The marketing message that ALL of your customers see …

TakeAway: Packing is not just what is on the outside of your product but rather a vehicle to convey a message.  What is that message you are trying to convey and what are you trying to do with that message?  

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Excerpted from AdAge, “What is your product saying to consumers? Rethinking the role of packaging in communications.” by James Black, January 18, 2011

Two fundamental truths about packaging are routinely overlooked by marketers. First, packaging is the only marketing vehicle that 100% of the consumers who buy your product see. Not necessarily the brand’s advertising or the exciting social media that your brand is doing. But all of the consumers who buy your brand do interact with your humble package.

… the package is really the only vehicle that you have 100% control over in-store. … and once it has a consumer’s attention, it starts conveying your message. … it is vital to get the communications right on the package. The first step is to decide what message you want packaging to convey

A package can attract new users rather than just retain current users … can also be updated to communicate a new positioning for the brand… can close a sale with the consumer in store.

Attracting new consumers vs. retaining current ones
…who the consumer is that we are trying to engage. Is it current consumers? New users? Are we trying to transition the brand from one user group to another?

…recent launch of the “U” feminine care products by Kotex … black packages (vs. pastels of other products) draw attention from shoppers at shelf… but windows on the package reveal pastel packets inside, a cue to category norms. … brand effectively communicates by being both differentiated and relevant at the same time.

In contrast, recall Tropicana redesign hastily withdrawn from market earlier last year. …so disruptive that it was not easily recognizable to current users, … the brand lost significant volume overnight. Ultimately, brands must strike a careful balance in keeping the brand recognizable to current users while also making it disruptive to new users.

Communicating a new positioning for the brand
In 2009, Bath & Body Works re-staged its core Signature Collection line. With the update, the packaging was designed to communicate that Bath & Body Works was more sophisticated, more elegant and more premium, also supported by improved product formulations. …packaging supported new and improved in-store marketing and navigation. Here, by integrating package design, product design and in-store marketing, the brand was able to holistically communicate a new positioning.

According to the company, successful test-market sales led to a nationwide rollout and the company also witnessed improved perceptions of the brand in equity measurements.

Closing the sale
In order to close a sale, it is important to understand how the consumer will respond to simple claims vs. the need for extended education at shelf.

Here, consider how the “five” subline by Haagen Daz is brought to life. … underscoring a key brand equity point around premium-ness and pure goodness by simply listing five core ingredients prominently on the front of the package: milk, cream, sugar, eggs and whatever the natural flavor is. … advances this message without disparaging the parent brand.

Is your packaging achieving the goals you have for your product? If not, it might be time to revisit what your products are communicating from store shelves.

Edit by HH

 

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