Product packaging is often seen solely as a means to get a product safely and undamaged from the factory to the shelf, but it’s far more important than that.
In fact, in many ways packaging is just as important as the product itself, if not more so. Whether your product is sold online or on store shelves it’s in direct competition with similar products, which to many consumers, are often only distinguished by one thing — the packaging.
Over 95% of new products fail within their first year, including new products by some of the world’s biggest companies. While many fail due to quality issues, a lack of user-friendliness or non-existent market appeal, a high percentage of failed products bomb simply because the packaging wasn’t on target.
To compete successfully on retail store shelves, your packaging must express why your product is the right choice.
Packaging with Impact
Product packaging isn’t only important when competing for the attention of consumers — it also conveys a direct message about the brand, it builds a connection with consumers and, in the online era, it’s becoming a marketing channel in itself.
The world’s biggest brands are aware of this and have adjusted the way their products are packaged accordingly. Big brands like Apple, Tiffany and Acne Studios are well-known for not only the aesthetic appeal and quality of their packaging but also the experience it provides. That’s right, the experience the packaging provides, not the actual product itself.
Apple — Apple is renowned for its sleek packaging and essentially created the product unpackaging phenomenon. iPhone X unboxing videos have been viewed millions of times.
Tiffany & Co. — The iconic blue (Pantone #1837) box with a white ribbon is the world’s best-known product package. The colour was trademarked in 1998 and isn’t commercially available.
Glossier — The minimalist design with a clean font and pastel colours stands out for its aesthetic appeal. Although Glossier is a relatively affordable skincare brand, the sleek, simplistic packaging exudes sophisticated luxury.
Whether you’re a startup or an established business, the way you view product packaging is vitally important because it has a direct impact on your brand’s appeal and product sales.
Stand Out and Maximise Consumer Attention
Making your product packaging resonate with your audience, outshine the competition and provide instant brand recognition involves research, planning and understanding:
Who are you appealing to? — Knowing what is important to your demographic is essential. What works for one target market won’t work for another, so drill down into what makes your target market tick. For example, is your target market environmentally conscious? If yes, then investing in reusable/recyclable packaging is something to consider.
How can you make it an experience? — The unboxing experience has shown that it’s not just the product inside which matters. An aesthetically pleasing, well-presented package works wonders on customer perceptions! Product placement, how the box opens and closes, what the reviewer see first upon opening, the feel and weight distribution, are some of the hidden qualities that go into creating a great unboxing experience.
How can you make it stand out cost-effectively? — Great packing doesn’t need to be expensive. In-fact the more excessive or over the top your packing, the less appealing it may be to your audience. Opt for a simplistic design that will resonate with your audience. Personalised cards, vouchers for next purchase or free samples are cost-effective ways that can help your packaging stand out.