6 Ways That Packaging Can Elevate the Customer Experience | The Pouch Shop
With the fight for shelf space becoming more competitive than ever, it’s vital that businesses work together with packaging suppliers to create eye-catching products that leap off the shelf, offer a memorable experience, and keep their brand at the forefront of customers’ minds.
While there are many factors that determine the success of a product – such as timing, competition, seasonal trends, and unexpected changes to industry regulations – it’s hard to deny the importance of memorable packaging.
Just how important is great packaging? It defines how people perceive your brand, how they interact with your products, whether they choose you over the competition, and their likelihood of becoming a loyal, repeat purchaser.
With the right packaging, you’ll be rewarded with increased profits, higher levels of customer satisfaction, longer shelf life, and increased brand recognition among your competition.
To help you better understand the benefits of great packaging, here are 6 effective ways you can help drive customer engagement through the roof.
1. Increase brand recognition
Having a consistent brand image across all channels is the key to standing out. From the design of your website through to your emails, catalogues, brochures, and – of course – your packaging.
Every time you communicate with your potential customers, it should be crystal-clear who is talking to them. This way, they’ll be more receptive to your sales message, and perhaps more eager to buy from a recognised brand.
How do you do this with packaging? Make sure all the design elements of your packaging lines up with your brand. This includes your choice of colour and font through to graphics, layout, key selling points, and the copywriting. Inconsistencies with any of these elements may be seen as ‘out of character’ and cause potential customers to question your authenticity or quality standards.
2. Sneak in little surprises
Most people love surprises (well, the good kind of surprises, at least). So why not incorporate an element of surprise into the way you package and present your products to customers?
There are many ways you can go about doing this. What matters most is that the surprise element is directly related to the product itself, and that it complements the experience you want your customers to have.
For instance, you could include a free serving spoon in your packet of muesli. Perhaps make your product ‘gift ready’ by covering the product in white wrapping paper and placing it in a decorative container. Or feature a measurement on a bottle of wine that tells you how much each serving is for one standard drink.
Do some creative brainstorming, and think of ways that you can grab your customers’ attention and keep them engaged.
3. Use colour wisely
Colour is one of the most important elements of your packaging. Numerous studies have concluded the type of colours we are exposed to can influence how we perceive certain products and also determine our likelihood of purchasing them.
How important is colour psychology when it comes to packaging? According to a study from KISSmetrics, 85 percent of shoppers cite colour as the primary reasons why they buy certain products, and that colour increases brand recognition by 80 percent. These figures should be enough to convince you just how crucial choosing the right colour is.
But how do you know what the right colour is? That depends on the type of product, the expectations of your target audience, what the competition is using, and your existing brand or image. Cultural preferences can also determine whether a target market will be receptive to your choice of colour.
Your best bet is to test the market. Reach out to your local packaging supplier, talk to them about your vision, and let them help you settle on a few test batches for you to try on the market.
By keeping the testing scale small, you can receive accurate and helpful feedback at a very low cost. As a result, you’ll have all the information you need to decide on whether the new packaging is the right choice.
4. Make your packaging easy (yet safe) to use
No one likes fumbling around with a product trying to get it open. So don’t make the same mistake with your packaging.
Instead, take into consideration the type of product you’re selling, how people use it, and how you can design the packaging in a way that makes it easy to use for the right people. This way, customers will have an easier time using your product, and will be more likely to purchase from you again.
“Hold on,” you might be thinking, “What do you mean by the right people?” Good question.
You see, in some cases, you don’t want your packaging to be accessible for everyone. For instance, many commercial cleaning products such as bleach have specially designed caps, which require the user to twist the cap in a certain way so they can access the product. By having this feature, the product is far less likely to be accessed by children, or anyone else at risk of accidentally consuming dangerous chemicals.
In summary? Try to strike the right balance between accessibility and safety.
Even if the functionality of your packaging is not what grabs people’s attention in the first place, rest assured, they will likely use your product again if their first experience is an enjoyable one.
5. Tell a compelling story
On the surface, the idea of using packaging to ‘tell your story’ sounds a bit corny. Why should people care about your story? Shouldn’t you instead focus on what’s in it for the customer?
In many cases, you’re right. When it comes to using storytelling to sell your product, there’s a very real risk the blurbs and descriptions will become bloated, self-congratulatory content that does little but inflate the companies ego.
To avoid this risk, you should focus the ‘story’ on either a tangible or intangible benefit that the customer can relate to.
For example, the Coca Cola company places a lot of emphasis on socialising as part of their brand. You’ve probably seen the resurgence of ‘Share a Coke with ____’ in the design of their bottles. This concept is designed to promote the idea of socialising with friends and family and giving to others. In this sense, Coke is portraying itself as not just another soft drink, but a way of life.
Keep in mind: you don’t have to rely on purely words to tell a story, either. You could incorporate certain images and graphics to help customers elicit a certain emotional response.
Take the company Scanwood for example. They sell a range of kitchen utensils made from wood harvested from sustainable sources. To exemplify this message, their packaging has the product in the middle and ‘roots’ growing from the product itself, which helps illustrate exactly where the product came from.
6. Make clever use of space
The size of your packaging has a major impact on shelf presence. Generally speaking, the larger your packaging, the more likely it’ll be seen by potential customers. Of course, having large packaging just for the sake of it is never a good idea, as it can make the packaging bulky and result in wasted space.
This is where your packaging supplier can help out. By taking into account the size and quantity of your product, they can recommend a packaging solution that’ll help you stand out while making clever use of space.
They can also advise you on what is considered a reasonable amount of empty space. This is crucial, as some empty space is often necessary to prevent the risk of damage. This is most evident with chips and biscuit packaging, as the products are packed in loose yet air padded bags to prevent them from being crushed.
Some products, such as raw sugar and flour, intentionally leave open space at the top. This empty space at the top serves as its own ‘handle’ which the customer can use to grab, carry, and eventually open the packaging.
Regardless, talk to your manufacturer about how they can help you maximise the use of space for your products.
Have any questions about packaging? Contact The Pouch Shop today, your trusted packaging partner, and find out how we can provide a flexible and versatile packaging solution for you.