Like the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. First impressions matter and long before your consumers ever lay eyes on your product, they will first see your packaging. You wouldn’t go on a first date or a job interview without paying excruciating attention to how you dress.
This is because you know how much first impressions matter. If they don’t like what they see from the minute you walk in the door, there is a good chance you won’t get a chance to show them anything else about yourself. Here are 6 ways that packaging is of critical importance in marketing.
1. Helps create immediate brand recognition
If you were sitting in a restaurant and across the room saw someone pull a box out of their pocket in a very specific shade of blue, you would immediately know they were getting something from Tiffany’s. Why? Because Tiffany’s understands the value of packaging so well that they even went so far as to have their very own special shade of blue designed.
All of their boxes, bags and packaging are all relentlessly made in their very own shade of blue, so no matter how near or how far away you are, you always know when someone is getting something from Tiffany’s. Especially when that person is you.
2. Logos attract attention
When you see someone wearing a product made by Nike, Adidas or Michael Kors, you generally know it immediately, thanks to their recognizable logos. While not all logos are so immediately recognizable, a great logo will draw attention. A logo can actually make people want to know more about the product.
There is a reason big brands put so much care and attention into designing their logo. A logo needs to sum up in a single image everything that your brand stands for as well as reflect the personality of your brand. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, your logo needs to be an entire novel.
3. Shows how much you care
In a world where product packaging was getting bigger and bigger, Apple went smaller and smaller. Why? Less waste. Apple wanted to show they not only care about their products and their consumers, they also care about the planet. Apple was one of the first companies to create paper packaging for electronics, but now 71% of consumers agree they would most likely buy products packaged in paper and cardboard, than in other material like plastic.
Think of your customers eagerly awaiting your product like children on Christmas. Would you just wrap a Christmas present for your kids in a brown paper bag and call it good? No, probably not. You should want your consumers to get the same feeling opening your product as children get opening packages Christmas morning. If you can give them that, there is a great chance you will build a loyal following.
4. The quality of the packaging reflects the quality of the products
Once again, this is an area where Apple shines brightly. Apple is one of the most respected brands on the planet and their logo one of the most universally recognizable. Yet Apple spends almost as much time and effort designing the packaging for their products as they do their actual products. Every one of their boxes fits each product like a glove and was clearly designed and even engineered specifically for that product. While you may not have the budget to design packaging to the exacting specifications that Apple does, you can at least aim for high quality materials.
5. It separates your brand from others
Walmart and Amazon are two retailers that have a booming online business. Yet you would never mistake an Amazon package sitting on your front door step for a Walmart package. Why? Because Walmart and Amazon both have shipping boxes created with their own unique logos. It’s not just the packaging your product actually comes in that is important, but even the shipping box you use to send it in. Remember, if you do not have a brick and mortar store, then the shipping box is going to be the first visual people have of your product. Try your best to make it a memorable one.
Packaging is to your product what clothing is to people. How you dress matters and how you package your product does too. How you dress says something to the world about who you are and the same is true of your packaging.
By Austin Winder.
Austin is a Public Relations Specialist and contributing author for Stickermule. He lives in Memphis, TN and graduated with a business and marketing degree from the University of Memphis.