Does Your Brand’s Packaging Matter?

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You bet your boots packaging matters. People are visual creatures by nature. Thus, we are simply drawn to things that look beautiful or that we view as aesthetically pleasing (or interesting).

So what exactly happens when we find ourselves perusing an aisle with hundreds of products staring back at us? We start to compare, remember and associate. Bear in mind that the brain is prone to classifying everything around us, it is the only way we can organize everything we see, hear, feel or know. Filling a slot in any one particular mental category is crucial, it is what those who work in branding and marketing circles call being “top of mind”.

While an eye-catching logo certainly does play a vital part in marketing a product, nothing comes as close as the effects a visually appealing and striking design has on your prospective customers. Many studies have been done on the importance of packaging design. There is a whole science behind it from the shape of the package to the materials used without forgetting of course its basic functionality.

The consensus from this research is that simplicity sells. What people want, more than anything, is to get information quickly without too much fuss. Other than simplicity, customers also want honesty and authenticity. In other words, they want to know for a fact that the product that is labeled on the packaging is clearly the product that can be found inside.

Of course this process begins by attracting their attention through the means of elegant and eye-catching packaging however I have mentioned in many of my previous brand blogs that good design should always reflect the essence of the product along with the personality and values of the company.

 There are hundreds of thousands of products on the market vying for your persona’s attention and one-third of a consumer’s decision making is based solely on product packaging. To succeed, your brand packaging has to stand out and look different from your competitors. The colors used in your product packaging play a key role in consumer buying decisions as your brain reacts to colors in very different ways. For example, products with white packaging convey simplicity, safety and purity. Color experts cite that the more color added to a product’s package, the less sophisticated the product may be perceived and as I’ve preached many times before, perception is reality when it comes to consumer choice so study your target demographic before deciding on a color scheme for your product packaging.

Another thing to consider is that branded products are more readily recognized, so designing packaging with your logo front and center helps consumers remember your product.

Don’t forget that your packaging is often an individual’s first point of contact with your product and a spiffy package may make someone try a new product line they have never heard of. Think about it, when you are picking out a bottle of wine or looking for a new bath or beauty product, aren’t you drawn to items with the cool labels?

We also often make assumptions on a product’s price point before we actually see a price tag. Once you have made those assumptions, you look at the price and decide either “this is a really good value” or “I can’t believe they are charging that much for this.” Your product’s increase in desirability and perceived value can help you charge more for it.

I was honored to recently interview Marty Neumeier, author of one of my favorite brand books, The Brand Gap for my Brand Crush Brand Chat series. His perspective on packaging is “A retail package is the last and best chance to make a sale.” So bottom line make sure you follow up your company’s fantastic brand and website with superb packaging!

In this day in age, design can be synonymous to style, usability and that personal stamp that defines a product. With all the competition out there, it is a MUST to be DIFFERENT if you want to stand out in the marketplace. By speaking to those differences you provide added value to your demographic about what you are selling. We all want to increase our product’s desirability and perception which would be a definite win-win situation.