The importance of product packagingBy: Arabella
As an agency with a reputation and heritage rooted in beautiful design and years of expertise, we thought we’d share a few thoughts about the value of product packaging.
Many years’ of experience as designers, marketing strategists and consumers has been poured into this blog to underpin the advice. Here are 8 valuable reasons to invest in beautifully effective® packaging.
It is critical for brand recognition
Because packaging plays such an important role in building brand recognition, consistency is essential. This is particularly true for brands where the packaging is more recognisable than the product. We’d probably all recognise an iPhone without Apple’s signature minimalist, white packaging, but would we recognise a piece of Tiffany jewellery without the iconic turquoise box and white satin ribbon? Possibly not.
It speaks volumes about your product positioning
How do you identify a premium product? Superior quality? Possibly. Higher price tag? Probably. Beautiful design? Almost certainly. Packaging with distinctive design, quality production value and attention to detail can turn an ordinary product into a luxury item. Similarly, it does little service to a premium product to place it in budget wrapping. When making decisions around product packaging it’s important to ask, where are you positioning your product relative to the competition? What must the shell communicate about the product within?
It is an extension of your advertising strategy
In its simplest form, product packaging is an advert for your brand. Given the right packaging, a consumer may be more likely to leave a product on their kitchen worktop, or carry it proudly on their commute. Packaging is what makes a brand and product recognisable. It also serves as a subliminal trigger, is part of the storytelling aspect and reinforces familiarity.
Packaging will win you shelf space
It’s not just about catching a customer’s eye. Beautiful product packaging design will go a long way in securing retailer buy-in. All of the most successful challenger brands of the 21st century embrace this as imperative. Consider the desired routes to market; what would they be proud to have on display in their stores? Make their lives easy by offering them beautiful, creative packaging.
It is part of the experience
For many consumers the “unboxing” experience will be as important to them as the joy of using the product. Whilst packaging may play a role in delivering a luxury experience for a premium product, it can also play an important role in delivering critical trust signals for everyday products. Such as communicating freshness of food products, authenticity of fair trade products or security for high value products delivered to a customer’s door.
It provides a tangible reward for a digital purchase
When it comes to online shopping, packaging offers customers a tangible and physical touch point with a brand that might otherwise offer an entirely digital experience. For luxury brands, it’s an opportunity to service customers with a little extra that helps compensate for the loss of the ‘in-store’ experience. And for brands that exist purely as e-tailers, like Net-A-Porter, the packaging is an inherent part of how their brand is received.
It’s an opportunity to do good
The ‘awakening’ of eco-conscious consumers (in part thanks to Blue Planet II) has forever tarnished our reliance on materials like plastic. As a result, packaging designers have an opportunity to innovate and be creative in order to take centre-stage, as research shows consumers are more likely to choose brands that demonstrate ethical values.
It can be a costly mistake
Failure to give packaging design due consideration can also have a direct impact on the bottom line. It can squeeze margins or impact price-point positioning. It can affect the size and weight of product, impacting logistics and storage, and material selection can impact the speed and cost of production too. The best packaging is considered as part of product development, not as an afterthought.
A parting piece of advice
We know the value of taking packaging seriously and respect it as an asset for a brand to get right. The best packaging ideas are developed when brand, communications, design and production are all considered simultaneously. Whilst it is of course a commercial decision, the process of creation is a beautiful thing and if done right, delivers exceptional results.