear can be a “colour” in this case. For example, distinct-looking products in clear plastic packages can increase consumer interest.
Product Packaging Materials
Clear plastic packaging is a great option in certain situations. But it’s only one of many materials that can create compelling containers for your product.
When deciding which material or combination of materials to use, consider these factors:
- Cost of raw material. For example, recycled cardboard often costs less than new.
- Cost of production. The more complex the assembly of the final packaging, the higher the cost per unit.
- How the material feels. Packaging texture influences decision-making. Make the texture align with the quality and reputation of the product inside.
- Durability. Product packaging needs to withstand shipping and consumer handling.
- Weight. This affects more than your shipping costs. It can also sway the decision to buy if the package weight doesn’t align with the product value or fragility.
Once you’ve found the right balance of those factors, plan for ways to help merchants store and display your products.
The shape of your product packaging can hold tremendous power. If it’s distinct and appealing enough, it can become a draw in and of itself.
A unique shape can make your product’s packaging as much “a thing” and the product. The evergreen example of this is Coke’s glass bottles. People have been collecting those for years.
But the shape doesn’t have to be that distinct to hold its own value. Triangular and circular boxes can be intriguing. If they also have visual appeal or are made from sturdy materials, consumers could be drawn to re-purpose them.
Yet be mindful of the potential downside to unusual shapes. Compared to standard boxes, unique shapes take more shipping, storage, and display space. That can cause logistical challenges for you and your merchants.
Shopping is based on emotion. Even when buying the most practical items, experience with the brand or the sight and feel of the packaging elicits an emotional response. Feelings of comfort, confidence, well-being, and pride are among the most powerful emotions that prompt us to buy.
When designing your product packaging, take the time to test it among your target market. Aim to create packaging that creates desirable emotions during the moment of purchase and afterward.
People who keep packaging to re-use, they deepen their connection to your brand each time they see the container.
And don’t underestimate the emotions of merchants. Store owners who recognize the emotional value of a product are more likely to give it prime retail and promotional space.
Ease of Use
You might not think of packaging as something consumers use but it is. They use it to get your product home. They have to use it to get to the product.
Packaging that is easy to carry and open can influence repeat purchases.
It can be argued that the evolution of packaging is often driven by production cost. But innovations in product package stay because of the effect on consumers. An everyday example is perforated pull tabs on cardboard boxes that hold products like cookies, cereal, cosmetics, and medication.
With so many choices in those categories, difficult to open packages can cause a consumer to think twice before buying that product again.
Putting It Together
Great package design and systems for displaying products balance the needs of your business, the merchants who sell your products, and the consumers who spend their money on your products.
Compelling product packaging also balances the emotions and practicality of selling and buying your products.
No matter the size of your business, ensure product packaging design and support for merchant display is embedded in your marketing strategy and campaigns.
Packaging is critical to product success.
We provide some of Canada’s largest consumer brands with professional packaging, display, and fulfillment solutions. To find out how we can help you get the most from packaging and displays, contact us today!