Anyone who has stepped into a grocery store in the last several years can attest to the fact that there are so many choices for just about any product out there, it can make your head spin. Last week I counted 42 different kinds of jelly in one section of one aisle in one store. FORTY-TWO!
According to researchers at SIS International, “it is the packaging and the last 10 seconds before purchasing that is most crucial to marketers”. Not even having a product already on someone’s shopping list is as important as those last 10 seconds before s/he puts your product in the cart.
Bearing that in mind, here are 5 areas of focus to consider as you design and manufacture your product’s packaging.
- Clarity and Simplicity – make sure it is blatantly obvious what is inside. Labels should be easy to understand and simple for the eye to digest. Think of the way you read – left to right, and make sure there is lots of pleasing white space.
- Appropriateness – this is all about the tone and messaging lining up with the intended target audience. If you are selling to children, consider some sort of mascot that they can attach to (bonus points if there can be merchandising tie ins such as toys or games) The product and packaging should reflect the conditions under which they will be sold. A great example of this would be natural or organic ingredients. A product that was being sold at Whole Foods or other higher end natural food stores might expectedly look different than if your product were to be sold at a dollar store.
- Differentiation – Is your product different from the one it sits next to on the shelf? Say that! If your product contains some crucial ingredient that no one else has, make sure the package reflects that, either in explicit language or graphically. If there is nothing on the label that helps someone decide between two seemingly identical products, they might find that the easiest way to decide is by lowest price, so if your price is higher you might lose out. However, sometimes the opposite is true and some people might buy based on perceived value (most expensive = best). Make it easy on them and use your label and packaging to give them a reason to buy that goes beyond price.
- Personality and overall branding – Fundamentally, branding tells your potential customers what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Branding is your statement about who you are. Make sure that your product says what you want it to say.
- Competitive – Like differentiation, this is your opportunity to brag a little. Has your product won an award? Has it been rated in consumer research to be superior in some way? People love a winner, so shout your accomplishments from the proverbial rooftops!
People have too many choices and too little time today. You have an opportunity with your packaging to help them make good choices by telling them a story. With great design and strategic thinking about how you are different and why someone should buy your product, the story ends with them becoming your customer (for life!)