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Package Design: Think of it as Social Media, on a shelf

Package-design

Package Design: Think of it as Social Media, on a shelf

What does your product’s package design say about your brand’s personality? It should say (almost) everything.

If people haven’t seen any advertising for your product, then the first time they’re going to see it is in the store. Think of packaging as Social Media on a shelf – its role is the same: good package design is inherently social, it’s original in that it stands out from its neighbours, it starts a conversation and gets people to connect with it. Creating an engaging brand/product personality is the key to establishing these vital connections. The ultimate retail challenge is getting consumers attention.

… if your product’s package design doesn’t immediately establish a connection with consumers, it’s lost

Unlike the Social Media space, ‘real estate’ is physically limited on a store shelf, so if your product’s package design doesn’t immediately catch the consumer’s eye, it’s lost. This is particularly true if you’re launching a new product and you can’t rely on established brand equity or the halo effect.

The perfect analogy is a book cover

The cover is a book’s packaging. (Typically, authors don’t have much say about the covers of their books, it’s left to those marketing the book.) You’re at the library or in a book store. If you already enjoy the author, you’ll reach for their latest book — that’s brand equity in play. If you don’t know the author, it’s often the cover that attracts you. If it resonates with you, you reach for it. If it doesn’t, you pass over it. It’s the same with product packaging. And the process happens in seconds.

The look and feel of a product’s package design plays a definitive role in consumers’ purchasing choices

Never underestimate the power of package design and the influence it has on purchasing behaviour. Research shows that the look and feel of a product’s package design plays a definitive role in consumers’ purchasing choices.

The Influence of Packaging on Consumer Purchase Decision

An excerpt from The Consumer Factor’s website on consumer insights, market research, consumer behavior and neuromarketing …

“According to a recent study published by researchers from the University of Miami and California Institute of Technology in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the packaging of a food product would have a proven and important influence on the consumer purchase decision in-store. Researchers showed that the aesthetic aspects of products’ packaging (color, brightness, typography, etc.) will influence where the shopper’s eyes will land on the shelf – and thus the products he will look at and the time spent for each product. 

The study showed that packaging influences consumers in a ratio of 1:3 or 2:3 compared to their personal preferences. Thus, even if consumer’s tastes have a bigger influence, a product’s visual attractiveness plays a significant part into the decision to buy.”

We make decisions based solely on a product’s package design

Before we even know if we enjoy the experience of the product, we make decisions based solely on its package design. It should go without saying that the inside has to deliver on what the outside promises. If the actual experience of the product is a letdown, the consumer won’t reach for that product again, no matter how smart and sexy the packaging. Packaging, particularly that for a new and as yet unknown product, gets only one chance with consumers, so it’s important to get it right.

Packaging is psychology in action

Packaging is psychology in action, particularly the psychology of design. It requires expertise and creativity to get right. Most important, it demands an understanding of the people who are going to buy your product and that’s where research comes in … who will buy your product? You can’t create personality for your packaging design without knowing your target market intimately.

Good package design tells a story

Good package design is good storytelling. You don’t skimp on the cost of packaging. As I’ve said before, packaging design shouldn’t even be viewed as a cost, good package design is an investment. My next blog will offer 7 quick tips to help you create better product package design.

Additional reading:

Miriam Hara

Author: Miriam Hara

Miriam is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of 3H Communications Inc., a full service branding and advertising agency. Her experience has enabled her to bring together strategic business savvy with an all-encompassing creative vision to product and service marketing, which she shares here, in her many posts. Join the conversation, register here. Miriam’s own brand of marketing experience and expertise is the basis of her marketing ebook series including Content Creation Understood, the most recent addition. Download it here. You can also find Miriam on Google +.

Comments ( 2 )

  • Juergen Bluhm

    I can only agree. One eye tracking study on the Tobii website shows an increase of 15% in sales after a successful packaging change.

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