What do packaging choices say about a company and its products?
The packaging you choose as a business has a massive impact on perception of your brand and products.
A study by the University of Wisconsin found the best examples of packaging were 76% more attractive and attracted 56% more prestige, as well as increased the perceived value of the product(s) inside.
First impressions count
Selling in physical stores has become a science, with branding, product placement, merchandising, personalised service, music and even scent used to create a multi-layered buying experience for customers that makes them feel good.
As e-commerce continues to increase in popularity, the experience of ‘unboxing’ a parcel in the home needs to inspire similar feelings of joy in customers. After all, the packaging it arrives in is a customer’s first point of physical contact with any new purchase.
Over-sized boxes stuffed with unnecessary filler, non-recyclable materials, and packaging that is difficult to open or arrives damaged are all huge turn-offs for buyers. Without the multi-layered in-store experience, they feel deflated, angry or upset – especially if the product inside is damaged – and resolve never to buy from that company again. In the highly-competitive retail sector, no business can afford to lose customers. Considering the volume of online orders made every single day, poor packaging choices could result in many million of pounds in lost revenue.
Packaging as an opportunity
Just as poor packaging can lose you customers, done right, it can win friends and influence people. Customer-facing brands should see packaging as a substitute for the in-store experience and a way of extending brand messaging into customers’ homes: as both a marketing opportunity and a customer engagement tool.
The importance of sustainability
So, what do customers want from the packaging of their products? Well, they want their goods to be adequately protected, using as few materials as possible, and offering a positive experience akin to that they might get from shopping in store.
They also value sustainability highly. In fact, research by data specialists CGA found 91% of UK consumers think it’s important the brands they buy from use environmentally-friendly, recyclable packaging. Not only that, further studies have shown 3 in 4 people are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging – nearly a quarter of these 10% or more.
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of and concerned about the impact of their buying habits on the environment, and are choosing to spend their money with brands that make significant and sustained efforts to minimise the impact of their operations on people and planet. The days of polystyrene being accepted as a necessary compromise for the delivery of temperature-sensitive products are long since gone.
Paper and cardboard packaging are clear favourites with consumers, with two-thirds saying they make products more attractive than other packaging materials. A survey by the Paper and Packaging Board (PPB) found of 71% of consumers were more likely to buy from brands that packaged their products in paper or cardboard.