“You eat with your eyes first!” It is true, and it is hardwired into our brain. Anything that looks beautiful is appealing to our eyes, as well as other senses. This also applies to product packaging.
Packaging and labeling are essential for product identification and awareness, of course. They provide customers product information, such as ingredients, nutritional facts, volume and best-before dates. But they also play an ultra-important role in marketing by enhancing the products’ appearance for promoting them to the prospective customers. After all, a memorable presentation can make customers return to the brand again and again.
In fact, it helps to create a customer’s relationship with a brand with some functional and emotional content, such as information related to preserving its contents or something that makes the product celebratory, aspirational or proud to own or gift. Think of a Starbucks signature cup or the unique bottle of your favorite liquor or perfume.
Packaging success = marketing impact
The innovation and execution excellence of packaging and labeling has always been an integral part of any famous and successful marketing program. Don’t believe us? Consider some of these examples:
• Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign used packaging to build a relationship between the brand’s identity and consumers’ personal identity by emblazoning first names on their cans and bottles.
• Casper put its mattresses in a box “the size of a dorm refrigerator” not just to cut their shipping costs, but also to “disrupt the mattress industry” by allowing people to test the mattress in their homes with a “free” 100 days return policy.
• The packaging of “five,” a subline by Häagen-Dazs is again a smart marketing move where the brand prominently listed five core ingredients on the front of the package to showcase its premium-ness and pure goodness.
Apart from these three examples, many others prove that packaging plays a great role in the supply chain—it has to perform selling functions and earn a product consideration to drive revenue. It is a core business driver that enhances the consumer experience by building a personal connection between the product and buyers.
Let’s look at the role packaging and labeling plays in the marketing of a product.
1. To provide information to customers.
Giving the right information to the right people at the right time lies at the core of every marketing campaign. And that’s exactly the role packaging plays. This is especially true for new products launches, where product information plays a crucial role in market penetration. With the help of packaging and labeling, marketers can give essential information—such as how to use a technology device; how to cook or store food; procedures and precautions to take during product usage; and so on. In short, it gives the detailed information that you can’t cover in 20-second-long ads.
In today’s world where people are more comfortable shopping at supermarkets, it is next to impossible to have a salesman for each customer. Your packaging is one of your most powerful tools to convey the information to the customer. Consider how Maggi or any other ready-to-cook food uses packaging not only to give information about how to cook them but also additional information about the beneficial nutrition found in them. Besides, giving some extra information never hurts you; in fact, it does quite the opposite.
You can use your packaging information to safeguard your company. While it is true that you can’t give all the information about your product in a 20-second-long ad, what if someone sues you for information not provided? You are safe as long as the information is printed on the packet. This means, you can raise your hands, simply stating that the information was already provided and it isn’t your fault if the consumer failed to read it.
2. To showcase your sustainability.
Marketing sustainability is the “in thing.” In simple words, it refers to businesses that use environmentally friendly production, sourcing and distribution practices. And it’s no fad, as there are marketing advantages. According to a global survey by Nielsen, “66% of all consumers will pay more for sustainable brands.” The survey also found that Millennials are more willing to pay more for products that have a minimal or positive impact on the environment.
There is a reason why more and more businesses are opting for sustainable packaging across the world. A survey by Goldstein Research found that, in 2016, the global green packaging market reached (US)$139.09 billion. Moreover, it is expected to cross $230.19 billion in 2024, showing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% between 2016 and 2024.
Thus, biodegradable molded fiber is gaining rapid commercial importance in the packaging industry and is one good way to show your customers you care.
What more? Consumers are not just ready to buy something that’s environmentally friendly but are also willing to pay more for it.
3. To extend your brand image.
What comes to your mind when someone mentions Tiffany’s? Of course, its beautiful robin’s egg blue boxes. The same goes for Absolut Vodka, known for its round bottle since its launch in 1979. Although the new bottle has been updated with a new script, two-line logo, a redesigned medallion, a new brand signifier and reduced glass weight, the company has never changed the shape of the original bottle, which has become synonymous to the brand.
The packaging is responsible for the product’s brand image and brand recognition. This, in turn, also reflects the image of the company. Think Ferrero Rocher. The moment you see these brown and gold covered packages, you think about the mouth-watering chocolates inside, you think of Ferrero Rocher.
The role of packaging in marketing is best described as the marriage between form and functionality, whose sole purpose is to entice customers not only to buy the products but also to come back for more. It can even become synonymous to your brand’s image, as it helps to grab the attention of your target audience, apart from functioning as a tool for convenience and information transmission.
It is therefore essential to consider every aspect of your product packaging so that it creates the most profitable impact.
Rachel Oliver is a content writer at PulpBiz.com and a blogger, who is known to play with words. A versatile writer, her expertise lies in the genres of marketing, packaging and sustainability.
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