How the Latest Packaging Trends Can Improve the Customer Experience

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When consumers see your product on a shelf, will they choose yours over others? It’s a question you need to be asking. Packaging is an integral part of consumer buying decisions, and you can use the latest packaging trends to your advantage. 

With more people shopping online, it’s common for brands to think they can slack on their packaging. But once the customer receives the product, it gives them a strong impression of your brand. 

You invest a lot of time and resources into advertising your products—don’t miss out on leveraging your packaging to craft the desired experience for your customers. 

Why Experience-Driven Packaging Matters

In the past, we’ve talked about the difference between branding and brand identity. Packaging also plays into that. And for businesses that sell physical products, it’s a crucial vehicle through which to extend your brand messaging. 

With more packages being delivered to more homes due to the growth of e-commerce, there’s a wealth of opportunity to add tremendous value to your brand. It’s all about creating a branded experience, which experts refer to as experience-driven packaging. You see, even if customers don’t interact directly with your brand, they can learn about your brand story through your packaging.

When you formulate your packaging design, think about your brand. You can make it practical or pretty, but the goal is to make it consistent with who you are as a brand. This also helps increase brand salience

Before we dive into the best packaging trends to adopt for your business, let’s first look at why the right packaging makes a difference…

It Increases Your Visibility.

Think of packaging as the façade of your home. It’s the first thing that people see before they enter your home—or interact with your products. When setting out to sell a home, a real estate professional invests a lot of effort into improving a home’s curb appeal. This not only boosts the home’s value but also helps create a good first impression. The same holds true for product packaging. 

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The best packaging trends are the ones that can create a wow factor. 

In a social media-driven society, you want to impress your customers with your packaging so that they’ll want to share it.

Whether you make it unique, pretty, or environmentally friendly, try something that will get them excited. 

Encourage your customers to do unboxings on social media. It’s a fun way to unravel your products and greatly enhances their interaction with them. And 55% of people who watch unboxing videos on social media say they were convinced to purchase the product as a result. 

It Encourages User-Generated Content.

Another advantage to choosing product packaging to wow your customer is that it’s a recipe for user-generated content. And as you know, user-generated content is an incredibly powerful form of social proof you can then use as a marketing tool. 

When influencers buy your products and are excited about the packaging, they are much more likely to record an unboxing video or share well-curated images on their feed. 

It’s a great way to access content from real people to entice others to buy. At the same time, it presents the best type of reviews for your brand because of its authenticity.

It Creates Loyalty.

First impressions last. With experience-driven packaging, you have an opportunity to establish loyalty among your customers from the get-go.

A survey published at Global News Wire found that 67% of consumers use packaging as an influencing factor when choosing products to buy.

Humans are naturally drawn to interesting visuals, and your packaging design is the best platform for that. Whether you’re trying to attract new customers or foster brand loyalty, the right packaging is a good first step to achieve that. 

According to Dotcom Distribution, 40% of consumers will share images of your packaging on social media if it is branded or unique. That’s huge, and it just goes to show that packaging is one of the most underutilized marketing tools for brands.

It’s time to change that. Let’s dig into some of the top packaging trends so you can implement them ASAP…

1) Work Your Brand Story into Your Packaging. 

Make no mistake—product packaging is a solid representation of your brand. Many companies invest a lot of time and effort into developing the best products only to fail to do the same for their packaging. As a result, their customers don’t appreciate the value of their products as much as they would if they were wowed as they opened them.

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Yours is not the only product of its kind in the market. In fact, it’s a saturated marketplace out there. To stand out, you need to offer unique packaging that will intrigue your audience or get them to feel something. 

Here’s how…

Think about the importance of brand storytelling as a key differentiator for your business. It’s time to leverage that for your packaging, too.

It’s not just the product that you want to showcase; you want to incite emotions about your brand.

Good packaging not only makes your products identifiable but also depicts your brand story. Replace fussy design concepts with a design that succinctly communicates what your brand is about. 

According to the study by Dotcom Distribution, 61% of consumers are willing to buy luxury products if they come in premium packaging. 

Don’t be afraid to showcase what your brand is about. If consumers gravitate towards it and you convey your message effectively, they will buy it. 

2) Be Environmentally Friendly.

Three team members in an office working on the packaging of a new eco-friendly product.

Over recent years, there has been a huge wave of awareness among consumers to make smarter, eco-friendly choices when shopping. Therefore, consumers demand the same from brands. 

Switching to environmentally friendly products, such as paper and cardboard, is one of the top packaging trends for brands to capitalize on.

As consumers are very discerning about products or brands that do not align with their values, it only makes sense to adopt eco-conscious choices for your packaging and branding.

It’s a win-win situation: You win over your consumers with your eco-credentials and contribute to saving the environment, too.

3) Use QR Codes.

The best packaging is really about the experience, and the use of QR codes is one way to deliver a better experience for your customers.

During the pandemic, the use of QR codes became a necessity due to the need for contactless transactions. And you can leverage that idea on your packaging. By attaching QR codes to the inner and outer label of the packaging, you can direct your consumers to any online property you have, such as a page on your website.

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You can provide additional resources that they can use to expand consumer education about the product they just bought.

A good example of a brand that has mastered the use of QR codes for an experience-driven purpose is Friso, a company that offers infant formula. By scanning the code on the label, consumers can see the “grass-to-glass” journey of the product, find promotions, and check out loyalty programs. 

4) Create an Unboxing Experience.

For your social media-savvy customers, the best packaging trends are those that are focused on the unboxing experience. 

The concept of unboxing started on YouTube when vloggers would record a video of themselves reviewing a product. This influential marketing technique has now infiltrated social media, and it’s an opportunity for exposure you won’t want to miss. 

Build on your packaging’s aesthetics to make them social media worthy and shareable (aka more likely to go viral). 

5) Provide Extra Treats.

Show your customers you care by taking the extra step to surprise them with interesting packaging. Out of all the packaging trends, this one may not be the most groundbreaking, but it works.

Give them a positive and impactful experience by offering them sweet treats, such as freebies, sample products, unique coupon codes, or even a handwritten thank-you note.

No matter how simple the gift is, your customers will appreciate the extra effort spent to make them feel special.

Final Thoughts

If we can leave you with one final thought, it’s this…

It’s easy to get caught up with these packaging trends and sacrifice your authenticity in the process. But what’s most important is to make your packaging an extension of your brand.

Your packaging strategy should be closely linked with your marketing strategy—rooted in your brand and story. When executed properly, it can bring your brand story to life, get you the exposure you’re looking for, and increase your ROI. 

 


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Filed Under: Business Tips

About Thomas von Ahn

With more than 30 years of experience in B2B sales across various industries, Thomas has unique insight into both the offline and online sales sphere. It was during his time in the trenches that Thomas noticed a recurring theme: Though business owners are knowledgeable about their craft or trade, they often struggle to market and sell to their prospects. This realization is what prompted Thomas and his now business partner, Christine, to bring Viral Solutions to life. Since starting the company, Thomas has been able to assist countless business owners in developing a solid marketing plan based upon sound marketing strategy, then assigning the marketing tactics to a team of talented employees, and, finally, watching those actions unfold—his true passion.

Though Viral Solutions is on Thomas’ mind 24/7, he does occasionally take a break to cheer on the Green Bay Packers and enjoy his adopted home of Wisconsin. Much of his family also works at Viral Solutions, and this closeness with family and employees is the cornerstone of the Viral Solutions culture.