Our clients do not typically have the funds to mount major national advertising campaigns to cause consumers to come into stores looking for their product by name.
So, how do you compete with the big companies who do have millions – or even billions to spend?
You need to catch the shopper’s attention as she walks down the aisle of whatever stores your product is in, get her to pick up your product, and then put in her cart. Easy to say, but how do you do that? Here are a few tips:
Don’t copy the major consumer product marketers
We see many products whose manufacturers think the most important element of their packaging is their company or product’s name. Big mistake! If you are Procter & Gamble and spend a billion or two promoting Tide detergent, you can put the Tide name as large as will fit on the box.
But if you don’t have the funds to get people coming into the store looking for your brand, then don’t copy the big consumer product marketers, it won’t work.
Make sure it’s obvious what your product is and what it does
The largest copy on your package serves the same purpose as a headline in an ad – to grab the readers’ attention and get them to read the next sentence.
In the case of your packaging, the goal is to get the shopper to notice your product, pick it up and look at it closer. She will not give your product a second look if she can’t instantly tell what it is or what it does.
After the headline on your package gets her to pick it up, the rest of the package copy should explain or visually show what your product does and why she should buy it.
Hide your product or show it?
If your product is visually attractive, unique or obvious as to what it is and what it does, then you might consider packaging that allows the shopper to see the product itself through the packaging.
On the other hand, if your product if ugly, or not obvious – think detergent – make the packaging do the work
One of my product lines was holographic/prismatic stickers and school supplies and since my products itself were the attraction, I used clear packaging to showcase it – or no packaging at all and just put a UPC code sticker on the back of the product.
For another product, a skatebike, it was not obvious by looking at it what it was or how it worked, so our package showed photos of it in use so it would be immediately obvious.
How to get your product noticed
Although almost any package design will look nice in a presentation against a white background made by the designer or agency, that’s not what matters.
In a store the shopper can see literally thousands of products all at once. Take that design that looked so good by itself, make an actual size mock up, take it into a store and place it on the shelf where it might be merchandised.
Now, step back 20’ or so and see if it stands out in any way against all the other products. If everything else in your category has full color packaging, you may want to consider a monochrome or even black and white or another high contrast look to stand out.
If you have an entire product line, give all the packaging a family appearance so the entire group of products jumps out at the shopper and gets noticed.
Follow these simple suggestions and you’ll see that it makes a big difference in your sales.