Advertising is a massive industry. This year, companies are projected to spend an estimated $231.81 billion in media ads to extend the reach of their products and amplify their brand recognition, according to Statista. That number can be alarming for the millions of companies and small businesses who don’t have the means or the desire to buy ad space online or through broadcasting networks. Thankfully, there’s another, often overlooked form of advertising that won’t break the bank. Chances are you’re already utilizing it! We’re talking, of course, about using packaging as a form of advertising.
Every day, millions of consumers browse their local grocery stores, beauty supply shops, boutiques, and more to find products that best suit their lifestyles. More often than not, these same consumers come across hundreds of products lining the shelves and, while they may have an idea of what they want to buy, they may not know which brand to select. One reason for this is that, more than ever, consumers lack a sense of loyalty to one specific brand. According to Inc, 73% of Millennials surveyed said that “brands have to work harder to secure their loyalty.” One reason for this is that individual products are no longer enough to secure repeat customers. Shoppers are now looking for brands and products that align with their values, are transparent, and use sustainable materials.
All of this may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if brands invest time and energy into their packaging strategies. Here are some of the ways you can use packaging as advertising to your brand’s advantage:
Increase brand recognition
Another reason consumer loyalty may be dwindling is that there are so many options available. Ensure your brand is memorable by spending the time to design your package thoughtfully — after all, it’s likely the first thing a consumer sees when searching through the aisles.
That doesn’t mean you have to opt for neon colors and busy fonts, though. Packaging should reflect the brand’s overall aesthetic; it should be approachable, honest, and true to the brand. If your company favors minimalism and clean lines, mention that when you consult with a packaging company. The same goes for brands with a more maximalist bent and prefer bold patterns and eye-popping colors. Authenticity is key to courting and retaining customers who want to know they can expect quality products and visually appealing packaging from reliable brands.
You probably wouldn’t buy snack mix wrapped in aluminum foil. Similarly, you wouldn’t grab a single-serve granola bar that came in a clunky cardboard box. The materials used to package your brand’s products are vital to catching consumer attention and keeping them as a customer.
When it comes to packaging materials, consumers care about a few key things: Convenience, protection, and sustainability.
What’s the point in purchasing something that’s inconvenient to access? When packaging a product, think realistically. Does this packaging make sense for everyday use? Would I be able to easily transport this product from the store or when I’m on the go? These are the questions consumers ask themselves before buying.
The convenience of use is also one of the primary reasons flexible packaging has become a more popular choice amongst consumers. According to “The Future of Flexible Packaging to 2022” report from Smithers Pira, the flexible packaging industry was valued at $219.5 billion in 2016, and its overall value is expected to increase to $282.6 billion by 2022. Flexible packaging comes in a range of styles — including bar wraps, stand-up pouches, flexible rollstock, stick packs, and cosmetic sachets — and uses a combination of thin films, paper, plastics, and aluminum foils to create protective barriers that can help extend a product’s shelf life.
Protection and barriers are essential for making your product stand out amongst the competition. Consumers value freshness, and they want to know that their product hasn’t been contaminated by any outside elements that could cause mold, bump up the expiration date, or otherwise render the product unsafe for consumption or use. If your brand sells snacks such as chips or nuts, consider packaging your product in a resealable pouch, which is both easy to transport and safe to use over an extended period. Similarly, opt for a sleek bar wrap if you’re selling single-serve protein bars.
Consumers also want to know that the packaging they’re buying is sustainable as they search for ways to reduce their carbon footprints and overall impact on the environment. Flexible packaging, though often not recyclable, has proven to be one of the most sustainable forms of packaging on the market because it’s lightweight, easy to produce in one set location (eliminating the need to ship between factories and lowering the overall carbon emissions released during the process), easy to transport, and can be made using recycled materials.
Show ‘em what you’re made of
Use your packaging to advertise all of the good things in your products. Consumers care about transparency, and they want to know what they’re ingesting and using on their bodies. Make some room on your packaging to share an ingredient list. Additionally, include anything that might differentiate your brand from another. Is your product certified organic or cruelty-free? Was it made using a special Amazonian clay or is it allergy free? Let people know!
Use packaging to tell your brand’s story
Your brand has a unique story to tell, whether you’re selling face masks or wholesome snacks. What sets you apart from the other brands on the market? Did your founder dream up the product while traveling, or was she inspired to create the product after noticing an absence in the market? Or, was there a more personal reason — a commitment to health, a desire to find a remedy for stubborn acne, a beloved pet — that inspired the product line? Adding a short blurb about your brand can give consumers a look into what you stand for and why they should feel confident trusting you with their needs.
If you’re looking to boost your brand’s name recognition, start with your packaging. Fortis Solutions Group can help you customize your packaging to best suit your product and your brand values so you can advertise your greatest attributes with ease. Contact us via phone or email to learn more