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Packaging is one of the most effective brand marketing tools, not only does it have practical value, it also offers a unique way to

Build brand experience: some opinions in the mind of shoppers are created by controlled experiences as advertising and retail environments; but, others are uncontrolled like media/critique reviews and word of mouth comments (including social media). For instance, a study of dotcom shows that 4 out of 10 consumers would share an image of purchase if it comes with a unique package. Therefore, product packaging is vital in the creation of Strong Brands in the digital space.

Facilitate brand commitment: good packaging enhances the chance that your customers will stick to your brand also for future purchasing journeys, the level of packaging directly affects the level of commitment, thus it also directly affects the level of brand equity protection.

Increase brand earnings: high-quality packaging is the passport to enter in a new market, but also the tool to build a strong brand; a strong brand can be considered as the visa to go in and out of a market, which at the end can give you higher level of flexibility for budget allocation and increased brand earnings.

Furthermore, product packaging is not only an important tool of your brand strategy, but also an important medium of your marketing strategy. In fact, it’s a valuable instrument to your brand in promotional campaigns, in price enhancement, in defining the characters of new products and in the creation of brand identity and shelf impact.

Here are 9 features that drive buying decisions for successful products:

Costumers are stimulated with more and more choices, the offer is getting more customized, personalized and specialized. Customers want to be tempted with a complete multi-sensory journey experience. Only few brands are able to offer the full experience.

While the fundamental principles of product packaging are relatively easy to understand, successfully implementing them with a strategic direction isn’t always straightforward – but it’s something every brand should aim for.

1) Stand out effect: At the POS, customers are bombarded with a huge amount of visual information, all products try to be original and have the super cool eye-catching appearance. Therefore, it’s really hard to have a stand out and distinctive look. Most of the brands implement choices that are taken from the same “marketing book.” You need to study on a different book and stands out clearly. A nice surprising look will grab attention as well as justifying an increase in the price.

2) Deshaco: It stands for design, shape and color. Three terms in one word define the importance that customers give to aesthetic and attractiveness of products. None of them can exist without the other two. They are strongly interrelated. A great packaging design will never be successful with a wrong color, etc.. Design, shape and colors are the three coordinate dimensions that help a product to find its own position in a POS dimensional space full of competitors.

3) Purpose & Functionality: Functionality of product packaging is the key feature for a successful experience and it can be the deciding factor between two products. Aroma product safe guard, environmental cost & responsibility, practical handling etc… 4) Material: It’s one of the most discussed features of product packaging along with Deshaco. For example, in recent years there’s been a growing debate about producing items that have a zero impact on the environment. But, many brands reacted slowly and cautiously because of production and switching costs. Brands who instead adopted new strategies in relation to materials have gained a sustainable competitive advantage, not because of the new material itself, but because customers decided to support brands’ strategies and missions.

However, the future will be of those brands that will not only have a zero impact on the environment, but that will actually have a positive impact. For example, fashion brand G-Star produced a pair of jeans using recycled plastic waste that was floating over the Pacific Ocean to help raise awareness as well as actually contribute to cleaning up the ocean.

5) Communication value: product packaging is the medium of the marketing mix that plays the final and an important role in the customer journey. It often is the final and vital communication factor that can increase the purchasing intention. All the efforts of the marketing & branding teams can be destroyed in an instant if the final packaging does not communicate the correct value. For example, if the word that describes your brand essence and/or marketing campaign is “safety”, than also the final packaging must reflect that key word.

6) Innovating value: Innovation has always had and will always have an important strong appeal for customers. It will directly affect not only the association of your brands with innovation values, but it will also have a brand awareness effect and a sales increase.

7) Multi-sensory appeal: visual appeal is not enough. A person is stimulated by 5 senses; sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Engaging customers through multiple senses means intensifying attention of customers toward your brand products, a full sensory experience can also justify an increase in price.

8) Credibility alignment: marketing campaigns that promote high-quality products need to keep up with the expectations of the customers. As a consequence, successful products always show a perfect alignment between the quality of the product itself and the quality of the product packaging. 9) Second life: products with packaging that can stimulate the fantasy and that can be re-utilized in a new way will drive higher the re-purchasing intention. It might also be a great occasion to experiment some brand extension products with other complimentary packaging solutions.

With these 9 product-packaging features, you will be able to refine your brand essence, improve purchase intention and communicate better your brand personality and brand values. Just keep in mind that product packaging is a long-term strategy that takes a serious commitment, that can also give short-term results. The benefit to all this focus on packaging work is that the benefits are exponential.

About the authors:

Clothilde Meritet, Regional Manager, Business Development Adriano Caccamo, Marketing Consultant for Icicle Group


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