Packaging for retail products matters a great deal. Everyone knows that first impressions count, but the impact of well-designed packaging goes beyond how your products look on the shelf. Perhaps that's why it's said to be one of the things Steve Jobs obsessed over at Apple. So why is your packaging so important to your brand? Consider the following.
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The first thing any packaging must do is protect the contents. If the product leaks or gets broken it doesn't matter how good it looks, the packaging failed to do its job. And it’s almost as important that the packaging itself resist damage. A damaged carton or other container will always be left on the shelf, just in case the product inside is also defective.
Next comes keeping the contents safe and fresh. Contamination or deterioration aren't just unsightly, they may even jeopardize your customer's well-being. If poorly designed packaging allows this to happen your product, and possibly its image too, it is fit only for the trash. But after taking care of those fundamentals, things get less tangible.
A joint Forrester Research/McKinsey survey found the average consumer spends 20 seconds or less scanning a shelf while looking for something. That means packaging must be distinctive so it gets noticed, and it should convey something important about the product inside.
Really good packaging for retail products is about communicating value. If it looks cheap the consumer will likely reach the same conclusion about the contents. On the other hand, packaging that looks sturdy and expensive implies the product inside is worth protecting.
Well-designed packaging communicates the value of the product being sold. If you're concerned about the image your brand portrays, you should be exploring the benefits of custom retail packaging!
Packaging functionality is important. That means it should:
- Not get in the way
- Allow a controlled pour or distribution
- Not create any waste or mess
- Be re-closeable if appropriate
Plastic clamshell packaging is a good illustration of the first point. While generally performing well in terms of product protection and visibility, it’s notoriously difficult to open. Conversely, there are many examples of beverage packaging that make the product very easy to consume. When the packaging functions well, it makes the product easier to use. That's why many consumers say they will try a product based on the appearance of its packaging. And if the packaging performed to their satisfaction, most will become repeat buyers. Some consumers will even change brands in favor of a product whose packaging makes it easier to pour, dispense or otherwise put to work.
Clearly, packaging matters to consumers.
When it comes to packaging, product protection is a prerequisite. If it doesn't do its job no one will buy what's inside. But to build loyalty it's essential to look at less tangible factors like how the packaging communicates value and provides functionality. That's why it's important to consider the role of custom retail packaging in enhancing your brand.