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Often overlooked and underestimated, product packaging is a severely misunderstood marketing tool. Many see it only as a means to an end rather than an end to itself, not realizing its significant impact on the customers.
Through the constantly rising popularity of online shopping, packaging has now become the first point of contact with customers for many businesses. Gone are the days of treating packaging as an afterthought.
Without giving thoughtful consideration to the packaging, building a recognizable brand, let alone inspiring brand loyalty, is a pipe dream.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that customer loyalty is becoming harder to secure. And, why wouldn’t it be? With so many brands desperately competing with each other for the customers’ attention, the fight comes down to the smallest of details. Companies or brands that pay attention to them are bound to find success in creating loyal customers.
How does the packaging look?
How does it feel to the touch?
Does it protect the product?
Is it exciting to unbox?
These are the details every brand has to consider when creating packaging. Now, the goal of packaging isn’t just to deliver the product but also, to make the unboxing an engaging experience on its own. This improved unboxing experience retains existing customers while attracting new ones.
According to a recent study, 52% of online customers said they would likely make repeat purchases from stores if their packaging is premium.
Now premium doesn’t just mean using costly materials. Sure, using high-quality materials to create packaging is an integral part. But giving customers the “premium experience” entails much more than that. It involves carefully designing the packaging for both functionality and aesthetics.
So let’s look at a few ways packaging can be used to build brand loyalty.
Packaging that embodies the brand’s unique characteristics will always resonate more with customers than one’s that don’t. Businesses spend a lot of resources to create and communicate a brand image. This image is crucial for keeping old customers as well as attracting new ones. So, it’s only logical to have packaging that is reflective of that image.
Incorporating brand personality in packaging can be achieved in several ways. The most obvious and effective way would be to use the same colors associated with the brand. Other ways to brand packaging can involve using text and images.
For example, PUMA’s Clever Little Bag embodies PUMA’s commitment to sustainability through innovative packaging. And it’s apparent in both its functionality and aesthetics. Its design makes it lighter than the traditional shoebox. It also eliminates the use of additional carry bags by having the bag itself be the cover of the shoebox. Hence the name Clever Little Bag.
This harmony of brand image in functionality and aesthetics is a tough cookie to crack. It requires careful planning and ingenuity to pull off successfully. Working with professional designers is necessary for effective packaging design. PrintAgraphy offers innovative packaging design and printing services. Check them out right here.
Packaging inserts are a great way to incentivize customers to make repeat purchases. Many businesses, however, think of packaging as free real estate. They dump an ungodly amount of promotional materials such as brochures and flyers into the packaging and pray that the customer buys again.
Customers get genuinely put off when businesses do this kind of thing. At most, one or two promotional flyers are enough. But more than that, it just makes the packaging look messy and results in more trash for the customer.
But customers will appreciate a discount coupon here and there included in the packaging, especially if they are satisfied with their purchase. Helpful guides, stickers, and small gifts are also good as inserts. These will persuade the customer to buy from the same brand again and again.
First impressions and emotions influence a customer’s buying decision greatly. They make subconscious purchase decisions every time they walk along a shop aisle or scroll through a website. So the presentation of a product can subtly influence their buying decision.
Making an effort to make the packaging attractive to customers will excite the customers and create a great unboxing experience.
Attractive packages also have the social media factor. Many people share a picture of their purchase on social media just because the packaging looks good. Tapping into that can be an excellent marketing opportunity for any business.
Another aspect is the quality of the materials used to create the packaging. Customers will be genuinely surprised if the material used is durable and of high quality. It may also prompt them to reuse the bags or boxes, which will lead to further brand exposure.
Customers today are more environmentally conscious than ever. Now it’s time for the brands to meet their efforts. Sustainable packaging is a big plus for any brand as more and more customers are turning away from businesses with less environmentally friendly practices.
Using recycled materials and reducing waste builds goodwill for a brand. Also, when brands meet their efforts toward sustainability, customers feel appreciated and stick to those brands as they are environmentally friendly.
Thanking a customer for their purchase is an age-old tradition. But as shopping moves further away from face-to-face interactions to the online world, this act of expressing gratitude is becoming detached from the human element. Thank you cards that are generically written and thrown into the packaging invoke no emotional response from a customer. And rightfully so.
Customers know when they are genuinely being appreciated. So, instead of opting for a generic, one size fits the type of thank-you message brands should take the time and effort to create personalized ‘Thank You cards for their customers. Customers are more likely to buy again if they are made to feel special.
Neglecting packaging design is not an option any business can take without losing out. For customers, the packaging of the product is as important as the product itself. To retain existing customers, businesses must give thoughtful consideration to their packaging. They must meet the customers’ specific needs while also being appealing to the eye.