Shoppers know - discover how leading marketer BrandSpark International turns packaging into 'great packaging'.
It has often been said that the only constant is change. In an environment where media fragmentation is increasingly a concern for marketers, it should not surprise the marketing community that brands are having a difficult time breaking through to consumers with a motivating message.
In recent years, the discipline of shopper marketing has become a hot topic in marketing circles around the world. One important component of a brand’s shopper marketing program is its packaging strategy. That’s right! Packaging is a strategic asset and it should be managed as a valuable component of a brand’s portfolio of assets.
In a recent BrandSpark International study, we found that only one-third of consumers knew exactly which brands they were going to buy on their next visit to the grocery store. While alarming for some, this statistic points to the importance of winning the on-shelf battle.
A products’ packaging is, in most cases, the last opportunity a marketer has to convince the shopper that its product is superior and worth buying compared to the many options stocked right beside it.
Packaging can make a difference in whether a shopper considers your product, buys it and even whether they are willing to pay a premium for it. It is important to note that while products are typically designed for the end user, packaging must be designed with an increased emphasis on the shopper.
What are the keys to success in the on-shelf battle?
For over 10 years we have been testing packaging with consumer packaged goods shoppers through custom studies as well as BrandSpark’s Annual Best New Product Awards program. This global database of insights spans nearly every category and has given us a window into understanding what truly makes packaging a persuasive form of marketing.
While an analysis of our global database reveals many packaging design best practices for each major category, we have identified eight universal truths that are applicable to any CPG (consumer packaged goods) category:
1. Less is more
How many times have you heard this before? It is fascinating today to still see thousands of product packages jam-packed with the entire brand story, all the features, some benefits and more.
This type of feature does not attract shoppers.
In fact, because shoppers are looking to complete their shopping trips as quickly as possible, packaging that is able to communicate the product benefits and the brand’s point of differentiation without having to be picked up will win the sale.
2. Benefits over features
It never fails, every time we test packaging concepts, the ones that highlight the product’s consumer benefit outperforms those that highlight only the features of the product.
As marketers, we sometimes have the tendency to tell consumers and shoppers alike as much as possible about the product.
Let’s face it—most shoppers don’t care.
Tell them how the product will help and benefit them. If you are launching a product under a strong brand with relatively high levels of trust in the category, rest assured that shoppers will believe you have designed a product that will deliver. Just make sure that the product does in fact deliver.
Leverage the back of the package to outline any key features relevant to your differentiated product story, but keep the front clean and clutter-free.
3. Benefit-driven design
The packaging design (shape, color, packaging features) must be able to clearly communicate and emphasize the product and brand benefit.
For example, in laundry care, the main consumer benefits are: remove stains, brightens colors and whitens whites. This would suggest packaging that is clean (free of design and copy clutter), bright (bright vibrant colors, which also ladders up to the benefits of ‘whitens’).