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When we thought we know everything about the packaging industry, we have heard the new secret word - packvertising.
Packvertising sounds like a made-up buzzword, created to mess with your marketing strategy, right?
Before you form any opinion about this concept, watch the video below.
The man you saw is Perry Haydn Taylor, the founder and creative director of an agency called Big Fish. We begin with his short interview because the term "packvertising" is this man's brilliant idea.
In a few words, packvertising is building a brand awareness without the paid advertisements. In other words, it's using packaging as the primary advertising channel.
You might be asking the question - how? How can you rely so much on a box, which primarily protects your product? What about video content, what about social media and everything we have been learning about marketing in the last decade or so?
Packvertising is not crossing them all out. However, it changes the proportions and moves the weight of your brand creation elsewhere.
Packvertising - a new driving force of marketing
To believe in the sense of packvertising, we should analyze a few facts.
First of all, the truth about marketing is that global brands dominate most of the industries. Their budgets are gargantuan in comparison with local companies, which automatically makes them way more visible in paid advertising funnels.
"Marketing leaders spent more on their websites, digital commerce, and digital advertising than on other categories in 2016" - as found in research by Gartner.
The consequence is that small brands are in a losing position from the day they are established.
If the reality was indeed so dark, nobody would go into e-commerce. And the data shows that e-commerce is buoyant and growing.
This fact means that these smaller e-commerce brands look for alternative marketing channels. One - and most extensively used - is content marketing. Sharing blog articles, exchanging posts with other, creating influencer campaigns and using many different strategies - it all works great. Given the circumstances, you do not have a physical product.
Your packaging is your ad
What's the point of an advertisement in general? To showcase the product and exhibit its most prominent features.
This is precisely what a customized packaging does too. It presents your product in the best manner possible and channels the mood of your brand. If you are minimalist, you go with kraft cardboard. If you are vibrant and a bit crazy, you choose your boxes to pop and shine like a diamond.
Packaging as an ad is also much more subtle. Your product on a shelf needs to catch the attention of a customer, who is literally bombarded with colors, slogans, prices, and options. Wouldn't you try a chocolate bar called "Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus"?
Let's see the groovy and inspiring examples of packvertising happening as we speak.
Happy Socks is a brand that feeds on a positive attitude. Packvertising is an essential part of the company's strategy. Their set of boxes, bags and poly mailers convey a clear message - stay happy. They are all branded, designed with the same freshness as the products. We even heard that some clients visit the shop and want to buy the boxes themselves!
Packvertising works for an e-commerce brand as well.
Charuca is a Spanish company, led by charismatic Charo Vargas, who creates lovely notebooks, calendars, and other products. Her products and images are very "Instagram-ey" - that's why Charuca has more than 150k followers.
The packaging of Charuca blends into this minimalist, mellow mood of the company. But what it also does, is get stuck in the customer's mind. Due to a simple, but the catchy line "contiene mucho amor", it immediately brings a smile to your face.
Packvertising is going to be a big topic very soon. We talk about it today and can't wait to see its shape tomorrow.
What can you do about it?
Think about the message that your packaging conveys. As Happy Socks and Charuca show, the packaging is a fantastic piece of your product and an essential element of their marketing strategy.
Want to know more about packaging design? Check out some of the following articles from our top-shelf blog:
- How to choose the right packaging solutions?
- 5 packaging inspirations from our customers
- Packaging case study - Free The Needle
Header image from H.Smith Behance gallery by Kati Forner.