Becoming iconic: Why product packaging matters just as much as the product itself.
If you think of iconic brands such as Coca Cola, Tiffany & Co., Apple, and McDonald’s, you’ll soon realize that it is not the product itself that comes to your mind first, but the way it is packed. Each year, 95% of new products fail to be successful. This happens because customers rarely stop to weight the advantages or disadvantages of certain products when shopping. Instead, they use a shortcut called product packaging.
Product packaging is one of the most powerful marketing tools a brand can have because it represents the closest form of communication you get to have with customers. It helps tell the story of your brand and differentiate it from competitors.
Have you ever ordered something online and it felt just like Christmas morning when the package finally arrived? Your first impression of that brand will be strongly influenced by the way the product is packed. Good packaging will immediately improve your perception of the brand, whereas poor packaging will send the opposite message.
New brands are the ones that benefit the most from choosing the right product packaging and for a number of reasons.
Making a strong first impression on customers
Customers have an abundance of products to choose from, meaning your biggest competitors will often be right next to you on the shelve. The only way to draw attention to your product and make it stand out is through good product packaging.
Branded products are the easiest to recognize, so consider designing your packaging with the logo on the front and center, to help consumers remember your brand the next time they go shopping. Ask yourself if the packaging bears the same message as your brand. If you are a sustainable brand, for example, using natural elements on the packaging design can help emphasize than.
Pay attention to color as well, as it can highly influence purchase habits. Your brain reacts differently to certain colors, so be careful with what message you are trying to send. A simple, minimalistic packaging sends a sophisticated, clean message, whereas a multicolored packaging sends more playful and vibrant vibes.
It creates and promotes brand identity
Brand identity has two clearly defined purposes when communicating with customers:
- It gives a clear impression of your brand and company to new customers
- It helps customers remember your brand and the products you provide
Through product packaging, brand identity is both created and preserved, as customers come in contact with your products. But in order to be memorable, the identity of a brand needs to be consistent. It’s what makes customers remember your brand when they see certain colors, elements, fonts, or shapes.
Does your packaging display the logo clearly? Are your brand’s colors, fonts, and trademarks being used? These are the elements people will associate with your brand and this is how they will recognize your product on the shelves.
Communicates all the important information
One of the core purposes of packaging is to communicate important information about the product, such as ingredients, provenience, and purpose. And for food packaging, this is even more important. It is what customers know about your product before opening it. An informative packaging shows transparency, an aspect that customers value considerably.
To be considered informative, your packaging should answer the following questions:
- Who created this product?
- What can this product be used for?
- Where is this product made?
- When does this product expire?
- Why should this product be my first choice?
Adds value to products
Packaging needs to be impressive and eye-catching, but it needs to be useful as well. It needs to give value to the product and become just as important as the product itself. From the moment the product is made and up until it reaches the end-user, packaging has three functions:
Properly created packaging protects the product from hazards until the customer opens is.
Before it reaches the customer, the product will often be stored in piles or stacks, so package designers need to take that into consideration as well.
Your packaging is what helps transport the product from point A to point B, so it needs to be easily maneuverable.
It shows your attention to details
Attention to details means you are serious about your business, and what better way for customers to see this, than through product packaging? Don’t leave out the small details that could make your product stand out.
Packaging material, for example, sends a very strong message to customers. Using materials that are easy to recycle, such as cardboard, can prove to be a great competitive advantage, as a survey shows 68% of customers are more likely to buy a product in paper or cardboard package.
How can you make your packaging stand out?
Now that we have established how important product packaging is to brands, what is it that you can do to ensure your product stands out?
Know your customers well
If you know who your customers are, you will know how to send the right message to them. Masculine brands, for example, may want to stick to raw, strong colors, instead of mellow pastel ones.
Good packaging does not have to be expensive
You don’t need expensive cardboard to make a package look expensive. It’s all about choosing the right design and making it look high-end
Make the packaging part of the user experience
Unboxing a new product is always very entertaining, so why not give customers something to be excited for? Think of an Apple product, for example, its packaging is always sleek and easy to open, which tells a lot about the product itself and adds to the user experience.
Choose eco-friendly packaging
Sustainability is very important for brands, as it makes a positive impact on both the environment and the customers. It shows you care about one of the most important issues in the world right now and helps customers understand your brand values.