When the United States became the new epicenter of the pandemic in March, 31% of small businesses stopped operating. Another report says that 1 in 5 small businesses will have to close permanently if the economy doesn’t improve in the next six months.
No two ways about it: Small businesses are some of the most negatively impacted by this pandemic and recession, and business owners need to find ways to protect their bottom line if they want to survive. For some, this means leveraging technology and other digital marketing tools. For others, survival might entail coming up with creative ways to set themselves apart from their competitors.
Studies show that packaging greatly influences consumer behavior. Good packaging establishes brand image and identity and can help increase brand awareness. If you want your brand to stand out, you need to re-consider how you can improve your products’ packaging.
Here are a few tips for packaging to help your products stand out from the rest.
Consider going for a “customized” feel.
Customized packaging gives your brand an artisanal feel—products from the supermarket or bigger corporations can’t hold a candle to it. Having your customers touch a product that feels personally handcrafted can make them feel like they purchased an exclusive item, something that not everyone can possess. Customers desire personalization; they are most likely to purchase if the product or service feels personally tailored for them, especially for handmade goods.
Go the sustainability route.
Studies show that we have reached the point of no return when it comes to climate change, and humanity can only slow it down. While action needs to happen at a global level, individuals can still play a part in reducing our collective carbon footprint.
Here are some tips for creating sustainable packaging:
- Make it functional and practical. Don’t just go for aesthetics; go for packaging that consumers will have practical use out of even when all the product is gone. Examples include wooden crates, well-designed boxes, or glass bottles. Your packaging supplier can provide you with information about which materials are reclaimable, recyclable, and reusable.
- Avoid plastic at all costs. Every day, it seems like there’s a new devastating statistic about plastic. Here’s another one: Plastics make up about 60-90% of all marine debris that’s been studied. Look for alternatives to plastic.
- Use eco-friendly materials. This includes paper, cardboard, reusable bags, and others.
A survey found that more than half of consumers prefer buying from companies with a green reputation. That’s too big a market to ignore, but don’t go the sustainable route just because it’s trendy; do it because it’s the right thing to do for the planet.
Choose a theme in line with your brand identity.
Your brand identity (logo, colors, shapes, language, and other design elements) exists so you can have a foundation upon which every other marketing decision can stand. Take steps to ensure that your packaging is in line with your brand. Your brand must have a level of cohesion that communicates your business’s values and services. If you must go with a theme, ensure that it goes along with your brand identity. Stick with your established brand identity when you make packaging design decisions.
For example, if your brand identity involves minimalist elements, then don’t go for a circus theme for your packaging. If your brand identity plays with the idea of edginess, don’t go soft on your packaging’s design elements. Find a way to express a unique and creative theme without abandoning your brand identity.
Tell a story.
Your packaging tells a lot about your business. Consumers may not necessarily see your website or social media accounts, but they might come across your product first. Research shows that 52% of online consumers said they would purchase a product again if the packaging is premium, while another 40% said they would share the product on their social media accounts if it came in a unique and interesting packaging.
Tell your story through your products’ packaging by knowing your target audience. Are they eco-conscious? Grab their attention by using sustainable materials. Are they mothers? Use design elements that appeal to their interests and concerns.
Another way to tell a story is by using pictures. It’s an easy way to communicate your brand’s story and values.
Add a personal touch.
Remember how consumers love the feeling of exclusivity? Find a way to add a personal touch to your packaging by sending a handwritten thank-you note or giving an exclusive freebie. It may give your customer an incentive to order from your store again.
Product packaging is extremely important. It can make or break your relationship with your consumers. So be smart about your choices, and see how creative packaging can help create customer loyalty for your business.