While it goes beyond saying that the effort of your development team needs to be product-centric, there are a lot of businesses out there who don’t pay enough attention to the package of the given product. This package, however, can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the way in which the product is perceived by your customers. In fact, it may even affect their purchasing behaviour. With that in mind, here are several things worth considering.
Quality and value of the product
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that the first impression is often formed based on the package, not the product itself. In other words, if the box that the product comes in looks exclusive and luxurious, your audience will expect the same from the product. Depending on your industry, you may want to go for futuristic (in tech, for instance) or vintage (wine manufacturing is a great example here). Remember, however, that exclusive-looking is not always something to go for. Sometimes, you’re trying to outcompete your audience by being the most economic brand on the market. In this scenario, you’re going for something clean and simple.
There’s one more thing worth mentioning here and it’s the issue of perceived value. How much you’re charging for the product should be reflected by the package. They say that you shouldn’t judge the book by the covers but it is often that the same edition of the book, with more luxurious covers, ends up costing substantially more. Is this just about the amount of effort that goes into making the cover? Of course not. You see, any product has the value that the intended audience is ready to pay for. According to a current bachelor’s degree in product design, the quality of each product is determined by its conception, usability and emotional appeal, in addition to its life cycle.
Take for instance the fashion brand Louis Vuitton. Every year, instead of making a discount on items that are not sold (even though there are not many such items), they destroy what’s left. Why? Well, because they don’t want to devalue their brand, seeing as how it built its fame and success on being exclusive and luxurious. This is just one example of how the package could represent your brand.
The right colour scheme
Anyone who has ever been to a major fast-food restaurant could have noticed one thing – the majority of top-dogs use either red, yellow or the combination of the two. McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Wendy’s, the list goes on and on. There is, however, a method to this madness. You see, the psychology of colour is real science and it is well established that people respond emotionally to different hues and nuances. Colours like red and yellow are ones that boost appetite, which helps one associate the brand with the habit of eating. In other words, by using the right package, brands are virtually conditioning their clients to buy more and stay loyal.
Fitting the brand strategy
One other thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that while your brand colours, logo and visual themes should remain the same, it might be hard to accomplish this across the variety of formats. We’re not just talking about online and offline design behaviour. What we’re also discussing here is the offline and online presence of the brand. For instance, contemporary printing solutions are often the transformation of a digital form into a printed medium (infographic into a brochure, for example). A similar thing needs to take place when it comes to the printing of your product package. Just make sure that, even if you do decide to go a bit outside-of-the-box, you don’t stray too much from the main theme.
The majority of products have, on the packaging, a label. This label is not only there to help you gain some customers but also there to provide a form of legal liability for your company. If there’s a hazard that your product may cause (even if it has passed the safety assessment by the suitable government body), you have the legal obligation to warn your customers about it.
So, how does this help you affect the purchasing behaviour of your clients? First of all, it can help put the mind of your potential customers at ease, thus making it more likely that they’ll make the purchase. Second, there are those of your clients who are inquisitive by nature. For them, this is an opportunity to get informed on the spot and make a decision to buy.
Sure, they could read about this at home but, by that time, you’ve already missed the window of opportunity to act on the impulse purchase habit of your audience. There’s also that inexplicable side of human nature to want something that’s restricted (either age-restricted or something that they are warned to be careful around). All of these reasons have their place on the list of features.
The reason why brand identity is so important is that there are a lot of businesses out there that are trying to boost their sales by imitating their more successful competitors. Sometimes, they can deliberately make a product package that looks like yours and if it’s placed on the stall right next to yours, a surprisingly large number of people will mistake the two products for one and the same. It gets even worse, seeing as how they may attribute positive experiences with your brand with those of others and vice versa.
On the other hand, having a strong brand identity can help you inspire social media hype for your new product prior to its launch. In other words, the uniqueness of your product package is your first and your last line of defence when it comes to keeping your product’s visuals (and, therefore, its IP) safe. By being unique, you’re also avoiding any accusations directed against you, when it comes to any potential infringement. To make a long story short, by just making an extra effort to research your competition and design the product, you can save yourself from a world of trouble.
As you can see, the number of industries that we’ve listed is fairly lengthy and diverse, at the same time. Sure, each of these industries has its own set of rules, tips and tricks but we, as people, are hardwired to respond to visual stimuli in a certain way. That means that it’s not about the product that you’re trying to sell. It’s about the message that you’re trying to send. Once you know what the message is, communicating it with your product package becomes a lot easier.
Author’s bio: Jennifer Hahn Masterson is the Lead Content Strategist at Spread the Word Solutions, holding an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena, insisting on long-term sustainability rather than on some questionable get-rich-fast scheme. You can check her out on LinkedIn.
I'm SEO specialist and certified Adwords consultant. I have been working in Search Engine Marketing for over three year. In addition working in SEO, I love writing about the subject and contributing to forum discussion in forums about various aspects of Search Engine Optimisation from link building to content development. Read more about me here