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Packaging in Marketing: Five Things Product Packaging Must Do

In life, looks aren’t everything. But in marketing, it’s a whole different story.

First impressions are made within the first 7 seconds. That means your business only has one shot at attracting consumer attention and converting mild interest into a sale.

The packaging of your product is a key component of this process. After all, it’s the first thing customer’s see and what most purchasing decisions are based on.

So, how do you create a package that’s appealing and helps close the deal? Read on to learn the importance of packaging in marketing and the 5 elements it needs.

The Importance of Packaging in Marketing

Before we get into what quality brand packaging should look like, let’s discuss why it’s important.

We live in a world of instant gratification and impulsive decision making. Which is why most consumers spend less than 10 seconds thinking about the product they’re buying.

They rarely take time to read labels or research product reviews. Instead, they choose the item that’s visually appealing. This is usually based on the size, shape, color, and design of the label or packaging.

If you want to make a sale, you need to create packaging in marketing that is eye-catching. But it also needs to have a clear point of view and purpose.

How is it done? Let’s take a look at 5 tips for creating packaging people can’t resist. 

1. Simple but Direct

Simplicity goes a long way. Customers don’t need (or want) overly complicated packaging or labels to weed through. 

We live in a world of overstimulation, people are drawn to simple visuals that don’t require too much thought. Packaging in marketing should be direct and to the point.

The product you’re selling is designed to solve a problem. Make sure the solution is clearly stated on your packaging. Customers should be able to look at your product and instantly tell what it does and how it can help them.

We live in a fast-paced society. Value the consumers time by making their shopping experience simple. When it comes to packaging in marketing, less is more.

2. Stand Out

While simple packaging is important, your brand design still needs a “wow” factor. Your package sits beside countless others on the shelf, all vying for the customer’s attention. So, what makes yours stand out?

The way you design your package is key. You need to find a balance between a design that’s too “busy” and one that’s too boring.

Using certain shapes can help achieve this. Cusps are popular in brand packaging. These are sharp, pointy shapes that catch people’s attention and also elicit feelings of urgency. 

Color schemes are another great way to make your product “pop”! Base your color selection on a few, key things:

  • Customer mindset (age, gender, demographics)
  • Your message and the end goal
  • Your CTA (call to action – what do you want customers to do?)
  • Customer emotions (how do you want consumers to feel?)

Here’s a brief breakdown of the feelings associated with certain colors:

  • White – innocence, equality, and purity
  • Black – power and authority
  • Red – stimulating and exciting
  • Green – balance and harmony
  • Orange – fun and adventurous

Blue is considered a “safe” color, appealing to both men and women. When packaging products, always keep your target audience and your purpose in mind.

3. Tap Into Buyer Emotions

80% of the decisions we make in life are based purely on emotion. Which is why your brand packaging should create an emotional connection with buyers. 

One of the best ways to do this is through eye contact. When you make eye contact with someone, it usually means something. You linger for a moment to search for meaning and to better understand what the connection is.

Your product packaging should do the same thing. Cause buyers to pause and take a second look. It’s in this moment that you capture their heart and attention and make the sale. 

Incorporate certain colors in your product design to elicit specific emotions. People love adorable animals and babies but are also drawn to strong, edgy designs. The purpose of your product will dictate which emotions you focus on.

4. Capitalize on Classic Design

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Turning to iconic packaging can help spark ideas for your brand packaging. After all, Coca Cola has been around for 127 years and is still worth $74 billion.

Looking at classic packaging designs for inspiration isn’t stealing, as long as you put your own creative spin on it. Coca Cola packaging is a beautiful symphony of the best design elements.

It uses red to stimulate customer excitement. The classic font curves beautifully down the purposefully shaped bottle. And if you look closely, there are two cusp shapes that bring attention to the words themselves.

The white font is appealing to adults and kids alike. But Coca Cola also backs their expertly designed packaging with a quality product. In business, both elements are needed.

It’s also crucial you stay up to date on current trends, which is why market research in product design is so important. SmashBrand explains more about this.

5. Pass the Five-Year-Old Test

This is one of the most classic tests in marketing. Your product packaging should be simple and clear enough that if described to a five-year-old, they could easily find it on the shelf.

Think of Mr. Clean. He is an iconic figure and one that is recognizable. Described as a smiling bald man wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, a five-year-old would have no problem finding this product on the shelf.

Why is getting into the mind of an adolescent so important? Because most kids focus mainly on visual cues. They may not know what Mr. Clean products do or why we need them, but they’ll have no problem picking them out in a lineup. 

Your brand packaging needs to be equally simple and iconic. 

Design to Sell

Packaging in marketing is all about appealing to your target audience. You also need to stand out in the crowd, but for the right reasons.

Combining elements of classic design, emotional engagement, and simplicity may just be the recipe for success.

Need more marketing tips? Check out this page that covers video marketing to real estate and more!

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