Packaging is marketing

by | Jul 31, 2019 | Packaging Design


Packaging is marketing. Packaging is real marketing. Yes whilst the pack physically contains the product, its the pack that has to attract and influence the targeted consumer to buy. 

The value of the physical in a virtual world

Way back in the early in the 1980’s, futurist John Nasbitt , author of the landmark book, Megatrends coined the term “High Tech- High Touch”

“High Tech is about shortening time, pushing everything towards real-time. High Touch is about taking time.”

The concept of Hi-Tech Hi-Touch signified the convergence of the tech evolution and human culture. According to the author, even back in the 1990’s, he suggested that we currently live in a state of imbalance where technology has accelerated rapidly but social change has not kept the pace.

And BTW…This was way before the advent of the iPhone or social media. 

High Tech is about the demand on the individual to produce more in less time. High Touch is about process, about allowing time for discovery” (Nasbitt, 1988).

Nasbitt claims that while technology has accelerated rapidly, social change has not kept the pace, and as a result there is an increasing gap between technological and social change.

The tech versus human gap is manifested in a search for meaning, a desire for deeper relationships, a sense of community and a tendency for the need to be more “touchy/feely”.

Increased human appetite for reality.

In these days of virtual experiences, there’s become an increased human appetite for reality. As a result, the actual physical product is now deemed to hold greater value.

  • Product packaging is also the one piece of marketing communication guaranteed to be experienced by those consumers purchasing the product.
  • Product packaging is where your consumer will engage with you and your product.

With the ever increasing fragmentation of the marketing media platforms packaging is the one of the most consistent marketing mediums for  the best way to reach a targeted audience.

So if product packaging is one of the most important pieces to your brand’s success and a key method of reaching your targeted audience,… then one should really clearly know and understand which are those key essential points to consider when designing a piece of packaging to ensure the biggest impact. 

High level of planning and thought into your packaging design.

As they say, the product is really the star of the show. This is why the packaging design must be thought of as the “ultimate wing-man!”

This means not just answering the brief and making sure the pack is functional and beautiful, the designer must have intimate knowledge of your target market!

The design must cater explicitly towards that market.

Consider the product and who will use it.

Fact is you’ve got to get your products noticed on or off the shelf, and noticed by the right people (your target audience). 

  • What are their general interests?
  • Colours,
  • sports,
  • entertainment,
  • lifestyle,
  • masculine or feminine

All of the factors above, and many more, must be taken into account as you create a package for your product.


Authenticity is more important today …more than ever.

Todays consumers are empowered by technology and social media making trustworthiness and sincerity a key factor of a brand purchase decision.

A recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group found that authenticity was a major driver of customer engagement for all demographics

Of course originality, character and memorability are still at the heart of great brands and great packaging designs.

However because of the absolute plethora and abundance of products available on the retail shelf, all competing for consumers’ attention, todays packaging designers are setting up their designs to differentiate by authenticity.

Cut thru on shelf

As a shopper, one would rarely view a product as a ‘stand alone’ and rarely in great detail. This is because when shoppers browse shelves, they do so at a distance.

Also the fact that all the products in the category are arranged in rows and columns, all the consumer typically sees is veritable blur of patterns and colours and its not until a certain pattern attracts their attention that the consumer leans in for a closer look.

This means that your product pack, besides just being pretty needs to cut through with “shelf impact”. it needs to be distinctive to grab attention.

Shelf impact is something that should be tested with the design “in situ“, by either imitating or in reality place the design on an actual shelf and surround it by other products. 

With the average supermarket carrying anywhere between 20 and 30K different products every one of the products displayed is fighting for the attention of shoppers.

This creates a huge signal-to-noise problem for your particular product.

Therefore if you want your product to get shel cut thru and be be noticed, it has to stand out and both the designer and Brand Marketer must be willing to think outside the box, and be seen as an innovator as opposed to an emulator.

Elements to consider as a means of creating distinctiveness are:

  • Typography
  • Colour
  • Clarity and simplicity
  • Knowing your target audience
  • Stay true to your brand
  • Trigger an emotional response

Strike a chord

Your packaging needs to pack a punch and strike a chord with your targeted consumer.

A unique way of doing this with a little psychology in mind is to incorporate an eye-catching design. 

Finally its critical to ensure that your marketing strategy is aligned with your packaging.  

Its critical that all of your marketing messaging, across all platforms have an easily recognisable marketing message which also includes similar designs and imagery all with a view to assist your targeted consumer to recall your brand or product.

Contact us at Jam&Co to see if we can help your product stand our in a sea of sameness.