What is Packaging?
The packaging is the first thing a customer lays their eye on when buying a product. It's the first communication a brand has with the consumers. It is the cover of the book that is the brand. Put simply, the packaging is the covering that encloses products. However, there's more to packaging than meets the eye.
Packaging has often been called the fifth P of the marketing mix. Making it the most influential creative tool a band can use. It not only shields the products from environmental agents but it also tells a story. It is what people recognize a brand by. A company that has mastered the craft of packaging will most certainly hold greater sway over the consumers than their competitors. Despite this, a study held by Shorr Packaging Corp shows that only about 11% of consumers feel completely satisfied with the packaging.
Let's talk about what makes packaging so crucial.
Role of Packaging
Packaging plays several key roles in not only protecting the product but also boosting sales while helping improve brand image.
Let’s discuss the various different roles of packaging:
1. Protection and Preservation
The basic necessity of a package is to protect the product while preserving it for longer. This is the very reason a package is required in the first place. A good package ensures that the product is not easily damaged by elemental agents while also shielding it from impact to some level. Milk cartons ensure that the milk doesn't leak out. Wheat packaging keeps the ants and the germs away. Packaging for electronics makes sure water doesn't leak in and that the product doesn't get damaged easily. This is the most basic requirement of packaging. A bad package ruins the product creating a bad image In the minds of the consumers. A packaging that fails to protect its product can absolutely ruin a brand.
For a long time, eBay was notorious for horrible packaging. A lot of consumers were left angry upon receiving damaged products. This greatly affected Ebay's brand image and they had to completely rethink their packaging process.
It is another basic requirement of a package to make the product easier to access. Taking the time to think user’s convenience sets your brand apart from others. This is evident with Frooty’s new packaging design. They replaced the straw poke-holes for lids that can be opened and closed again. This allows the consumer to not just drink their juice better, but also to save it for later.
The third basic need of a package is to provide all the relevant information to the users. This allows consumers to quickly grasp the idea of how to use the product. Without this information, the consumers can get really confused and this can lead to negative marketing. Nobody wants to waste their time and so it is best to provide simple illustrations of how to use the product on the packaging.
This also protects the brand for legal troubles as information provided on the package accounts for information conveyed by the brand itself. As such, it is the task of every good package to include possible harmful reactions and side-effects of the product.
4. Sales Promotions and Offers
You might have noticed products that come with complimentary services and supplies. This is a part of different sales promotions and offers being offered by the brand. A good package will always include offers and promotions in the packaging itself. An example of this is shampoo bottles that come with a free conditioner provided within the package. Another example of this is toothpaste boxes that include a free toothbrush inside the packaging. This guarantees the promotional offer in the minds of the consumers and builds up trust in the brand.
5. Brand building and brand recognition
Great packaging isn't just a nod to the brand but a symbol that the brand is recognised by. A slight glance at such packaging makes it known to the people what brand they're looking for. Some of these packages have become cult symbols over the years. One such example is the Coca-Cola bottle. One glance at the red and shiny plastic bottle and anyone can tell that it's a Coca-Cola product. Another example is the Lays packet. Lay’s uses colours brilliantly to shine out from every other snack in the market.
Another key aspect of this is brand building. Some packages don't just identify the brand but also add to its significance. Absolut's polished and perfectly round bottles are a great example of this. People love Absolut bottles. The effort put into the bottles speaks volumes about the quality of the vodka itself. Kit Kat's packaging is another example of this.
Occasionally, you'll stumble upon a package that will invoke a deep sense of nostalgia within you, reminding you of a warm part of your life. This makes the product even more attractive. Good packaging will try to build a connection with its consumers. Doing so boosts sales greatly while also building a brand image. Paper Boat with it’s simple and nostalgic packaging is a good example of this.
Lastly, a package sets the product apart from every other product in the market. It makes sure that your product reaches the consumer’s eyes first and manages to capture his attention. Differentiation in packaging is what every company must strive for as it is the best way to use packaging as a weapon of mass marketing. Ferrero Rocher and Nike are both masters at using packaging to set their product apart from every other product in the shop.
Some cool tips to make your packaging unique and quirky
Here are a few cool tricks YOU can use to make your packaging instantly more attractive and desirable.
1. Personalise the packaging with your consumers
Doing so will instantly make your consumers feel a connection to the product and by extension, the brand. This will greatly boost sales and can also establish your product as a one of a kind offer on the market.
2. Make sure the colour scheme matches your brand’s tone
You don’t want the packaging of your pillows and mattresses to be loud and obnoxious. You need to sell a feeling to your customers and this can be best done by utilising the various shades and hues to your advantage.
3. Focus on the font
Using the right font is also on the lines of selling a feeling to your consumers. Your font should convey elegance and style. You need to convey to your consumers that you don’t just sell any wine, you sell the best wine available on the market. Make sure you choose the right size for your font too. A simple trick to do this is to be simple and minimalistic.
4. Make the unboxing a reward
Another great tactic is to make the unboxing feel special. The unboxing should be a fun experience for the consumers. They should feel jitters in their stomach as they can’t wait to open up your packaging. You can do this by catching their attention and creating desire.
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Q. What sets apart good packaging from mediocre packaging?
A. While mediocre packaging gives the consumers easy access to the product while protecting it against the elements, good packaging is instantly recognisable, and great packaging is synonymous to the brand itself.
Q. What material should I use for packaging?
A. Packaging material varies with the product. Just like you can’t use paper bags for milk, you also can’t use hard boxing to store delicate items. Your packaging material should best accommodate your product while also not damaging it.
Another tip is to use recyclable or biodegradable materials for your packaging as it will score brownie points from the consumers.