The 4 reasons not to invest in strategic packaging design

by | May 17, 2018 | Creating Emotional Connection, Strategically thinking through the design process

There are only 4 reasons you won’t invest in strategic packaging design.

  1. What if it’s not worth the value? You don’t believe in the additional value strategic packaging design will create for you.
  2. What if there’s a cheaper option? There’s cheaper substitutes or alternatives for your product packaging design.
  3. What if it doesn’t work as promised? You’re afraid to spend this much money on a strategic solution that could be risky.
  4. What if I don’t really have the money? You really just don’t have the money to invest in strategic design.

What is the purpose of your product pack design?

Grab the consumer’s attention, and get them to put your product into their shopping basket or trolley. As you read the rest of this blog post, keep this purpose at the front of mind.

Why should you pay for strategic design?

So maybe you don’t think that strategic brand or packaging designs valuable enough to justify the investment. Essentially this means that in all likelihood, you can’t see the ROI for making such an investment.

Poor packaging design, meaning design without an effective on-shelf strategy costs companies millions of dollars in lost sales.

Here are the key reasons why ineffective packaging design will cost you money.

  • The results required from the pack are unclear and not made clear to the individuals involved with the packaging design.
  • There is no effective on-shelf or on-line sales strategy
  • People buy answers to problems. They buy change as promised by the pack. If the promised solution is not clearly illustrated, the pack won’t sell.
  • Lack of emotional connection. It’s estimated over 50% of a purchase experience is based on emotions. “Emotional connection” is how the product pack captures the heart of your target consumer.
  • The pack must clearly communicate the products USP. Without it’s own recognizable, distinctive USP your product will lumped in with all the other me too products on shelf or on line.
  • When sales are unable to communicate the strategy behind the pack design, the retail/distributor buyers will often either reject the product or put their own unqualified spin on your design. This will cost you both money and sales.

High impact strategic design says “Take me home!”

You’ve got a limited budget… so you have to be extremely selective about where you invest your marketing dollars. Right? So… Should you invest in activities, which promote and create interest that drives consumers to the retail shelf?  Or, should you invest your marketing dollars in impactful product packaging, the silent salesperson, which can influence the consumer to “Take me home!

Savvy Marketers and Brand Managers use their limited budgets to achieve huge on shelf sales growth with effective and strategic packaging design to win the on shelf battle. (See more HERE)

Design that “wins the on-shelf battle” always begins with strategy.

In every category, supermarket and online shelves are swamped with an overabundance of consumer products. Ever increasing competition, new products, private label and softening brand loyalty constantly contribute to product failure and poor sales.

Whilst marketers can invest millions of dollars to get consumers to the store and seek out their specific brand, however it’s in the last metre and final seconds that the consumer will browse their options available.

This is where the sale is either made or lost. This is why the product packaging is so vital and cannot be left to chance or to a “shoot from the hip” designer’s gut feel.

Strategic packaging design means completely understanding your consumer’s emotional and rational buying journey including all their influencers along the way to finally purchasing.

The big misnomer – Can I can get away with paying less?

Both mature Brand Marketers and entrepreneurs often completely underestimate the task of captivating a target customer. They underestimate the amount of thought, experience and knowhow it takes to move a target customer emotionally and intellectually, so they see and pick their product from a shelf of competitors.

It is a complete misnomer to think that just anyone can deliver a packaging strategy that will achieve the results you are looking for. Effective packaging design strategy is most impactful when it comes from a skilled package design strategist.

The magic is delivered via a combination of experience, understanding design, commerciality and a large dose of natural talent and passion for packaging.

Just as you pay an orthodontist to get braces for your teeth rather than a general purpose dentist, so too for your packaging to have impact on shelf, a packaging design strategy is critical to success.

What it takes to create a design that sells

Both mature Brand Marketers and entrepreneurs completely underestimate what it takes to create a design that grabs consumer attention and sells.

There are 3 essentials for designing to sell:

  • Grab attention in a highly competitive market place. ie: on the supermarket shelf – This is what we at Jam&Co call “Surprise and Delight”.
  • Convey information that appeals directly to the target market (the more personalised the better) and connects with what they know and what they desire – this is where we apply the Nescience loop.
  • “Shareability.” enough of an impact that once it is taken home, the product pack is shown off and shared on Facebook and Instagram with their friends and family. We call this “the shareability factor

To create a pack with all three of these 3 essentials for success you’ll need to invest in a experienced designer.

REMEMBER: A brand and a pack has to generate an emotional response. It has to stand for something. Customers must ‘get it’ and believe in it. 

Brand Marketers and entrepreneurs underestimate the amount of thought, experience and know-how it takes to create a emotionally response enough for customers to “get it” and believe it.

But what if it doesn’t work?

No matter how awesome the product pack is, nor how well it attracts consumers to engage a with it and try it, if the product doesn’t live up to it’s promise you will net get the repeat sale.

Do you have a memory of buying a boxed pizza from the frozen section of the grocery store only to find the pack had totally over sold the dries out, wimpy, cheeseless and tasteless product within?

The product promise never lived up to the quality inside.

We have all had the experience of paying too much for something. And we’ve also had the experience of buying something cheaper and ending up buying that same thing again and paying the extra for quality. Something we should have bought in the first place.

Whilst there are no guarantees your product pack will sell and garner the kind of numbers you have budgeted for, one thing is for sure… No one wants to pay twice for something you should have invested in properly the first time.

The bigger question is…Can you afford a fail?

Strategic packaging design and brand design is your best insurance against a flop.

Reason for failure

Of course one of the primary reason businesses fail is they simply run out of cash. So yes money is important.

That stated the other well-documented reason that businesses fail is…

FACT: No real differentiation in a competitive market and a failure to communicate your value proposition in clear, concise and compelling way. The way your target market can hear what you have to say.

Strategic design is the answer. It will help you to access your true value and bring your uniqueness to the table in a clear, concise and compelling manner.

Don’t go to market until you have thoroughly explored strategic design for your brand or pack.