We tend to think of the role of packaging as an “attention getter.” Something that makes the consumer stop while walking down the aisle, and reach for our product versus the competition. Packaging however, has many other roles that shape consumer perception. As specialist Jill Ahern in an interview for “Brand Packaging” describes,
“Packaging actually shapes the selection perception, use occasions, storage, disposal, and nearly every other facet of a consumer’s relationship with products. If you think about every product you saw an advertisement for, used, or consumed today, you probably saw or touched the packaging as much or more than the product itself. “
The “back-end” of the packaging functionality needs to be just as thought through as the “front-end” which grabs the consumer’s attention. Your design team needs to consider a whole host of questions.
How does your target customer use your product? Is it single serve, or will they need to open and close the package as they use it? Does it fit nicely on the shelf, fridge, table, or does it fit awkwardly. Is it easy to open? Is it easily recyclable?
The questions are endless, but all these micro-situations can shape your customer’s mind and determine whether they will repurchase your product the next time.
Pasta maker DeCecco, designed a pasta box that marries the traditional Italian style with that of modern design featuring a transparent wall. This attractive design allows the customer to display the box on the counter and not worry about stowing it away if there is a lack of space.
Another great example of keeping in mind how the customer will use a product is the resealable packages of Chips Ahoy cookies. To ensure that enjoying the cookies is convenient, Chips Ahoy has designed their package so that it easily reseals, keeping the cookies fresh to be eaten later. Previously, to preserve freshness the consumer had to go through the process of emptying the package into an airtight container. This resealable design takes out the negative emotion completely, leaving the customers the only job of enjoying the cookies.
Great looking packaging can get the customer to try a product once, but a package with great functionality can keep them coming back for more.