For your brand to be memorable, its visual representation has to be attention-grabbing, unique, and impeccable. Your branding has to tell a great story and resonate well with the target client. That’s the surest way of conquering the market in your niche.
At the heart of your brand’s visual representation is the packaging. The memory of how a packaging made someone feel- right from the first time they saw it to the unboxing thrill they had- stays with them forever. That’s why good packaging has the magical ability to enhance sales, customer retention, brand loyalty, and brand affinity.
The question, therefore, follows: How can you create memorable brand experiences through packaging?
Stay abreast of design trends in your niche
Only a few packaging design trends stand the test of time, but that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore them. You have to consider every new trend when developing your product packaging but only embrace the ones that align with your brand image. For example, today’s customers are cognizant of the environmental impact of packaging. They’re thus gravitating towards brands that have embraced eco-friendly packaging. If you haven’t done it already, you should start moving away from non-recyclable and non-reusable packaging materials.
Consider essential functional requirements
Above everything else, packaging should seal and protect the items in it. So, before you worry about aesthetic appeal, you have to first think about functionality.
- Is the product affected by light, heat, or moisture?
- How much ventilation does it need?
- How will it be shipped and how much beating will it encounter during shipping? Are there any size, weight, or volume constraints you need to worry about?
- Is the product single-use? If yes, the packaging doesn’t have to be durable because it’s meant to be discarded after use. If not, the packaging must be durable enough to survive until the product is completely used. It must also be resealable.
- Which laws and regulations must your packaging adhere to? The Poison Prevention Packaging Act is one of the laws you must keep in mind.
- Does it have to be tamperproof? This is particularly important for medical marijuana and over-the-counter drugs. If you’re packaging medical cannabis, you’ll require to outsource custom pre-roll packaging to a company that has the expertise and experience in developing tamper-proof packaging. The company should also have a reputation for complying with set cannabis packaging laws and regulations within your state.
Keep demographics and psychographics in mind
Different demographics (based on age, gender, social class, location, etc.) have different psychographics (e.g. values, interests, and lifestyle choices). You have to keep this in mind when developing product packaging.
- A product meant for children under 5 years, for example, must have colorful illustrations on the packaging for it to be appealing and relatable to children.
- Products targeting the rich and affluent may require packaging designs that portray luxury and affluence (e.g. black and gold colors).
- If you’re targeting youthful adults, your packaging may need to be fun and warm (red and pink).
- Minimalists might prefer black and white packaging because these colors portray simplicity and class.
Bottom line: Conduct thorough research on your target demographic’s psychographics, especially on color preferences, before setting out to design your packaging.
Get your packaging sizes and quantities right
You don’t want your packaging to be too tiny or too big for whatever is inside. If it’s too small, your product is likely to bend and probably break during shipping. If it’s too big, the product will be moving around the empty space, which can also cause unwanted damage. Both scenarios ruin your customer’s unboxing experience. The perfect size gives your packaging a sleek, recognizable, and memorable design.
About the packaging quantities, you must deliberately pack the quantities that serve your target customer’s needs without jeopardizing affordability. You must have a quantity for every social class. If you want to appeal to young adults in their early 20s, for example, you must remember that most of them are either single or raising young families. They may not appreciate products that are only available in large quantities.
Leverage ‘gift-like’ packaging
This means creating packaging that goes beyond making an impressive first impression, to creating packaging that feels like a gift. Make the packaging so visually appealing and functional that shoppers feel tempted to show it off to others. You can achieve this by choosing minimalistic packaging- minimizing clutter on the packaging.
Add a personal touch to your packaging, e.g. by putting a handwritten “thank you” or “Merry Christmas” note in the package. The customer will feel seen and appreciated, which makes the unboxing experience extra special. If you’re targeting customers who are celebrating important milestones, e.g. college graduation, adding a handwritten “congratulations” can get them emotionally invested in your brand.
Add clear windows where possible
Clear windows on the packaging are quite powerful, especially for food and fashion products. They give customers a peek at the items inside, which aids their decision-making process. It also builds anticipation, desire, and excitement, which enhances the customer’s emotional attachment to the product.
Mind the product arrangement
How you arrange the items within the package impacts the unboxing experience in a big way. Ensure that everything is thoughtfully, neatly, and carefully arranged in the box for a premium unboxing experience. This will encourage customers to document and share their unboxing process.
Ensure that your message is simple and precise
Don’t overwhelm customers with too many marketing slogans on the packaging. Your message should only include your brand name, product description (quantity, expiry, nutrition info, storage practices, etc.), and at most 2 selling points. It should also display your brand identity- contact info, logo, and any other important visual branding elements. That’s all.
Be truthful and consistent
Whatever you do in business, never mislead your customers. Always be accurate and never be tempted to stretch the truth one bit. One dishonest message or image on the packaging can soil your entire brand image.
Also, ensure that your brand message is consistent across all customer touchpoints, the packaging included. That will help you create a cohesive brand experience.
Unboxing isn’t your everyday activity. It is a unique experience that ought to be memorable and magical. If you want to win over clients, you have to spare no effort in creating an exciting unboxing experience for them.