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Being Transparent with Consumers

Bob Hawke, former Prime Minster of Australia, once said, “The things that are most important don’t always scream the loudest”. With so many exciting printing techniques available today, it’s easy to lose touch with the essence of your product by overdoing your packaging and design. Bright colors and patterns can grab a consumer’s attention, but when all your competitors are following the same idea your box can get lost on the shelf.

One way to stand out from the crowd is to enclose your product in a transparent package. This strategy provides a few unique benefits that could increase sales.

First, it provides a refreshing reprieve for the consumer’s eyes that are undoubtedly fatigued from the overabundance of colors and graphics. Its simplicity makes it unique and helps it to stand out on the shelf amongst the crowd of competitors.

Second, no picture or graphic can better display the colors, textures, or look of your product than the actual item itself. For example, these treats produced by confectionary company Hatziyiannakis Dragee have an incredible color and texture. The Greek confectioner decided that the best way to showcase their cookie’s unique look was through a partially transparent package. Consumers can quickly view this intriguing treat, which undoubtedly influences their buying decision.   

Lastly, the most essential benefit of using transparent packaging is that it can further your brand message. A great example of effectively employing this technique is Dorset Cereals.  Their overall brand message is that they make unadulterated breakfast cereals that are honest, tasty and real. As Dorset Cereals had no budget for a national advertising campaign, Big Fish, a London-based consultancy firm, was faced with the challenge of delivering brand communications through packaging alone. Founder and Creative Director of Big Fish, Perry Haydn Taylor, nicknamed this strategy ‘packvertising’. Big Fish and Dorset took great care to choose matte cardboard as the packaging material, as it has become a symbol of environmental sustainability and feature a cutout window to reveal the product inside. This transparent section invites consumers to look at the product and judge it before they consume it, instead of entrusting the enhanced images of competitor brands. Symbolically, transparent packaging is almost like a window into the soul of the product. It conveys honesty and the idea that Dorset Cereals has nothing to hide.   

When designing or revamping your next package consider whether your product or brand would benefit from a degree of transparency. Being able to see what’s inside a box can be not only aesthetically pleasing, but can also convey a message on its own.

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