An entrepreneur has an idea for a great new product. Furthermore, the great new product has a great mission behind it and a clear niche market. They make the product, get it in stores, and eagerly wait to see it fly off the shelves. But it doesn’t, in fact, it’s not even noticed. Why? You can follow all of the steps producing your product and getting it to market, but your consumers are already inundated with products. You need an eye-grabbing product in order to catch their attention while they are making their way down the aisle. That is why product packaging is so important, that is what gets your product purchased. Here are some ideas to keep in mind while coming up with a packaging design for your new product, or while re-branding an old one.
If you have a specific niche market, cater to them through your packaging. Someone who identifies with your mission and brand is more likely to pause to see what you’re selling, purchase it, and become a loyal customer. Rebecca Haden uses Jones Soda Company as an example. Their initial sales demographic was people who frequented surf and skate shops. Their glass bottles and brightly colored sodas were non-traditional and off the beaten path. This spoke to their market who liked new, different things. Marketing Magazine notes that, using semiotics, or the way people interpret signs, is important when it comes to packaging. People are constantly subconsciously decoding symbols within a context. For example, Vitamin Fix is a shot of vitamin rich juice. Its packaging is meant to resemble an old-fashioned medicine bottle, which relays to consumers that it has health benefits. This packaging caters to people who are health conscious, and will assist in catching their eye in the aisle.
Using creative packaging that targets your ideal consumers will also encourage social sharing of your product, helping it gain traction within your market. HubSpot notes that 40% of consumers will share an image of a package on social media if they find it interesting or unique. Birchbox is a subscription service that delivers samples of new makeup to subscribers monthly. Birchbox uses simple, but attractive packaging to add to their brand of easy beauty and to appeal to their customers, who tend to be young adults and big social users. Because their packaging is polished, over 180,000 Birchbox photos have been shared on Instagram, allowing it to be found by more potential users. Changing packaging seasonally can also have a big affect on social shares and awareness. For example, around the holidays, Starbucks switches to red to go coffee cups, from the usual white. Consumers usually react with a social media assault of pictures of the cups, exclaiming that it is officially the holiday season once the red cups come out and expressing their excitement at the availability of gingerbread lattes. If you have unique packaging, you can leverage it into social shares, or even social picture competitions to gain recognition for your brand.
Another useful tactic for getting your product noticed on the shelf is triggering an emotion in the customer. Forbes contributor On Marketing notes that most consumers do not make shopping decisions based upon logic. Rather, they buy impulsively based largely on location in store, color, and shape. They point out that ads for the Angelina Jolie film Maleficent were hard to miss because all of the pointed “cusp” features triggered a feeling of fear or caution. You can play on different emotional elements triggered by colors based upon your product or brand message. For example, if your packaging is green it may relay environmentalism to consumers, or if it is white it may convey cleanliness or purity.
Package design is important to any in-store consumer good. You have no way of knowing if your print or tv ads are reaching your consumers. Your physical product in the store is the only thing you can be sure that your customers come in contact with, and if successful that they actually keep in their home. As such, be sure to package your product in a creative, eye-catching way. Appeal to consumers’ subconscious pre-determinations surrounding color schemes or shapes, package to target your market, and encourage social sharing. This will ensure you get the most out of every aspect of your product, down to the way it is wrapped.
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