You may have heard that consumers make snap decisions when it comes to purchasing decisions — we can confirm that this is the case, and there is science to back it up. One source has shown that customers can make buying decisions in as little as a third of a second.
One psychological factor at play when it comes to buying habits is the perception of the product — and packaging plays a huge role in this area. Human beings are visual creatures. We process information based on what we see. Whether we know it or not, we are lured in by package design, materials, and overall appearance. The right packaging can make all the difference between a sale for you or your competitor.
Packaging Helps Your Product Stand Out
If your package design is unique, your customers will notice. It’s all about shelf appeal. You are vying for attention in today’s market, and your competitors will be doing all they can to jump out at your target customer. One way you can gain an edge is to do what they aren’t and to be adventurous with your packaging.
Take time to consider the right color or combination of colors to use. Consider the shape of your packaging and the materials used. You’re looking to make an emotional impact and to grab your potential customer’s eye. Anything you can do to encourage them to linger on your product for a few more seconds can make all the difference and make your merchandise fly off the shelves.
It’s often for reasons such as this that companies decide to rebrand. Now and then, a product’s image requires a refresh, and this change-up can draw a lot of wanted attention.
With Packaging, You Can Capitalize on Trends
Trends influence the way we dress, the way we speak, and the shows we watch. Every single sector and market are subject to trends, and savvy companies capitalize on these trends or jump on them before anyone else.
Some examples of packaging trends that enraptured the public are Chinese self-heating food packaging or tamper detection bottles, with chips that detect if a bottle is opened. Some brands even choose to create a short-run on some product packaging to be in-line with a trend. Limited editions such as this can generate demand and influence sales.
Packaging Allows You to Showcase Your Brand
Packaging is another opportunity for you to showcase your brand — what your values are, what you’re all about, and where you’re going. Brand perception is hugely important, and it’s something customers buy into — which is why some of us, for example, buy branded trainers when we could get a much cheaper alternative. People, by nature, are pack animals. By aligning ourselves with a brand, we become part of a “tribe” — an in-group. A strong brand can guarantee repeat business and ensure long-lasting customer loyalty. Use your packaging to reflect your colors, your ethics, and your personality.
Packaging Allows You to Add Value to Your Sale
The purchase is not really the end of a sale. Consider what your customers do with your packaging once they’ve unboxed your product. Packaging allows you to add more value — to give your customers a little something extra.
Functional packaging can play a huge role when it comes to repeat business. Can your packaging be repurposed? Does it have an edgy or sophisticated look to it — will your customers be proud to keep the packaging around their homes to show it off (and effectively promote your brand)?
Such value will attract customers and will show them you put real care and attention into every detail along the production line.
Customers Today Are Conscious about Packaging
Customers today are careful not only about what they buy but about the packaging it comes in. People are willing to pay more for green packaging — 37% of customers will pay more for eco-friendly products, while more than half of customers are happy to pay more to avoid plastic packaging. By positioning your organization as eco-conscious (and by walking the walk), customers engage and are willing to invest the necessary money to support your values and direction.
Plus, if two comparable products are priced the same. Customers will almost always likely choose the one with eco-friendly packaging, seeing this as the key differentiator.
You might have the best product in the world, but unless it’s packaged and displayed in the right way, you can really be doing damage to your sales potential. Packaging often represents a missed opportunity to take your brand to the next level and to thrive in a competitive market — don’t let it slip through your fingers.
About the Author: Adam Middleton is Marketing Manager at Packaging Supplies, a company that provides custom boxes, design, and solutions for industries in the UK and Europe.