A branding strategy that contemplates the point of sale as a definitive decision point in the purchasing process and consequently defends the importance of packing as a guiding element. This approach, coined by the Argentinian Diego Giaccone aims to solve a certain design trend, which is too preoccupied with appearance, and forgetful of actual brand needs, which in the long term leads to generic presentations. The objective of the brand packaging is therefore to ensure that the appearance of the product fits its desired positioning, dispensing with any additional information; and to achieve this it requires the joint participation of other departments who must collaborate in the strategic brand creation process.

Packaging as the bearer of the brand message is still underestimated by many companies. We show you some impressive examples of how packaging can be used to shape and support the identity of the brand.

Packaging as an extension of the brand

Packaging as a brand ambassador plays a central role in market entry and acceptance in new product categories. According to a study by the market research company Mintel, up to 94 percent of US consumers are influenced by their trust in a brand when it comes to product innovations. In addition, 35 percent of Brazilian consumers only buy hair care products from brands they have used before and 53 percent of Chinese consumers are loyal to brands they like.

Trust in the brand can be actively used by manufacturers to create brand loyalty and expand their traditional product portfolio. Unique packaging with a clear brand message is, therefore, a decisive factor in the purchase decision.

The power of packaging design in brand communication

The packaging design reflects the brand identity and brings the brand to life - from the visual appearance and feel of the packaging to its function and sustainability. In discussions about advertising media for brand communication, however, competition between classical media and social media is currently the focus. Less attention is often paid to the packaging design, which is decisive exactly where the purchase decision is actually made: at the point of sale.

The market opportunity for creative packaging

However, almost 60 percent of product decisions are made at the POS. 56 percent of European consumers discover new products directly in the store, while only 45 percent cite TV commercials as the best source of information. There is also a trend towards brands that are entertaining and committed to the consumer.

For the packaging design, this means: Away from similar-looking and information-overloaded packaging to a packaging design that is in the foreground as part of the brand and supports the brand in making the packaging an experience. This applies above all to young consumers and the aging hipsters of Generation X.

There is therefore currently a market opportunity for those brands that not only connect with the consumer but also offer him an experience and entertainment. Brand messages such as fun, community, or authenticity can be communicated in the store or at home via the packaging to influence the purchase decision and strengthen brand loyalty.

Packaging design plays an important role in product innovations

From this point of view, packaging as an element of branding has numerous potentials to make products distinguishable from the competition and to strengthen their attractiveness. The Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Report also shows the importance of packaging and product design. The analysis of 9,900 product launches across Europe confirms packaging design as one of the most important factors for product marketing. The eleven most successful product launches - including Colgate, Air Wick, Gold Mine Beers Zhivoe, and Whiskas - achieved sales of at least €7.5 million (€5 million in Eastern Europe) in the first year after the market launch and held at least 90 percent of them in the second year.

Packaging as an indicator of product quality

According to the Mintel study, high-quality food packaging is an indicator of product quality for a third of US consumers. Therefore, the time is ripe for unique packaging structures that not only focus on differentiation on the shelf but also contribute to the creation of the brand identity and thus give consumers an incentive to purchase the product. In a nutshell, this means: good packaging protects the product. Great packaging protects the brand.

Packaging and product as a unit

Packaging is always also a promise of the content, i.e. the product. Packaging and product should therefore form a unit, i.e. the packaging should make the quality of the product visible on the outside. Confectionery or cosmetics, for example, often have a gifted character that should be reflected in the packaging.

However, some companies that offer a wide range of products in several market segments define themselves by packaging from the bottom up. Instead of presenting products in an inexpensive segment in high-quality packaging, the products in the high-priced segment are presented in rather inferior packaging. This means that the packaging cannot fulfill its function as a trademark agent. So there is still a lot to do to implement the importance of packaging design as a brand ambassador in all branches of industry.

Conclusion: Packaging as a brand

The packaging expresses the brand in competition through its content and design. It not only contributes to the protection of the product but is also an essential part of the overall performance of a brand. Branded packaging is an effective and important marketing tool that promotes and should be used as an important medium for brand loyalty.

-Bureau Chief: Kacharagadla | CPP Insights

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