Seventy percent of consumers say their buying decisions are influenced by packaging. Is your packaging making people spring for the purchase?
In the age of ecommerce, it’s all too easy to underestimate the importance of packaging. However, having a solid strategy for how your products look can make all the difference between stagnant sales and sales that take off.
In this guide, we’ll show you exactly why your packaging strategy matters. Plus, we’ll give you the tips you need to give your products a winning look. Keep reading to learn how packaging can help you beat the competition!
What is Packaging?
First, let’s answer an important question.
Packaging, of course, refers to the material that a product comes in. But it’s a broader term than some people realize. Anything that affects the physical presentation of your product might be considered a type of packaging.
For example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce store that mails out skincare products. The products themselves come in cardboard packaging that contains essential information about ingredients, how to use, and more. But the envelope that the product arrives in can also be part of your packaging.
If your products arrive in a shiny, iridescent envelope, that says something very different about your brand than if they show up in dull brown paper. If you pack your products with some branded stickers in the envelope, that’s a different choice than if you pack them with a handwritten thank-you note. Neither choice is necessarily wrong, but what do you want your packaging to say about your brand?
From fonts to colors to materials, it’s important to think about packaging on all levels. Let’s delve into why it matters.
The Importance of Packaging
Packing matters for more than one reason. Here are the top ways your packaging choices can influence your brand.
1. Packaging Improves Recognition
Packaging can become a distinguishing element for your brand if you do it right. Can consumers use your packaging to pick your brand out from the crowd?
If you love a brand, you can probably think right away of how their products look on your shelves (or when they arrive). The longer a brand exists without making serious changes to its packaging, the more recognizable it becomes.
This means that you need to take changing your packaging seriously. If things aren’t working, change is good. But if those updates mean existing customers will no longer be able to recognize your products, you might have a problem.
2. Color Psychology Works
Did you know that certain colors are tied to certain moods in many people’s minds? You can use color psychology with your packaging to evoke the response you want.
Some colors are traditionally viewed as feminine, like pink, while others have a masculine association, like blue. Certain colors, like orange, seem energetic, while others, like blue, seem calming.
In fact, even the absence of color can make a statement. If all the competitors have bright packaging, a sleek all-white package is sure to stand out.
3. Packages Tell a Story
Your packaging can help reinforce your brand’s story.
For example, let’s say you’re developing packaging for a perfume company whose original founders used opaque instead of clear glass to help preserve the product’s quality. That packaging is an important part of your story, and your opaque glass bottles will stand out because there’s a story behind them.
The connection between packaging and story can also be less literal. If your brand has an environmentally friendly message, recycled materials will sync your packaging up with the story nicely.
4. Packaging Backs up Marketing
When your marketing says one thing, your packaging can strengthen that message by reinforcing it.
Maybe your product is superior because it uses superior ingredients. You can use catchy text on your packaging to highlight that fact. This lets you quickly remind people of other marketing materials they’ve seen about your product, pushing them one step closer to buying.
How to Make Product Packaging Work for You
Now that you can see why packaging matters, let’s delve a little bit deeper with some ways to get the most out of your product packaging.
1. Consider Your Price Point
People associate different types of packaging with different costs. If your product looks like one price point and costs another, the results may either be good or bad. Either way, it’s important to make these decisions consciously.
Not sure what expensive product packaging versus value product packaging looks like? There are no hard and fast rules — it depends on your industry. Check out your competitors at all price levels to get an idea.
2. Know Your Audience
The packaging that millennials love won’t work so well for an audience of baby boomers. To get things right, you absolutely need to know your target audience.
This might involve testing, focus groups, and more to find out what resonates with whom. Also, don’t just accept “common knowledge” at face value. Millennials may love minimalism, but with some research, you can also discover other aesthetics they like. This will help your brand stand out — learn more here about competitive design.
3. Make it Work
The best-looking packaging becomes a failure if it doesn’t work well.
Maybe you designed a beautiful shampoo bottle, but the product is hard to squeeze out. Or maybe your canned food products look great but go bad faster because the packaging doesn’t help with preservation.
A pretty package will help make your first sale, but a functional package will help you get a repeat customer. Balance looks with functionality to get results.
Get Strategic and Get Results
Packaging that you love won’t necessarily make sales. It’s all about knowing what your customers want and delivering exactly that. With this knowledge about the importance of packaging, you’re sure to get results.
Looking for more practical ways to grow your business? Don’t miss this guide to modern business tips!