Packaging and branding are two core parts of product appeal. They both play a role in influencing the buyer to make a purchase by using visual cues to portray certain qualities about the product. When done right, packaging can enhance brand recognition and loyalty, which becomes important when a consumer is presented with a choice between two or more products on the shelf.
Brand differentiation is achieved through pack design and the marketing of a product. The packaging creates the visual appeal needed to make the product stand out on the shelf and the marketing boosts awareness and desire for the product. It is the final opportunity for a brand to convince a customer to make a purchase and it is also the first physical interaction a buyer will have with a product, so it is a highly important factor for brands to perfect.
Around 65% of all purchasing decisions are made in-store, so the appeal of the packaging cannot be underestimated by companies. So how can you use the packaging to improve the appeal of the product and influence more sales? The following characteristics are vital considerations for brands.
What consumers search for in packaging
Packaging can add value to products if it appeals to the target audience. Consumers are often influenced by the following components of a pack:
- Unique design – Attractive designs catch the eye and enhance the desirability of a product. This can also be achieved through a unique design that helps a product to stand out from the competitors. It boosts brand recognition and can add a sense of intrigue to a product. Over 80% of consumers have bought a new product because it has visually-appealing packaging. Similarly, just over half of consumers say that they have switched brands because of a new product’s unique pack.
- Sustainable materials – Sustainability is a big deal nowadays. The majority of consumers look for packaging that is made from recycled or reusable materials. Using sustainable substrates will show consumers that a company cares about the environment. It also makes end-users feel good when they buy a product that minimises their environmental impact.
- Quality of materials – This is especially important for premium brands. The quality of the materials used to create the packaging can influence the perceived value of the product within. Consumers looking for high-end goods are more likely to pay attention to the quality of the pack.
- Accessible packaging – Consumers need packaging that is intuitive to open. Nobody likes complicated packs that are difficult to open as this is highly frustrating. It leaves buyers annoyed and can even hinder people with certain disabilities. A pack should be easy to open, no matter how unique its design is.
- Label transparency – Be transparent and clear with the labelling and ingredient lists. Clear communication on the packaging will make a product easier to understand and is more likely to result in a purchase. Over 70% of consumers say that transparency and clear communication increases their trust in a brand.
- Product integrity – Most end-users say that they value packaging that prevents tampering and protects the integrity of the product within. This is one of the major functions of packaging; to protect the product. Consumers will certainly buy a product if they know that it is going to be in its original, intended form and undamaged.
- Packaging size – The size of the packaging should be carefully thought-out. Consumers don’t like it when brands use large boxes or excessive materials to hold small products; this is seen as wasteful and unsustainable. The packaging should be big enough to protect the product and keep it in place during transport, but not over-the-top.
Packaging is a vital part of branding and can improve product sales when done correctly. It can influence consumer behaviour and encourage buyers to choose one brand over another. The design, materials and functionality need to be well-considered in order for it to protect a product, catch the eye of the consumer and leave little-to-no impact on the environment.
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