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6 Ways to Use Product Packaging as a Marketing Tool

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Here are the best practices to maximize the potential of retail packaging as a marketing tool.

Product packaging has come a long way. If its purpose was simply to protect products in the past, now it is a critical aspect of a brand’s marketing strategy. Packaging is one of marketing’s ‘Eight Ps’, alongside product, place, price, promotion, people, physical environment, and process.

Strategically designed packaging creates several points of value for brand owners. Great packaging differentiates a product from its competitors, adds to the customer experience, offers a medium for communication, and conveys a product’s value. When executed well, retail packaging can increase not only brand recognition and recall, but customer conversion as well.

Product packaging is a critical part of the marketing mix. To fully leverage packaging’s brand marketing potential, here are some best practices.

1. Create custom packaging with your branding 

Packaging should complement and reinforce your brand identity and vice versa. Coherent branding and packaging cue customers on what to expect from your product. The opposite confuses them. To keep a target market’s attention, messaging synergy is essential. 

For example, consider a luxury cologne with a TV ad featuring actors in evening wear and luxury cars. This message is ideally packaged in a way that conveys affluence. The product package could include a glass bottle in a robust and dark-colored rigid folding carton with imagery that represents status, style, and success. Even without looking at the product’s price, a consumer would already infer how much it generally costs.     

2. Go for an out-of-the-box idea

 

Source: Metrilo

You may need to get creative to capture your consumers’ attention. Going beyond the usual format, structure, and design expectation can set your brand apart and drive increased sales.

Think of soaps in non-rectangular boxes, unique textures, and tactile embellishments, or barcodes and graphic images that integrate with a consumer’s mobile phone through augmented reality. Take inspiration from products that grabbed your attention in the past. Come up with something unique, engaging, and exciting. 

3. Make your packaging reusable (convertible into something that can be used for later)

 

Source: LG

Customers’ priorities have shifted in recent years. They still want products that appeal to them on an emotional level or a design that speaks to a part of their personal identity. However, many consumers also seek out sustainable brands that align with causes such as the fight against pollution, waste, and climate change.

Sustainability can be synonymous with reusability. For example, think of products sold in mason jars, where the jar can be reused in the kitchen or as a mug. The key is giving customers the option to reduce waste. If reusable packaging is out of the question, consider selecting biodegradable packaging materials. This may earn your brand credit in the minds of environmentally-conscious customers.

4. Add promotional elements

Consider retail packaging as promotional real estate. While protecting the product, the package surface  also offers a blank canvas for messages that need to be communicated. There are many ways to incorporate promotional elements into product packaging: Coupon codes, hidden URLs or QR codes that lead to giveaways, discounts, or special offers.

Taking this opportunity to the next level, consider making packaging interactive with games that build engagement and enhance the brand experience. Engaged consumers are more likely to share their positive experiences with others.

5. Come up with themed packaging

Be prepared to test subtle changes in your brand packaging from time to time. Consider design changes for seasons, events, holidays, local/regional promotions, and  cooperative partnerships with complementary products. For example, is your brand reaching a milestone? For brands celebrating 25 years in business, why not incorporate silver embellishments in the packaging? It could be a silver stamp that doubles as a discount coupon. 

Themed or versioned packaging often requires small quantities and shorter print runs. This strategy also requires short-term forecasting, tighter inventory controls, and reduced lead times. These factors all link to the capabilities afforded by digital printing technologies.

6. Incorporate social media presence 

Social media marketing is available to any brand. Boost your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter following by prominently including links to those sites on your product packaging. Come up with a compelling call-to-action to encourage customers to hit follow.  Your packaging should be informative without being cluttered by unnecessary text. Keep it visual as much as possible. 

Boost Marketing with Packaging

No matter how strategic your brand’s marketing is, if your packaging falls short, fewer customers will be enticed to put your product in their physical or digital carts. Packaging must stand out at a glance, while also meeting the legal, regulatory, and cultural standards of your market.

Your brand strategy should work to influence your target customer’s behavior with on-point packaging marketing. To optimize your brand’s retail and ecommerce packaging, reach out to the experts at Meyers Printing. Our seasoned team can help you actualize your product packaging vision and bring it to life.