The world is rapidly transforming. The way information is processed has radically changed over the past 15 years. For a company, keeping up with such changes can be a challenging endeavor. Information has become instantaneous and universally accessible, and with the new wave of information comes a change in consumer buying patterns. Just as people shuffle through swarms of Facebook photos in a matter of minutes, consumers are increasingly making instantaneous, image-based decisions. An entire shelf of products can be subconsciously rejected for purchase in less than a blink of an eye, merely because of their packaging and the accompanying subconscious associations. With these changes comes the rising importance of packaging in a competitive marketplace.
Packaging has often been called the “silent salesman,” and that alias becomes more apt every day. In 2007, Procter & Gamble reinvented the Herbal Essences brand with a new packaging system. Catering to the “Herbal Girl,” a fun-loving, active target customer, P&G combined the actual product color with the packaging to create colors that popped from 10 feet away. The new shape played a key role as well. The taller, thinner package created the illusion of containing more product per unit than before. The conditioner and shampoo mirrored each other in shape so that they fit together on the shelf, uniquely identifiable from a distance. And upon closer inspection, the consumer was greeted with fun, fresh new product names, like “totally twisted” for curly hair and “body envy,” designed to create more volume. The new campaign was a huge success, raising purchase intent by 20% and increasing the value of shares 9% in comparison to leading competitors. It worked because the package design was striking even from a distance, and it was tailored precisely to the target consumer’s personality. Innovative packaging that infuses a brand with an instantly identifiable personality that connects with the consumer is integral to a company’s success and can be the key to rising above the competition.
– Lana McCrea