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This article looks at packaging in advertising and the important role it plays in the industry.
Packaging can have a hidden power that is sometimes underestimated, especially when it comes to advertising. It can become a key ingredient to the effectiveness of your marketing formula.
When packaging and advertising work together, they have the potential to create the ultimate marketing bomb, no matter how limited your budget is.
To learn more about how packaging can cooperate in the advertising game, keep reading!
Why is packaging an important advertising tool?
Let’s go back to the marketing essentials; product, price, place, and promotion.
All of them have been discussed in your marketing meetings. Now let's analyse that first P again.
What actually goes into this component?
Is it only about having an awesome product?
Picture yourself at the store buying shampoo. You are standing in the aisle staring at all of these bottles that contain the product you are looking for. You start reading the different bottles and eventually one of them catches your attention for enough time that you actually read what it says. The message is appealing enough that it convinces you to pick it up and purchase it.
You went in there to get shampoo, but what convinced you was the bottle, not the actual product.
Even if this was the best shampoo in the world, without the proper package design you would never come into contact with the product. You didn’t even need to see a television advertisement or a Facebook ad to convince you. The packaging did all of the talking, all of the advertising, and it sealed the deal.
Packaging can go even further than just product packaging. It can go to the extent of creating an actual experience.
Packaging Extends the Shopping Experience
Take Apple for example.
When buying one of their products, you normally go to a store to touch and play around with the actual products before you decide to buy it. Once you make up your mind about a new iPhone or MacBook and buy it, you don’t get the product straight away.
You’re given this box where the product is stored. The funny thing is, even though you already know what you purchased and how the smartphone looks like, you are still super excited to get home and open the box!
When you finally get home and open the box, everything is perfectly packed. The box is sized accordingly to the product, fitting like a glove. There are also different inserts that give you information about the product, how to set it up, and different accessories that come with it.
Opening that box was one of the best parts of your new Apple product because you had a great unboxing experience. Sure, the shopping part was probably a good experience as well, but not as good as the unboxing.
Apple simply nails the use of packaging in advertising.
But do you know the best part?
As a consumer, your shopping journey ended when you unpacked the amazing world inside that box. Most importantly, you remember Apple and who they are. And you remember Apple in a positive way.
In e-commerce, packaging is one of the best tools you can use to extend the shopping experience. Having that surprise element when the shopper receives their package can surely make a difference.
Tip: if you already know what kind of e-commerce packaging would fit your brand, click here.
What’s the advantage of branded packaging?
Naturally, efforts made around the “product” P of marketing are done to increase sales. Even so, there are other advantages that ripple from custom packaging. Let’s explore what some of them are:
Packaging advertises your product when you are not there
Whether it is in a store or at your customer’s home, most likely you will not be there to talk to them about the product. But your packaging sets can do this job.
Take a look at the boxes of Kabak below. The company sells socks and belts, both online and in stores. The cheerful designs of their products are reflected in the company's beautifully designed boxes. It's their way to emphasize how creative the brand is.
Any details that you would like your customers to know can be placed on the packaging. Although, you must remember to do this in a clever manner. Don’t just copy and paste boring text to the box. Remember to create witty copy and a spectacular design.
Remember - your packaging will be advertising your product everywhere.
You want it to reflect your brand identity and represent its values the way they're meant to be.
Here's what Browniegod, a UK-based bakery business had to say about the advantages of custom packaging:
Part of the advertising aspect of packaging is providing your customer with answers to questions they might have. These could even be unique selling points that your brand should use to its advantage.
For example, your brand could be eco-friendly or cruelty-free. Customers might be interested in such details, and it’s important to stay ahead of the game and provide them with the answer beforehand.
Take a look at the brand Cuddle and Kind. They sell hand-knitted dolls which are made by artisans in Peru to help the local economy by giving them a fair wage. Cuddle and Kind also promote that for every doll they sell, they provide 10 meals to a child in need. This unique selling proposition can be seen throughout their website and continue on their packaging to keep promoting what their business is all about.
A similar approach was chosen by a German brand called Malimo. The company sells clothes made from scraps. And each customer receives a fantastic message upon the arrival of the package - that very purchase is responsbile for 10 trees planted somewhere in the world.
Packaging advertises what your brand is about
Good packaging also comes down to the details.
There are many features to choose from to develop a unique packaging. You can play with the product, material, colour, design, and finishes. The characteristics you choose to build your packaging with will speak for themselves when it comes to your brand.
Tip: Dive deep into the world of packaging design with Packhelp's guide.
Your packaging works as your business card and you want to look your best. You may compare it to how you present yourself in an interview. You can be the most qualified person for the job, but if you show up in ripped jeans and an old t-shirt, you will most likely not be considered.
The same thing happens to your customers.
Considerations are made through the eyes, and the ones that stand out in the best way have a higher likelihood of being purchased.
This also applies to online retailers too and goes back to the experience we mentioned earlier.
A surprise packaging will advertise to your customers that you are a brand that cares about giving them the best for what they are purchasing.
How will your small business benefit from using packaging as a means for advertising?
Aside from using it as a medium to increase your sales, there are other advantages of using packaging to advertise your brand.
1. You will build loyal customers and brand preference
Customers that buy online and offline always appreciate being cared for. Especially when it is down to the details. You can have the smoothest customer journey and the best customer service, but jaw-dropping packaging will make your customers easily remember you and want to buy from you again.
This goes back to how packaging speaks for your brand. It will speak confidence and show that you care for consumers. Packaging also says that you are a well-rounded business. It will help build trust and start creating a bond with the shopper through the experience of opening the box.
2. You will grow Your Brand Recognition
Packaging has the potential of creating free advertising for your brand. With the era e-commerce, another trend was created; unboxing videos. If you do a quick YouTube search of “unboxing”, boundless videos come up.
Tip: Read about the best unboxing experiences here.
If you develop an intricate packaging that stuns your target audience, you open up the doors for one (or many) of them to create videos about your product and them being uploaded online.
One of these might even go viral and in return, your brand will be better known. People who have never heard of your brand will also become interested in your products and lead to higher sales.
Spread Word-of-Mouth About Your Brand
Last but not least - you want people talking about your brand!
But what if you had some control over what people said and what people were saying about you? Packaging can help you do that.
Proper packaging efforts will talk about your brand and send a positive message to your consumers. They will also have an enthusiastic experience opening your product. As a result, your consumers will be likely to share their experience with their friends and family. This can lead to increased sales. Packaging could be that decisive factor that spreads WOM for your brand.
At the end of the day, packaging gives you an edge. It helps you build your brand and communicate that to your target audience. As a small business, you can use this technique to your advantage to help support your marketing efforts. Remember first impressions matter, and with a well-designed packaging your customers will see a valued brand.