To stand out among competitors (consider, for example, the multiple retail channels for computer electronics), brands must convey their message distinctly. And there are few better ways to do so than by crafting a unique and visually appealing packaging design.
Each element of packaging must be carefully employed to deliver the right message, appeal to a brand's target audience, and provide an engaging and memorable unboxing experience.
Here are six ways to strengthen a brand's messaging by creating a lasting, positive impression through packaging.
1. Brand Clarity
A solid brand foundation requires an aligned purpose and strategy that focuse on a brand's values, personality, story, positioning and audience. Packaging, as a brand's primary touch point, plays an important role in clearly communicating those elements.
To successfully engage consumers, packaging should be clean, clear, and straight to the point. Adding too much text or too many photos and graphics will only confuse and frustrate shoppers. Instead, businesses should stick to the fundamentals, using negative space (blank space) to direct the eye to a message's key points.
2. The Target
When shaping a brand's entity, it is crucial to focus on a specific target audience, and then cater to that audience's needs and desires.
Brands that attempt to achieve universal appeal will usually overreach, and consequently appeal to no one. Conversely, the more targeted the information, the more it will connect with the brand's desired audience.
Advances in digital printing have enabled businesses to become highly adept at navigating customer variables, allowing them to personalize packaging for heightened connection.
3. Standing Out
Consumers' attention spans are short, so businesses need to employ innovative methods that will attract immediate attention. But being the "loudest" box on the shelf is not an adequate strategy.
To make a captivating first impression that establishes a connection, brands may need to transcend tradition and break the rules.
Through the use of uncommon shapes, tactile surfaces, alluring colors, compelling graphics, or captivating illustrations, a brand's essence and attitude can be projected in a meaningful and memorable way.
To stand out among all the visual noise, retailers need to take out the big guns and devise a packaging strategy that surprises and delights.
4. The Feel-Good Factor
A captivating unboxing experience is a powerful way to create a positive moment filled with anticipation and euphoria, thus locking in consumer engagement and solidifying brand loyalty.
The unboxing experience can have a dramatic effect on customer perception, which is why businesses should invest in creating a carefully branded process that takes shoppers on an emotional, dynamic, sensory-filled, and satisfying journey that is devoid of frustration.
Soft-touch finishes, crisp edges, natural elements, crinkly paper, and smooth, moving components can add stimulating layers to the unboxing journey, helping to enhance the experience.
5. Honesty and Transparency
Consumer trust is at all-time lows. Businesses need to go above and beyond to express complete transparency. If a consumer doesn't believe a brand's authenticity, all other efforts are futile, so businesses must get it right or suffer the consequences. One way authenticity can be conveyed is by minimizing the use of stock photography in packaging, instead showcasing actual faces and stories behind the product.
Businesses must be completely honest about the quality of a product because attempts to inflate or exaggerate features will only infuriate consumers and create lasting damage. Today's shoppers care about getting the best value, but they will not tolerate deception.
To earn consumer trust, businesses should include all important details, including a complete and accurate list of ingredients, sourcing information, and sustainability attributes. Brands should also clearly communicate their core values and commitment to social responsibility.
6. Only Human After All
Modern consumers want their purchases to deliver meaning and engagement, and packaging is a perfect vessel for delivering them. A shopper's interaction with packaging offers a rare moment of controlled interaction, guided by a design that effectively transmits a brand's evocative tale.
To spark an emotional connection with customers, businesses can share content that pulls at the heartstrings. A personalized story such as a brand's higher purpose or a founder's entrepreneurial journey are examples of emotionally charged material that can ignite passion and engagement.