Next time you are at the shopping centre or the supermarket, take a moment to really look closely at the packaging of all the items for sale. Notice the colours, shapes, font, sizes and styles of packaging and what impression they make on you. A lot of thought goes into product packaging and designers spend months and even years coming up with the most effective styles to catch the eye of the customer.
Back in the 1950s, not much attention was paid to the package in which a product was delivered. It was simply a functional casing to protect the product and not much more. However, things have really changed and today product packaging is a huge consideration when crafting the perfect product. Package designers will test packages, carry out market studies, measure reactions of focus groups and complete more research in order to fine-tune the look of their packages. They consider the colours used, the font, the placement of the lettering, how large the package should be and many other factors.
How exactly does product packaging influence your buying decisions? Here are a few of the most significant ways:
It Establishes Brand Identity
Consumers tend to find a brand that they like and stick with it, whether it is cereal, toothpaste, toilet roll or shaving cream. They find the ideal brand that provides them with what they are looking for and meets their budget and then they return to the same trusted brand every time.
This is why, although product designs will evolve over the years, they will usually keep the same colours, font and style. For example, Cheerios will always be in a bright yellow box, Pepsi will always have the distinctive red and blue circle logo. This is so that when shoppers are strolling down the aisles, they will be able to quickly spot their favourite brands and buy them again and again. Also, when a company releases a new variation on their product, they will use the same design elements so that customers immediately know what the product is, such as Vanilla or Cherry Coke.
It Offers the Customer More Information
There might only be a few hundred words of text on the back of a tin of soup or a box of biscuits, but sometimes those crucial words can be the difference between you putting it into your shopping trolley or placing it back on the shelf.
The text on packaging is carefully crafted to educate the consumer and captivate their interest with an appealing claim. It needs to answer any questions that they might have and “seal the deal” in that crucial decision-making moment.
It Uses Colour to Affect You
There is an entire field of psychology known as colour psychology, which studies the effects of colour on human behaviour. Studies have proved that the choice of colour in product packaging has a big influence on our consumer behaviour. We associate different colours with ideas, a fact that product designers can use to give us information about their products. For example, we perceive products with green coloured packaging as being more natural and environmentally friendly. We associate black packaging and luxurious jewel tones with higher quality products and pink packaging automatically appeals to women and girls more than men. A product that is packaged in white seems more pure and red packaging can appear romantic or exciting.
With the right packaging, designers can let the consumer know all they need to know about the product. You wouldn’t expect to find a diamond ring in a cheap flimsy cardboard box or an army action figure in a box with pink flowers on it. Product design is always carefully crafted to fit the product perfectly and make an impact on your buying decisions.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by VFS Digital Design
Article by Jess Toogood
Jess Toogood is a writer who understands the importance of packaging and how it affects its saleability and practicality levels. Rigid boxes help to keep items safe from damage, whilst packaging design is used to promote and sell a product.