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Packaging matters: Consumers judge a book by its cover

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We’re taught to never judge a book by its cover. Still, studies show that when it comes to product packaging, we do just that.

When browsing in a store, a potential consumer’s first interaction is with a product. First impressions are extremely important, and consumers often will decide whether they are interested in a product within the first few seconds of looking at its packaging.

Effective packaging can cause a consumer to be interested in learning more about or even buying the product, while poor packaging can cause a potential customer to not give a product a second glance.

Many aspects of packaging work together to help reinforce a brand’s identity and evoke emotions in a buyer.

Why do some people gravitate toward certain packaging, while others toward another?

Smart companies know how to create a package designed to appeal to their target market. Color, typography, structure, shape, size and texture all come into play. 

COLOR

Colors have been shown to evoke certain emotions. For example:

< Green – Health, eco-friendly, natural.

< Red – Stimulating, may lead to increased appetite.

< Black – High end, luxury.

< Yellow – Positivity, happiness.

< White – Cleanliness, purity, calmness.

< Blue – Reliable, trustworthy.

< Purple – Imagination, feminine, youthfulness.

< Orange – Youth, adventure, fun, energetic.

TYPOGRAPHY (FONT)

There’s a science behind typography. Here are some typical connotations:

< Scripty – Elegance, femininity.

< Handwritten – Playful, casual.

< Serif fonts – Class, trust, maturity.

< Sans-serif fonts – Modern, clean, simple.

< Headline/capital letters – Bold, truth, commanding.

< Decorative – Unique, whimsical, youthful.

SHAPE AND STRUCTURE

While many focus on the color of the packaging, the shape often can be just as important. The shape can have a strong influence, usually subconsciously, on the consumer viewing it.

Here are several examples of shape connotation:

< Thicker, angular shapes are perceived as more masculine.

< Circular, curvy shapes have a more feminine appeal.

< Texture also is used to create a desired emotional association/response.

STANDING OUT

When color, typography and shape all work together successfully, your product packaging will strongly reinforce your brand identity.

Remember to keep it cohesive with the aesthetic of your other marketing and advertising.

Furthermore, consider your competition. Stand out by using different colors, sizes and shapes.

Forbes says that standing out should be a top priority in product packaging, and changing the shape of the packaging is one effective way to accomplish this.

LINKED TO VALUE

Packaging also has an enormous effect on perceived value. Consumers instinctively believe a product to be higher quality, or vice versa, based on the container it comes in.

This is not the place you want to cut corners. Great product packaging can make the difference between a purchase and a pass-up.

Give it the thought and effort it deserves, and you’ll surely see a considerable return on investment.

Murtaza Jaffer is the co-owner of EBC Printing in Trexlertown. He is a print/marketing materials solutions provider and can be reached at murtaza@ebclv.com.

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