Packaging is the branding

For many products, the package is the branding. It’s also the last and the best chance to influence a prospect this side of the checkout center.

The branding moment.

In some retails environments, such as the supermarket, it’s possible for a package to reach 100% of people shopping in that category. For several seconds, or even a few precious minutes, the shopper is completely focused on the differences among brands. Previous intentions to buy one product over another are suddenly put aside and memories of past advertising are shoved into background as the competing packages go “mano a mano” for the shopper’s attention. This is known as a branding moment.

It’s possible for a package to reach 100% of people shopping in that category.

Retail brand managers funnel a large portion of their marketing budgets into packaging design, because the return on investment is likely to be higher with packaging than with advertising, promotion, public relations, or other spending options. For many retail products, packaging not only makes the final sale, it strikes a significant blow for the brand, since experience with the product is often the best foundation for costumer loyalty. Marketers know this, but they’re not sure what makes it work. How, exactly does one package beat another at the point of sale? How much of the battle is won by logic and how much by magic? Is it science or art? As you might guess, it’s both. But since most marketers favor left brain thinking, most packages end up heavy on facts and light on emotion, the ingredient customers want most. Instead, customers are greeted with features, and benefits.

Retail brands funnel a large portion of their budgets into packaging design, because the return on investment is likely to be higher than with advertising, promotion, public relations, or other spending options
Before you can create emotion with package, however, you need to understand the natural reading sequence of your category. It so happens that customers process messages in a certain order, depending on the product, and messages presented out of order go unheeded.

This article is taken from the book “The Brand Gap” by Marty Neumeier. Third image; Campbell’s Soup cans wrapped around the columns of the National Gallery of Scotland to mark an Andy Warhol exhibition. Photograph by Jeff J Mitchell on Getty Images.

Scroll up