On average, consumers open seven packaged goods a day. Smart brands ensure packaging is a positive experience; brilliant brands seize the opportunity to create a share-worthy experience.

As a society, we’re really into packaging. The simple act of opening a package has been acknowledged as an experience, as evidenced by the new word invented to describe the process: “unboxing.” A quick YouTube search will reveal unboxing videos where people walk viewers through unpackaging everything from technology to makeup.

Packaging can boost sales

Yes, just the packaging. MillerCoors’ sales decreased last year, and while the brewer didn’t want to change the recipe, the brand took a fresh look at the packaging. The result: The creative Miller Lite retro can design increased sales by nearly 5%. MillerCoors isn’t the only brewer that aimed to influence sales by simply changing the can in which the product came. Tecate and Narragansett also jumped on the trend, proving that while packaging isn’t everything, it can be an effective tool to boost sales without tampering with the product itself.

Make it an experience

In part, the success of the retro beer cans was because American consumers love nostalgia, which is one of the many positive emotions packaging can trigger. There is a large body of design and behavioral research surrounding the phenomenon of packaging and the unboxing experience. The elements of surprise, delight, suspense, and gratification carefully engineered through a layered approach—all wrapped into a neat little package.

But what if the packaging experience begins before you even receive it? Some retailers add anticipation to their strategy. Marshalls recently launched the “surprise box” campaign where shoppers can look for a cleverly packaged box of goods somewhere in the store. The whimsical hunt reinforces Marshall’s brand promise that shoppers will find treasure after sifting through the store, and the bold packaging with a large question mark is consistent with the theme.

People aren’t rational

Let’s rephrase that: People are smart, but they don’t have time to thoroughly research every purchasing decision. They have to rely on a series of visual cues and assumptions to make some purchasing decisions.

Consumer products’ brand design is often based on the idea that shoppers make rational, informed decisions. In truth, most are simply instinctive and reactive. Eye-tracking studies show consumers read only seven words during an entire shopping trip and make buying decisions based on color, shape, familiarity, and location.

Environmentally friendly? Let them know

Because we consume so many packaged goods, there is awareness about the environmental impact.

Consumers find it difficult to differentiate between sustainable and non-sustainable packaging, since it is almost impossible to determine the environmental status of a package. If you go through the effort to package your product in environmentally-friendly packaging, TELL THEM about it. It’s not bragging, it’s helping consumers make an informed purchasing decision.

Research shows that the visual appearance of a package influences consumer behavior when making conscious sustainable purchasing decisions and when sorting waste, which means that not only will your environmentally-friendly packaging make it more likely to be chosen, it will also be more likely that it ends up in the recycling bin.

What you need to know about packaging

In a nutshell, here are six more important things you need to know about packaging:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Prioritize messages
  3. Make it simple and easy to understand
  4. Be unique
  5. Trigger emotions
  6. Make the package part of the experience

Think the right packaging could give your product a boost? The experts at id8 can create a fresh approach to packaging that reinforces your brand and engages your audience. Contact us today!