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Brand Packaging

Creating Moments of Truth Stimuli:
The Criticality of Brand Packaging

That the ultimate battleground for consumer product brands is the retail shelf – the First Moment of Truth, is well recognized. Brand packaging is clearly, a critical factor that helps brands win at the retail shelf – stimulating curiosity, enabling choice & triggering purchase.

But strong brands do more. They focus on packaging that goes beyond the shelf to build post-purchase engagement so as to enhance product experience, reinforce brand perception, and build loyalty. Yes, strong brands focus on becoming integral to consumers’ lives – and brand packaging is critical to achieving these goals.

Here are some key considerations for brands when designing packaging. The mix of what applies can vary basis the product category and customer segment for which packaging is being designed as well as the overall positioning of the brand. Treat these as a framework for thinking rather than as a definitive prescription.

Demonstrate authenticity. Resonate with consumer value systems: More than ever before, today’s consumers are “aware consumers”. They know what seems true and what doesn’t. Specifically, across F&B and personal care categories, choices for products are clearly skewed towards those that enable a better quality of life. “Good for me/ my family” messaging such as “organic”, “gluten-free”, “sugar-free”, “parabens-free”, “no chemicals” etc., communicated with clarity & substantiation is key. Yes, authenticity trumps aspirational, exaggerated claims that are “advertising like” – what many mass brands have been guilty of in the past.

Premiumize. Keep production values high: The quality of packaging is the first indicator of what the actual product quality may be. Shabbily slapped, cheap-looking packaging printed badly says you are ready to compromise on product quality to fit a price point… To the modern consumer, looks and aesthetics matter! Even a budget car must be good looking, shiny and well finished…

Espouse contemporary values: Consumers are real people in a real world dealing with real problems. With environmental consciousness at a high and issues such as plastic waste a serious matter, being seen as genuinely eco-friendly and contributing to environmental sustainability is a great thing. Championing responsible consumerism and being cause-based are certainly, winning stances for brands to take.

Enhance product experience: What is the post-purchase consumption experience? Ever had a ketchup sachet that won’t tear? A metal can of mayo that requires laborious cutting and leaves dangerous edges to manage? Does the packaging go beyond its functional role to aiding better usage of the product and enriching the consumer’s lives? Leverage of technology such as augmented reality to enhance consumer engagement and product experience and build loyal consumers is an exciting opportunity for brands to differentiate.

Design for omni-channel: More and more products are being purchased online. Packaging design must aid clear and easy navigation across product range with SKU size, product variant, veg/ non-veg, sugar-free and other product selection criteria presented clearly on the pack. Use of appropriate & detailed “hero images” can enhance buying experience significantly for online shoppers.

Have a point of view you’d like to share or discuss?

Write to us at biz@enceptglobal.com