Product packaging is just one component of a product’s success, but it is also a very vital part. When done properly, effective packaging will not only keep a product protected, but it will also have the ability to attract customers, effectively advertise, and speak to the brand of the company.
When a product is poorly packaged, a company immediately runs the risk of looking unprofessional, and they may lose some of their customers as a result. When a product is delivered, a customer should feel as though they’re opening a gift made just for them. It is an experience that they should enjoy every time something is delivered, which will urge them to continue their relationship with a specific brand.
Benefits of Effective Packaging
The following are some of the benefits of creating effective packaging for a company’s products:
It comes as no surprise that the main purpose of packaging is to keep a product safe. However, this component has become more and more important as the eCommerce market continues to flourish.
Many customers now rely on the internet for their shopping needs, which means that their packages are often traveling thousands of miles to reach them. Without proper packaging, these items can make it to doorsteps severely damaged, only to be returned by unhappy customers.
This is why smart product packaging is very important, especially when you consider how much farther products are traveling on a daily basis.
Promoting the Brand
If a customer isn’t familiar with a specific brand, it’s not always possible for them to speak to a brand ambassador who can tell them about company goals, values, culture, etc. While this aspect is important for a customer when trying to choose between brands, it is often up to the packaging of the product to share a company’s story.
Effective advertising can demonstrate whether a company is environmentally friendly, what audience they cater to, and even how much they believe in their product. A package that tells a story about the company and who they are is often the best way to intrigue customers who can’t speak to an actual person about the product.
Ease of Use
Smart packaging often caters to the needs of the customer, simply by showing that the product is more easily opened or used in comparison to other similar products. Whether this is done through printed images on the product or the package shape, this aspect can often entice customers to choose one option over another.
A company that changes their packaging on multiple occasions may notice that their customer loyalty falters. It’s important to remember that, once a customer is happy with a product, they will likely remember the product for the packaging they first purchased it in.
If your packaging is effective, it’s a good idea to stick with what’s working instead of trying to reinvent the look multiple times. Customer loyalty can often be maintained if they can recognize packaging that holds a product they enjoy.
With the growing popularity of social media, effective packaging can often end up on a customer’s social media feed for others to view and gain interest in. Often, when a customer likes the look of a product, they’ll want to share it with their following by means of videos, photos, or snaps.
This kind of advertising is invaluable to companies since it’s completely free and has the potential to reach very wide groups of followers. This is also why it can be valuable to print company accounts and social media platforms on a product, so customers can interact with a specific company and tag their photos to share.
Today’s Packaging Options
In this day and age, product packaging options have never been vaster. Smarter technology and our environmental impact are two of the key factors that have changed the way companies approach their packaging options, and this has led to smarter, more environmentally friendly options.
Not only are customers looking for smarter packaging, but companies are also utilizing their packaging to share their brand’s message and to increase their customer base. This is often done through effective advertising, quality color printing, social media labeling, and added extras included in customer packages.
The way a product is packaged can often be the deciding factor between one company and another, so it is important for businesses to invest in smart packaging that intrigues and wins over potential consumers. A package that is bland, broken, or unidentifiable will likely be left behind for a package that might be earth-friendly, compact, brightly designed, or re-usable.
Once a company has established an effective form of packaging, they may want to update it through the year to keep customers interested. Some of the key times that packaging usually changes for companies are during popular holidays such as Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc.
However, is it really necessary to change your packaging during these popular times of the year? Or is it more beneficial to save money and stick with the current packaging?
How Does Holiday Packaging Influence Consumer Behavior?
Holiday packaging does have the power to influence customer behavior; however, that doesn’t mean it will result in all good or all bad customer responses. Essentially, a company that hits the nail on the head with their advertising will experience a surge in sales, while a similar company with the same idea and a different design may experience huge losses.
There are a few ways that holiday packaging can influence consumer behavior, including:
Packaging that embraces the popular colors of the holiday season is often much more popular than that which misses the mark. For example, black and orange colors are popular for Halloween packaging, while reds, greens, blues, and silvers are common for the winter holiday season.
Because customers are often choosing packaging that will be given as a holiday gift or used to decorate their home, ensuring that you’re choosing the right colors is one of the best ways to help your packaging influence customers who are in the holiday spirit.
