When many business people think of marketing, the things that mainly come to mind are blogs, social media, SEO, brochures, catalogs, billboards, and Google Ads. It’s not common for people to think of product packaging as a vital aspect of their marketing ecosystem. However, leading marketing professionals will tell you that product packaging is a crucial element of any marketing strategy.
In fact, packages are like mini-billboards: You can use them to catch the consumers’ eye in the retail store. You also can use your packaging to share important product information with potential consumers and consequently convert them to paying customers.
Evidently, you cannot afford to cast product packaging aside when designing your marketing strategy. That is why you should stick around for these 6 practical tips for using packaging as a marketing tool:
1. Ditch premade boxes for custom packaging
Premade boxes are plainly disastrous! Perhaps the greatest undoing of using premade boxes for packaging is that they aren’t specifically designed to hold your product. They are either a few sizes smaller or bigger than your product. When the dimensions of your packaging don’t match the dimensions of the product, you run the risk of damaging the products during shipping. Damaged goods put your brand reputation in serious jeopardy.
Custom packaging cures most of the problems that premade boxes cause. For starters, a custom package is made specifically for the product you intend to pack, which significantly minimizes damages during shipping. That complements your marketing efforts in a big way. Besides, custom packaging captures your distinct brand identity. It gives you enough room to create visually impactful packaging; to capture your brand name, colors, wording, fonts, logo, slogans, and every little detail that might help your product to stand out from the competition.
2. Get creative and catchy
This builds more on the first point above. When customizing your packaging, ensure that it is visually appealing and that it looks completely distinct from similar items. The images you use on the package, the fonts, the colors, and the message should all be catchy, high-quality, creative, and memorable. You need to ensure that the package does more than grab the attention of potential customers. You should ensure that the font design you pick makes it easy for potential clients to read easily from across the aisle. Furthermore, whereas being creative is important, you must be careful not to use overly-complex designs that your target audience may struggle to decipher or comprehend.
Being creative and catchy extends to adding promotional elements to the packaging. As we mentioned earlier, your package is like a mini-billboard. Use it to advertise things such as loyalty programs, coupon codes, special offers, discounts, and more. You can also improve the customers’ unboxing experience by adding contest elements like games and puzzles that, when completed, lead to exclusive giveaways. These are the little things that tilt the scales in your favor.
3. Work with a packaging design company
If you don’t have an in-house packaging design team, you’d rather outsource the services of a reputable packaging design company than design the packaging yourself. Packaging companies have experienced experts in their ranks; experts who will help you avoid the devastating packaging mistakes that your competitors make. The experts will help you not only bring your marketing and branding ideas to life but will also improve your ideas and create the most visually impactful packaging for your product and brand.
If you still doubt what a good custom packaging company can do for your branding and marketing, think of the upcoming and quite lucrative cannabis industry. As you’d know, cannabis got legalized in the US not so long ago. Investors in the cannabis industry are quite new in the game, but some of them got their branding and packaging game spot from the onset. If you look keenly, you will discover the hand of a cannabis packaging company in every packaging success story that cannabis businesses tell. These cannabis packaging companies provide new cannabis businesses with high-quality and attractive packaging, so the businesses don’t have to waste years beating around the bush and hoping to get their packaging right one day.
4. Whenever possible, opt for re-sealable packaging
Let’s elaborate on this point with an example. In the food and beauty industries, consumers want re-sealable packaging on products that are used for prolonged periods. Such packaging help to maintain the freshness and the shelf life of the products, allowing users the freedom to consume the products at their own pace. If you go for packaging that forces clients to finish a product within an unreasonably short timeframe, no matter how quality the product is, most clients will be forced to consider other alternatives.
Another example is the fashion industry, notably online shopping. Clients want the freedom to return the fashion items they buy online whenever dissatisfied with either the size or the quality. Your packaging should, therefore, be re-sealable in order to give the end-user the freedom to try on your fashion items and give online sellers the confidence to accept returns.
5. Integrate your digital marketing campaigns into your packaging
Technology has given prominence to augmented reality packaging. AR packaging allows you to fully integrate your packaging with your digital marketing platforms. A good example is the emergence of QR codes. You can now print a QR code on your product packages to give clients direct, automatic access to your online platforms upon scanning the code. You can use this technology to promote your online store, social media pages, and online loyalty programs.
6. Be conscious of customer safety and the environment
For edible products, you will gain the trust and respect of your target customer if you print a comprehensive list of the product ingredients on the packaging. People hate unpleasant surprises when it comes to the things they eat or drink. For non-edible products, clients need to know about every potentially harmful or toxic substance that your product may contain. They also want truthful, transparent, practical, and comprehensive safety instructions in order to be sure of their safety when handling the package/product.
Customer safety also extends to the environment. Joining the fight against pollution, waste, and climate change will win the hearts of the consistently-growing population of environmentally-conscious customers. You need to consider packaging that can later be converted into something useful (packaging that can be recycled or reused). Mason jar packaging, for example, can later be repurposed to become a useful mug for household use.
Your packaging displays your brand identity. It shapes the first impression that your products have on the target market. So, if you’ve been overlooking this aspect of product development and marketing, you really need to go back to the drawing board. The tips above will come in handy for you.