“Packaging is the front line of marketing.”
Getting your packaging right for your product is vital. Whether you’re an online or offline retailer, your packaging needs to reflect your brand proposition, be attractive to your target market and stand out from your competition. You need to be able to communicate your brand image in the mili-second that your potential customer scans the store shelf where you and your competitor’s products are displayed, and catch your customer’s eye, and hopefully heart.
5 things to keep in mind for packaging marketing:
Are you marketing to your target market?
The graphics / photography on your packaging should convey the message you want to communicate to your target market. For example if you are a luxury brand for mature consumers, you probably wouldn’t want to use bright, gaudy colours or childish images (cartoons) or childish writing. (Unless of course that is the new fashion and you have done a lot of research into it, and that is what your target market is attracted to.)
Your target market will be attracted and drawn to the imagery and colours that they like. Make sure you research what other successful brands are doing with their packaging. Make a mood board of their packaging colours, images and fonts, and even packaging shapes and materials – and you will start to form an idea of what your target market is attracted to. For example, luxury brands usually use rigid boxes for their packaging, they usually use calm colours and bold fonts.
It is vital that your imagery is of high quality – make sure you use a professional graphic designer and a professional photographer for your bag or box design. Beautiful packaging can lead to higher sales, compared to cheap, unprofessional-looking packaging.
Your packaging must appeal to a consumer’s wants, needs and lifestyle
“Consumers identify with the brands that match the perceptions of their lifestyles.”
People want to be associated with a certain lifestyle and with the products that fit that profile. Consumers will be motivated to purchase products that project the right image for them.
Packaging is used to create the image you want your brand to be positioned. Look at La Mer product packaging compared to Australis product packaging. Without knowing anything about the companies, or looking at the pricing, you would know that La Mer products are highly priced, luxury products, and Australis make up is for the younger generation and is a budget product. Think about how you figured this out just by looking at the packaging.
‘Image is important in our society. The image that brands project is critical to their success, and those images must be conveyed by packaging—the ultimate touch point for consumer product brands’.
Your packaging must project your brand image
You should have already decided on your brand image according to your product offering, your product quality, where you are selling your product, and the price point you are selling your product at. Make sure your graphic designer understands your positioning and ensure you keep your branding consistent when working with them on the packaging design.
If you have a red italic logo on your business card and website, then you want the same logo on your product packaging. “Your packaging is more than a just a container with a label stuck on it, it is a vital opportunity to build new brands or reinforce and add value to a positive experience of an existing product or brand”.
Remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression through you packaging. It’s the difference between a potential customer picking up your product, ignoring it, or simply not seeing it amongst your competitors.
Create a customer experience
‘Meaningful customer experiences begin when consumers are motivated to pick the product up, purchase and use it, confirming in their minds that it lives up to its brand promise and then seek it out again. That’s a tall order that begins with packaging.’
An ownable package structure is very desirable as it refers to that brand, and only that brand, creating immediate recognition and intimate brand associations in the mind of consumers over time. Structure is increasingly important as a unique differentiator on retail shelves. For example if you see the silhouette of the classic shaped coke bottle you know it’s Coke immediately even without seeing the label!
If packaging can also be employed as a delivery system for providing a better, more satisfying or more enjoyable user experience, then it reinforces the brand as the one of choice over its category competitors. That in-turn enhances the brand’s image and value in the mind of the consumer. For example, when I am in the supermarket and I want to buy grated cheese, I will buy a packet of cheese with a zip lock bag over a packet without one if I think that I won’t use the entire amount at once – even if it’s not the brand I would normally buy – just for that added convenience of being able to keep the cheese fresh in my fridge.
Create value to your customers
Shopping is a major leisure time pursuit for people and a product that engages, delights and captivates the consumer at point of purchase, is as good as sold.
Good design gives you leverage. A well-thought out and witty packaging solution, gets more free press and word of mouth promotion, better shelf space and ultimately more sales, so you actually spend far less money on marketing. The Elements of Spice grinder range was so radically different to anything on the market even globally, it was featured in Vogue, Wallpaper and many of the world's top foodie magazines, was recommended by British Vogue's -Nigella Lawson herself, and dubbed "An extraordinary collection" in an article in The New York Times. A truly great package and some PR may be all the marketing you'll need.
A packaging led approach to branding works across the board. If your product can be put in a bottle, bag, box or tin, why then not a charming and memorable one, that enhances the customer's experience of your brand.
Whether as a hedge against downturns in the economy, local or global competition, producing lusted after packaging can be the best business decision you'll ever make.
Thank you very much to the following blogs for your assistance in putting my ideas together:
Clara Cassidy, Founder and Marketing Manager of Custom Printed Bags & Boxes, is a marketing professional with years of experience in branding, promotions and events.