So many things go into a successful product launch – advertising, available inventory, delivery, etc – that the supposed “smaller” aspects can sometimes go unnoticed. This includes details like making sure the images on the website are optimized and the copy on the product description is spelled right.
One of the other things that sometimes gets overlooked, however, is the packaging that the product comes in. Though your marketing campaign and the website deliver the first impression for your company, the packaging is what makes your customers ultimately choose to buy that specific product or not. Research shows that it is the most important part of the customer’s buying decision, and most impactful single aspect overall, so you want to make sure you get it right.
What Aspects of Product Packaging Do Customers Focus On Most?
The term “packaging” is a loose phrase meant to include the entire way that the physical product is put together, such as the way it looks like on the outside as well as how the inside of the box (if there is one) is stuffed. More importantly, there are four key parts of the packaging.
Logo – An effective logo creates a relationship between the brand and the customer, invoking feelings and emotions that correspond to a specific event or memory in their life. The Golden Arches for McDonald’s are one of the most recognizable logos in history, and people associate that with their food. What you’re striving to create with a logo is an instant connection with the potential customer.
Color – What type of colors you use on your box can display a particular feeling that you want to create within the customer. The color red, for example, can display a sense of urgency, whereas the color green is synonymous with health. The combination of various colors can create a powerful synergistic emotion that can drive the buyer to a specific goal.
Typography – Like the logo and color scheme, the typography used can also convey a certain feeling, but the ultimate goal is more about efficiency. A small font can put more information on the package, but can also make it harder to read. Conversely, a larger print makes the text easier to scan which could create a more impulsive buying decision.
Quality – Is the package in flimsy, paper-thin wrapping? Is the stuffing that is used to protect the item on the inside of the box inadequate? Is the box boring? 52% of customers claim they would buy the product again based on the quality of the packaging itself.
Why is Product Packaging So Effective?
Several decades ago, product packaging was simply a way to communicate the identity of the item to the customer. These days, however, the packaging is used as a primary tool for advertising purposes, utilizing several visual mediums to influence a buying decision.
Studies have shown that a premium package will be used well after the original purchase; as much as 90% of customers reuse packaging for other purposes, keeping the product firmly in the mind of the customer for weeks or months at a time. Furthermore, in today’s digital age, a unique product design, or one that simply implies a specific social appeal (like Nike’s Air Jordans, for example), is usually shared on social media. This is especially important, as customers respond better to suggestions shared by their friends than they do most every other form of advertising.
Three Keys to Effective Product Packaging
Significant thought should be put into the design of the packaging itself, but remember to keep a few vital principles in mind.
1. Simplicity – Customers don’t want a product package that is overly complex or over-engineered to the point of frustration. Make sure your product is well-packaged, but don’t overdo it in terms of colors, stuffing, or design.
2. Eco-Friendly – Today’s consumers expect a level of environmental responsibility from businesses, so a quick logo on the side that shows your commitment to the earth can have a positive impact on sales.
3. Creativity – A package that offers customers an experience when they open it, such as a puzzle or trivia piece, creates a more pleasant feeling when they buy the product. Aim to deliver an exceptional contact from start to finish, and your customers will reward you accordingly.