Not everyone loves to spend hours shopping at the mall, especially during busy seasons. A product that is wrapped up in an attractive, ready-to-give package often finds more success with customers who don’t want to spend extra time and money on wrapping paper and bags.
This is especially true during the winter holiday season when having the ability to buy a gift that’s ready for giving saves on a lot of time spent in long lines and busy parking lots. Packing that hides a product well will also likely do better during specific holidays when gift-giving is more prominent.
For example, see-through packaging is generally a popular choice, based on its ability to send the message that a company is proud of its product and willing to be transparent about what they sell. However, for a holiday such as Christmas, smarter packaging might include a less visible package and a ready-to-give design.
Many consumers are now much more aware of the ability for companies to “go green,” and will often choose environmentally friendly companies over those that don’t practice green packaging. While a company may not offer packaging that is recyclable or easy to break down, the other option is to give a package multiple uses, such as offering reusable bags.
When it comes to Halloween, one way to influence customer behavior could be to offer packaging that doubles as a Halloween bag or that comes with a recyclable bag for trick-or-treating. With this kind of packaging, parents can purchase costumes, candy, and décor while also having the added bonus of a free bag for their kids to use on Halloween.
These kinds of packages that serve a different purpose once they’re emptied can often influence a consumer’s behavior and help them to choose between competing companies.
Longevity of Design
If you’ve decided that your company is going to use holiday packaging, you’ll want to be sure that the packaging suits the holiday and is only offered during a very specific timeframe. You don’t want to be selling Valentine’s Day packing when Easter rolls around—because, chances are, customers aren’t looking for old products.
If your chosen holiday packaging won’t be needed for very long, keep this in mind and consider offering your traditional packaging for those who don’t want the holiday-specific designs.
Tips to Remember
If you’re thinking about changing your packaging throughout the year or for specific seasons and holidays, then you’ll want to be sure that you’re making the best decisions. A lot of companies hit the mark with their packaging changes, while others are left with rejected designs and ideas that cost them more than they made.
The following are some of the tips you’ll want to consider before deciding on holiday packaging:
Consider Seasonal Packaging
Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, and not everyone is going to be interested in specific designs that are only relevant for a few weeks. If you want to do something for Halloween, consider your audience and think about the option of a more autumn-themed design that will encompass more customers and a longer timeframe.
Some companies will do well to focus on a specific holiday, such as candy companies embracing Halloween. However, if you know your product and your audience well, you might know that a holiday-specific design doesn’t make sense for what you sell. Seasonal packaging may be the solution for some companies, but not all.
Some holidays like Christmas tend to last a few months before they fizzle out in the New Year, but other days, such as New Year’s Eve, are really only the main focus for one night. If you’re thinking about your packaging, you’ll want to avoid producing too much holiday packaging for events that don’t last very long.
Often, companies will run the risk of overestimating how much of a holiday product they will sell and will end up stuck with large quantities of a product that isn’t relevant soon after. Avoid large losses of a product by being smart about product packaging that represents specific holidays.
If a company has decided to utilize holiday packaging, then it’s important that they make sure to maintain a level of familiarity in their package. Customers can often become confused by changes in the shape and color of a company’s packaging, especially if they’re long-time customers.
If you can, try to stay true to the different packaging designs you’ve been using, not only so customers can differentiate you from other companies but so they can differentiate between all of your own products. Whether it’s keeping your main logo, using familiar colors, or maintaining your unique package shape, be sure to stick with some of your unique characteristics and add seasonal details to these aspects.
Your product will decide your ultimate success, but your attention to packaging should not be left as an extra detail. What a product comes in can easily make or break a customer’s decision to purchase your product or to go with other competitors who have put more time into their designs.
When it comes to the holidays, packaging is still just as important as it is throughout the rest of the year. While it often means more planning and spending to implement new packaging, customers often appreciate the holiday-themed designs that they can use for décor, gift-giving, and getting into the holiday spirit.
If you’re not sure how to implement holiday packaging into your current design, be sure to consider the tips mentioned above to ensure a successful design. You’ll want to take into account the type of product you’re selling, your focus groups, color schemes, and smart packaging to intrigue and impress current and potential customers.
With Halloween just around the corner, consider influencing consumer behavior by offering spookier designs, multi-use packaging, or popular Halloween colors to entice more sales, so long as you stay true to your recognizable design and branding.