When consumers make purchases in retail environments, they’re usually making up their minds in as little 10 to 20 seconds – according to research conducted by consumer behavior experts. They also ignore up to 2/3 of competitive products in the process. These statistics show just how difficult it is to capture the attention of consumers. It’s no wonder so many brands fail at retail!
No matter how compelling consumer product marketing is, the actual sale is made at the retail shelf. Packaging is a very tangible representation of a brand. And, if it fails to make an impression, it adds up to lost sales; even worse, lost brand-building opportunities. Add to that a plethora of brands clamoring for attention and it shows just how much pressure there is on brand managers to get packaging right.
Packaging is about delivering great brand experiences
Packaging can’t connect with consumers or sell the product unless it tells the brand story. Brands, licensed or not, have equitable assets that must be leveraged. It’s important to delve deeply into these properties to uncover both overt and hidden values to deliver the essence of the property. Understanding the visual cues that resonate with consumers on an emotional level leads to compelling and recognizable package design that refers back to the brand.
To accomplish instant brand recognition; to elicit an emotional response and to seal the deal in a scant few seconds:
- Use simple direct messaging that truly resonates with consumers.
- Uncover core messaging that the consumer will immediately respond to on an emotional level.
- Identify key product benefits and features that are direct, simple to assimilate and support the emotional response with rational reasons to make the purchase.
- Strive for an ownable, unique package structure, color, and strong visual cues as brand identifiers and differentiators.
- Develop a well-planned package design system and support it with standardization; one-off package designs lead to a lack of brand cohesiveness.
All of these strategies lead to increased visibility and brand recognition. Great packaging refers back to the brand in a convincing manner; making the differences between it and its competitors plain to see in a scant few seconds. Then the visual and brand communication aspects of the package design seal the deal because they deliver the brand experience.
Visual cues on packaging that immediately tell the brand story
No matter how many new princesses Disney presents to dazzle little girls; no matter how much proprietary and licensed merchandise hits the marketplace, the Disney Princess brand brings out a deep emotional response from its audience. The current packaging’s pink and purple glitter texture is leveraged as primary package design architecture and a background to the distinctive Princess logotype. The texture and logotype work together to establish immediate brand recognition, regardless throughout the retail environment, regardless of the category.
Spidey and His Amazing Friends, one of the most popular animated series geared towards preschoolers, it all about the three spider-heroes – Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy and Miles Morales (also known as Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider and Spin). The packaging for this beloved brand highlights the three superheroes over a soft blue burst and halftone texture on a stark white background. The Spidey and His Amazing Friends logo speaks to the preschool audience in primary colors, which are echoed throughout the package design. Every front panel features these three web-slingers in action to immediately the attention of young superhero fans.
Ultimately, packaging has to be judged on how it affects consumer purchasing behavior. If packaging isn’t a huge asset in selling product and cementing brand loyalty on the retail shelf – if it doesn’t convey the brand story – it simply isn’t effective, no matter how beautiful it is.