What does your product packaging say to potential customers? Does it attract them? Does it entice them to want to learn more?
Just as well-designed packaging attracts repeat business from loyal customers, it's also an essential part of attracting new customers. With the rise of internet-based companies and store shelves that carry dozens of identical products, the importance of unique, eye-catching packaging has reached a fever pitch.
Neglecting the effect your packaging has on people who aren't yet aware of your products and company is a mistake! Here's why:
First Impressions Count
First impressions are important because they are sticky.
- First impressions form in milliseconds, before cognitive processing.
- First impressions can persist even when contradicted by factual information later.
New studies by academics have shown that first impressions really are crucial, and undoing the harm caused by a bad first impression can be difficult or even impossible. For business owners, there’s no room to ignore the power of a first impression.
After all, it doesn’t matter what product or service you sell. What you really offer to your customers is quality and reliability. Whether you’re approaching new business partners or launching a marketing campaign to attract new clients, knowing how to present your brand well is a matter of knowing how to communicate not just what you do, but the other values that you bring to the table.
As you think through your strategies to make a great first impression, keep the basic principles of branding in mind:
- Simplicity always trumps a complex, confusing message.
- Memorability drives long-term branding success.
- Aesthetic value matters, especially when it comes to getting consumers to interact with products.
- Great brands make meaningful connections between their core values and products.
Standing Out in a Sea of Similar Products
Imagine you're looking at the shelves in the cereal aisle in the grocery store. How many boxes of cereal do you see that are identical to one another? You might see a major brand selling a cereal primarily made of corn, as well as the identical store brand and a smaller brand selling the same cereal. You might even see a natural or organic brand selling the cereal, too.
The Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy reveals:
"Cluttered in-store environments combined with modern shopping [behavior] have made attention a critical factor for a pack to fail or succeed."
The ingredients of these cereals might make an impact on which cereal a buyer chooses, but the packaging will, too. One oft-repeated rumor about cereals is that the packaging actually costs more to produce than the cereal. While this rumor might have some basis in fact for some cereals, the fact remains that box design for cereals is an essential part of the overall presentation of cereals in the grocery store.
Where Your Packaging Reaches Customers
Seeing your products out in the world is a powerful influencer for potential customers. And to get noticed, your packaing needs to stand out. There are plenty of opportunities for people to see your packaging and get that psoitive first impression, including the following:
- In your store and those stores that carry your products
- On a coworkers desk at the office
- Sitting on someone’s kitchen table, coffee table, or office desk
- Pictured on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram newsfeed, likely because their friend has just received something they ordered or their pet is being adorable while playing with the box or bag.
- Carried while someone is strolling down the street
And those are just a few of many opportunities for new potential customers to see your business’s packaging.
The point is, packaging can be a great marketing tool, because it puts your business’s brand in front of new and repeat customer. This opens the door to lots of new sales. And friends, family and even strangers can be very influential! If your packaging is distinctive, people ask about it and you’re likely to get referrals if they love your product.
How to Design Packaging That Makes an Impact
If you’re a new company or a business that wants to step up your branding game, there are a few key fundamentals to consider when designing your product packaging. Achieving the instantly recognizable status of Apple and Tiffany & Co. starts with a product's packaging. So how can you make your packaging stand out from the competition?
- Know your demographic. Who are your customers? Do you know what they like? Step one is understanding what type of branding will appeal to your target customers. If your personal preference is stark and minimalist but your target customers are flower-child baby boomers, your packaging’s message probably won’t land with that group. Make sure you’re designing for them, not for you!
- Make cheap packaging look chic and personalized. Good packaging doesn't have to be expensive. Stephanieverafter, an online hair accessory boutique, packages its bows on simple cards in muted colors with stylish typography. It's an inexpensive solution that gives each item a high-end feel.
- Make the package part of the experience. Part of the reason it's so fun to unbox a new Apple product is that its packaging reflects the sleek, user-friendly experience of the product inside. One startup that's mastered this is Back to the Roots, which produces kits to get kids and parents interested in growing their own food. Its mushroom kit's kid-friendly packaging is designed to jump off the shelf and convey the fun, hands-on experience the brand provides.
- Consider eco-friendly options. Packaging that's recyclable or reusable is always a reason for a consumer to choose your brand over your competitor's. In fact, 52 percent of people around the world make purchase decisions partially due to packaging that shows a brand making a positive social and environmental impact. An article published with Triple Pundit reveals how consumers may pay more or seek out companies with environmentally friendly business practices like eco-conscious packaging. "Offering "green" products does attract customers. However, there are a number of other ways that companies can create strong bonds with customers based on commitments to a sustainable world. A newly released survey shows that many of us are willing to pay more for products and services provided by socially responsible companies. And we view environmental and employment practices as the key indicators of social responsibility. These practices include more than offering ‘green’ products."
Attract New Customers With Custom Packaging
Are you interested in updating your company's product packaging? Are you interested in methods that are easy to adopt and offer additional benefits for branding and marketing? Learn the benefits of working with Howard Packaging for your packaging. Find out what Howard Packaging can do for your business. Request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit Today!