6 Ways to Create Value-Added Packaging
It’s well-established that superior product packaging is essential to compete for consumers’ attention. But once a customer has picked your product up off of the shelf, how can packaging continue to add value? Brand marketers must understand the importance of packaging and how it extends past the first impression to fully leverage the opportunities that packaging provides for winning customers.
Packaging can add value for both you and your customers in a number of different regards. Here’s a breakdown of six ways that packaging is important at different stages throughout its life cycle, ultimately delivering more value to customers than your product alone.
Enrich Customer Experiences
Packaging is an essential element to consumer perception of your product, especially in online shopping. Creating a pleasant customer unboxing experience makes your product more appealing for customers. This can result in them promoting your brand by sharing about your company on social media, reviewing your product online, or spreading awareness amongst friends and loved ones by word of mouth.
Many elements go into a good unboxing experience, including the aesthetic of the packaging, ease of opening, and efficiency of packing materials. Consumers prefer packages that balance offering robust protection against damages and having a simple and clear opening method without overpackaging. Finding the perfect balance for your product is delicate, which is why a packaging partner’s expertise can drastically improve the unboxing experience for your customers.
Even in stores, packaging can make or break the customer experience. If packaging is damaged in any way, even minimally, that communicates lower value to consumers. If packaging is eye-catching, unique, and themed well for the product and brand it adds value in the eyes of the consumer. If your packaging is consistent and creative enough, it can even become a physical extension of both your product and brand that consumers come to know and expect.
Offer Reliable and Helpful Information
Packaging is a great platform for sharing your brand story and important information about your product. As noted in our retail packaging trends blog, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the honesty and ethics of the brands behind the products they’re purchasing.
With the rise of consumer interest in sustainability, information about how to properly recycle and dispose of products and their packaging is also considered to be of value. Packaging can also communicate the morals of a brand in other ways, like explaining how products are ethically sourced and promoting corporate social responsibility efforts.
Of course, certain products like pharmaceuticals, food, and alcohol are legally required to have specific information on their packaging. Outside of those requirements, consumers are seeking reliable, transparent, and clearly visible product information. These interests are currently particularly focused on the ingredients in both beauty products and food and beverage products, placing a higher value on natural products with ingredient simplicity.
Protect Your Product
Your packaging is the first line of defense against product damage. For this reason, your product packaging must be strong on top of being visually interesting. As mentioned earlier, damaged packaging can also be seen as a value subtractor in the eyes of consumers, so packages must be able to withstand the conditions necessary for transporting, storing, and stocking products in retail locations.
E-commerce products face significant potential for damage, since they may face a variety of changing shipping conditions depending on where they’re going and when. Using the correct sized packaging to fit your product, employing a durable material like corrugated, and packing products with materials like foam properly to reduce void can all assist in keeping your product safe so that it reaches customers in one piece.
The structural integrity of retail displays is also essential for product protection. Working with an industry expert can ensure that displays remain intact during transport and are long-lasting while holding products in-store locations.
Be Reused for Other Purposes
In line with current sustainability trends, consumers find value in packaging that can serve a dual purpose. One popular reuse situation occurs when well-designed boxes and bottles are repurposed as aesthetic storage containers or decorations. Many subscription box services are taking advantage of this trend, such as Birchbox and FabFitFun.
Packaging can even add entertainment value to products. For instance, cereal brands add value to their products with packaging that has games like crossword puzzles for people to complete while they’re eating breakfast. Another well-known example of this is Laffy Taffy, which has shareable knock-knock jokes on every piece of candy’s packaging.
Tech integrations are an increasingly popular trend related to this, with many companies using technical components on packaging like QR codes that direct consumers to video content, product information, or online games related to their product. The ongoing trend of internet-inspired DIY projects also provides opportunities for packaging’s second life, especially when it comes to corrugated materials and cardboard boxes.
Communicate High Value with Elegant Design Elements
Non-conventional packaging shapes, metallic or embossed elements, and sophisticated designs can make your product seem of higher value to customers. It’s hard to sell high-end products in contexts that make them feel cheap — like, for an extreme example, if someone were to try to sell a luxury watch in a plain, ill-fitted cardboard box.
Even normal everyday products can give off a sense of luxury and, with it, a seemingly higher value with the right packaging. Any design element beyond what a customer would usually expect can create the illusion of luxury, like utilizing different textures or finishes on different areas of the product packaging.
Designs using simpler color palettes with minimalistic patterns and embossed or metallic details are considered indicators of luxury. Heavier, more robust packaging is also said to communicate higher value to potential customers.
Serve as Self Expression or Art
Just as your packaging design is representative of a physical extension of your brand, it can also serve as an extension of how consumers use your product to publicly express their sense of self. Many successful brands gain loyal customers through their ability to connect affinity with their products with certain personal attributes that represent the identities of their customer base as a whole.
For instance, in its campaigns, Apple presents a customer image that is represented as creative, tech-savvy, and forward-thinking. This brand personality shows itself in every detail, even their packaging which is small, sleek, and highlights high-quality product images.
Another example of value being added through packaging design is Starbucks’ use of seasonal cups, especially around the holidays. Their new artistic designs and drawings create conversation and catch consumers’ attention each year, making the packaging of their holiday drinks a great promotional tool for the beverages themselves.
Jamestown’s Expertise Can Help
Jamestown’s vast experience in creating value-added packaging and fostering creativity and innovation means we know how to engage customers with both retail and e-commerce packaging. We’ve had our finger on the pulse of the packaging industry for more than 60 years, so we know how to stay on top of consumer trends to keep your product in the right position to consistently compete for customers’ attention. Our packaging engineers will ensure your products’ safety, while our innovative designers will work with you to create eye-catching designs that make your product pop.