The Advertising Power of Packaging


What makes for effective product advertising in a marketing campaign? Each year, a lot of money and time is spent on researching new advertising methods for commercial products, from eye-catching chocolate candy bags to food packaging labels to clear pouch bags and boxes for computer parts, and surveys and studies show some clear trends in this business. While the internet is a vastly powerful tool for advertising in any industry, it can only do so much, and traditional packaging and physical signs still have a role to play in the modern market. The value of good packaging is not to be underestimated, even for minor purchases such as chocolate candy bags or coffee bags, let alone expensive electronic items. What do the studies show about packaging design, and how to customers react to attractive packages?

The Power of Packages

A good package is both appealing to the eye and made well, and such a package can inspire confidence on the consumer’s part and encourage them to make a purchase from that brand again. Tough, durable packages not only protect the contents, but demonstrate the brand’s care and attention to the customer’s need. Conversely, shoddy or ugly packaging may give a bad impression and turn customers away. Overall trends show that businesses that pay close attention to their product packaging may expect a 30% increase in consumer interest, whether those buyers are making purchases in a store or via online catalogs. In fact, 52% of online shoppers say that they would make another purchase from a brand if their first item arrived in premium packaging. Many consumers also like to share photos of attractive and interesting packages online, which can double as free marketing for the brand being shown.

E-commerce is now big, but many customers are still visiting physical stores, from grocery stores to hardware stores to toy stores, to make purchase for themselves or their families (like gifts). A store’s interior is a vast battleground where thousands of brands are competing for a shopper’s attention, and a combination of attractive packaging, eye-catching shelf price tags, and in-store signs can win over a customer, or at least grab their attention. It may also be noted that most consumers don’t yet have a clear idea on how to spend their money when they enter a store, and they will make those decisions based on packages and signs that they see while shopping. This may also lead to a lot of impulse purchases, and items and rack are often placed to make these impulse purchases even more tempting. Meanwhile, 62% of shoppers say that they check food labels (even on chocolate candy bags), and 85% of surveyed shoppers say that they base their decisions on packaging that they read. Similarly, a 2016 West Rock Consumer Insights survey found that 66% of consumers have bought a new product because the packaging caught their attention.

It is clear that effective packaging, from chocolate candy bags to computer parts boxes, can make all the difference. But what does that packaging look like?

Packaging Ideas

The design of a package will be shaped by the item inside, literally and otherwise. Universal trends say that good packaging must be eye-catching, informative, and high quality in material, but otherwise, there’s some variety. Dry foods such as cereal and pasta come in cardboard boxes with colorful images printed on them, while perishable foods such as fruits and vegetables come in plastic bags with clear surfaces. Dry pasta is one thing, but a customer wants to see how fresh a fruit or vegetable is, based on color and texture, so the package has both printed and clear surfaces. Food packages must also, by law, include nutrition facts and a list of ingredients.

What about coffee? Coffee beans and grounds might go stale, so they come in valve sealed bags that regulate the flow of air for maximum freshness, and to prevent the bag from expanding due to CO2 buildup inside. Pet food comes in tough bags and are sealed up, so the food inside doesn’t go stale. Meanwhile, electronic items tend to come in boxes that have photos of the item in use, as well as bullet points and/or diagrams explaining how to use the item correctly, and list its specs, too.

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