4 Steps to Creating Shopper Influence with Packaging Innovation

Shanghai, China

This blog post was contributed by Wendy Wen, Account Director, Schawk China.

When is the last time you saw a beautiful piece of packaging and thought “I have to have that” without any knowledge of the brand whatsoever? Perhaps it was in-store or displayed as a sponsored ad on Instagram. Either way, what was it about the packaging that intrigued you?

This is the question many brand owners pay big bucks to answer. While designers spend upwards to years testing packaging, the account folks use data and market research in attempts to analyze what makes a product’s packaging truly innovative to the consumer.

Below, we’ve outline 4 steps to creating shopper influence with packaging innovation and digital print.

Gather insights. First, identify unmet consumer need/want state. Consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency and information regarding the products they buy.

With multiple generations in the market today, brands need to speak directly to their target consumer, by texts and visuals that THEY understand. Today’s generational packaging not only can say how great the product is, but also can tell the consumer WHY they should buy it. Again, brands need to focus on consumer needs and wants.

There's no doubt, we are in a fast-changing world. The key element to drive change is to make people’s lives easier — be more convenient! To engage the older generations during the insight stage and apply the findings to a package design, which can tell consumers about the benefits of the product, or how convenient it is. Remember, learn from your past successes as you begin planning.

Organize ideas. The approach to attracting a younger audience will be much different than a more mature audience. Keep this in mind as you brainstorm. For example, millennials are interested in limited edition and personalized products, where older generations may be more loyal to a particular brand. In some cases, a more fun approach will benefit the brand.

Get creative. To get noticed, your content must be appealing. Based on the insights you’ve already gathered, decide where the best place is for your brand. Packaging that includes a complementary experience or collectable can really go far with shoppers.

Take for example, Korean beauty brand, TONYMOLY. The packaging for many of their products lines can be re-used as something else. Other designs stand out on their own and can be used as extending marketing opportunities. In the highly competitive beauty market, stepping outside of the box is critical.

Colours also evoke emotions and affect purchasing decisions. Vibrant colours on packaging catch shopper attention on shelf, while more striking colours on packaging tend to appeal to the millennial generation.

Be shareable. Digital is increasingly shaping the way consumers interact and make decisions. Influences from eCommerce and social media tend to be included in the shopper journey, and are expected touchpoints for the modern consumer.

To understand the consumer needs is fundamental for a good packaging design, then to focus on creative and be unique. By using a good mix of colors, images, and fonts to be attractive and relevant, brands also need to make sure labels are easy to read and be sure that your packaging is easy to use and convenient.

A great example of packaging innovation is Herdez's, Doña María mole.

Under each label is a surprise design. The empty jars can be used as drinking glasses, which encourages the consumer to collect all of the beautiful designs.

To gain trust from your targeted consumers is the most important in building trust in a highly complex process. Integrity is also key to make shoppers understand the rationale for your brands change, upgrade, or pricing. To engage consumers, brands must continue to make them feel good about their decision to choose you among the competitors.

About Wendy Wen: Responsible for day-to-day account management, Wendy has 5 years overseas work and study experiences in UK, France, and US; 12+ years working experience in sales and operations, mainly in the packaging industry. She leads teams, develops and implements business growth plans for high profile partners such as Henkel, Mars, L’Oreal, Danone, Unilvever, Coca Cola, Beiersdorf, Merck, AstraZeneca, KidsII, Philips, Kellogg’s, COTY, LVMH, Johnson & Johnson, MeadJohnson, Diageo, Estee Lauder, Fonterra, Adeo, Newell Brands, etc.