A thirsty shopper approaches the refrigerated section of Whole Foods and faces about twenty different beverage options. She wants something healthy to make up for the
slice of pizza she just ate for lunch. That narrows it down to eight. She also read somewhere that chia seeds are the new go-to superfood. Now she has four. All four drinks have the same nutritional benefits and the prices differ only marginally. Moments later, her eyes drift to one bottle, followed by her hand, and it ends up in her basket.
If you’re a distributor, you want that beverage in her basket to be yours. So what’s the trick? How do you get consumers to pick your product while your competitors are nudged up right against you?
Two words: Packaging Design
Although we struggle to admit it, we make a lot of our purchasing decisions based on looks. Presentation matters. Here are five companies that do product packaging design right, and the major factors behind their successes:
1. Boxed Water
Boxed Water is getting consumers to pay $4 for 500ml of something you can get right out of your kitchen faucet, free of additional charge. How? With a drop of inspiration. Businesses that are tied to a greater cause and can clearly communicate that cause through their products tend to attract more customers. In addition to clarity, Boxed Water offers explanation. On one side of the carton, they detail why Boxed Water is in fact better for the environment. Additionally, the recyclable carton is unique and consistent with its mission to reduce harmful waste. When consumers buy Boxed Water, they feel that they have done their good deed for the day, giving them a quick and easy morale boost.
2. The Better Chip
The Better Chip knows its customer — health-oriented snack lovers who will try anything that screams organic. The images of real red peppers, jalapenos, and sweet onions in addition to the Non-GMO certified stamp and Gluten Free label do exactly that. The clear and consistent flavor cues are also imperative. If done wrong, flavor cues can lead to significant losses. In 2009, Tropicana experienced a 20% drop in sales due to a failed rebranding which included weak flavor cues on their package designs. The Better Chip even went a step further by finding their way into the produce section of grocery stores rather than the chip aisle, mastering both product design and placement.
A product’s emotional value is vital to a company’s brand and customer loyalty, as displayed by Coca-Cola’s success. Businesses can elicit strong emotional response through their products with the right combination of color, size, and shape in addition to other icons, images, or text. Coca-Cola perfects this art with their classic glass contour bottle, born in 1916 and still found on shelves today. This nostalgia-inducing bottle takes us back to the 50’s and 60’s when Coca-Cola began advertising heavily in the media. When consumers purchase a bottle today, they’re not buying the taste, but rather memories of family dinners or beach outings from past decades.
Honesty is the best policy. Citro gives customers an immediate view of the exact product that they are purchasing. There’s no need to guess what’s inside. Additionally, Citro has perfected what some call shelf impact– the ability to stand out in a sea of similar products. Place Citro Mints on the same shelf as Tic Tacs, Ice Breakers, and Altoids, and your eyes will go straight to Citro. The contrast between the clean white packaging, and bright colors of the mints is pleasing to the eye, and the addition of the leaf to the plastic circle to make a citrus fruit is a clever twist.
Chobani is keeping up with the times. They hit the nail on the head with their launch of a new product called Chobani Flip, designed perfectly for Generation Y. Chobani Flip is a ready-to-go snack pack of yogurt that comes with a side compartment of toppings that, you guessed it, flips into the yogurt. The key to this mindful design is convenience and practicality. Chobani took note of the fact that since their youth, millennials have been blessed with convenience, and that that’s what they will continue to demand. The greatest part of the design in my opinion? It comes with a small wooden spoon. That’s an additional 60 seconds to my break from not having to walk around the office in search of a plastic spoon, or worse, a metal one that I would have to clean afterwards which would take an additional 2 minutes.
As our lifestyles continue to evolve with the introduction of new technologies, so do our standards for product presentation and design. What was once appealing to the eye ten years ago, is no match for the sophistication of high quality product designs today. A handful of businesses have a firm grasp of the ever-evolving consumer demand and how to adjust to it with a combination of appealing product designs and other marketing strategies. They are the frontrunners, and the cash register is your finish line.