What Your Retail Packaging Design Says About Your Brand

Retail packaging design sets expectations and even evokes emotions. Learn how to create a good first impression and making the unboxing experience special. 

Marketers know that consumers often will judge books by their covers. Of course, it’s not just books but the retail packaging design for almost any kind of product. Colors, shapes, and other design elements do more than make a first impression. They might even impact the customer’s psychological state. Even beyond any words on the box, you can utilize your packaging to tell shoppers a lot about your brand. That’s why many businesses go so far as to hire an experienced packaging design agency to design custom product packaging that will help them stand out among their competition.

What to consider for custom product packaging design

Direct Packaging Solutions, one packaging design agency, touched upon two ways that package design can affect the customer experience:

  • First impressions: Consumer research has found that packaging can change customer expectations for a product. As an example, MacBook has a reputation for having one of the top package designs on Amazon and other online venues. Owners mentioned how much they appreciated the way their Apple packaging displayed and protected their laptops and accessories. They enjoyed the unboxing process and liked the box so much that they didn’t want to discard it. 
  • Emotions: Several aspects of the packaging can actually evoke specific emotions. For instance, many food brands use red because it can stimulate appetite, and yellow tends to communicate happiness and competence. Even shape might matter. As an example, one beer company developed a bottle with a thicker neck and more angular shape to look more masculine and appeal to men.

Of course, you can also use your consistent style of packaging to reinforce your brand. When people think of Tiffany, they tend to visualize the blue boxes. Likewise, it’s hard to think of Coca-Cola without picturing the iconic red can.

Packaging can also communicate something about your company’s purpose. For instance today’s customers like to see recyclable or reusable packaging. Amazon should know quite a bit about packaging, and they have gone out of their way to promote their program to reduce packaging waste.

Tips for top packaging design on Amazon and other eCommerce sites

For selling online, you need to make certain that your package doesn’t just look good in person. A full-sized and thumbnail photo also has to entice clicks. For that, you need clean, clear, and uncluttered graphics and fonts. Even so, it helps to give your packaging a unique, distinctive look to attract attention.

You might even use your packaging to solve a problem and make your product more functional. For instance, what could be a better example of a common packaged good than ketchup? Heinz got a lot of press for coming up with the genius idea of giving their bottles a wide top, so they could be packaged and stored upside-down.

For years, customers had complained that they had to struggle to get the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle, and the new design used gravity to solve a 150-year-old problem. According to CNN, they increased sales by six percent in a year when their overall industry only rose by two percent. Businesses can profit by making their customer’s lives easier, and sometimes, packaging can help.

How to start designing outstanding packages

As with any aspect of marketing, you should understand your target market. For instance, CBD packaging might reflect health and nature, but boxes for luxury goods should communicate a sense of indulgence and style. Experienced product packaging companies can make certain your packaging reflects well on your company in both appearance and function.

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Teamwork is an Essential Part in Marketing Communication

Marketing can be defined as all the different activities that are involved in making products available to satisfy the needs of the customers, while at the same time generating profits for the manufacturers and distributors. It is a complex process and it involves the following:

  • Designing a product that meets customer specifications which many need the use of marketing research to determine what the customers needs.
  • Promoting the products so that people may get to know the product through marketing communications and Advertising.
  • Setting the price and making the product available to the population through vending outlets.

Marketing communications can be described as the communication that is used in the promotion phase of the product. It is the communication between the marketing division or the marketing efforts of a company and the market and it is usually geared towards the promotion of the product. Marketing communication can usually be handled in-house, or can be sub contracted to a marketing agency.

The people in the marketing communication sector that are involved with advertising, branding, direct marketing to customers, graphic design of product and product containers, packaging, sales and sales promotion.

They are generally involved with creating and delivering messages to the public in an attempt to move them to develop an affinity with the company and to buy the products of the company. They are usually known as marketing communicators, and it is more usual than not a team effort, than the work of a single individual.

This can either mean having a team of people to work in these different processes or taking on one marketing agency that does this, or coordinating the efforts of different specialized agencies like graphic design agencies, advertising agencies and market research agencies.

Marketing communication can be said to be divided into 5 stages from the time the message is conceived and delivered to the time the messages is received and then possible action taken by the receiver to change him from the receiver of a marketing message to a consumer.

The stages in the process are:

  • Sender – which represents the marketing team that delivers an idea to the marketing communication team
  • Encoding – represents the part of the process where the communicator takes the message and transforms it into eye catching or step changing visual adverts or tunes or a mixture of all as in audio visual ads
  • Transmission – which represents the stage where the messages are transmitted through radio, tv the internet and any other device chosen by the company
  • Decoding – represents the stage when the consumer receives the image and decodes it; usually it has to do with thinking in the pattern that the marketer wants them to think
  • Receiver – the message is now with the received by the target audience and the receiver can then make a decision to respond and buy, take the subscription or develop a way of thinking as desired.

Therefore, from the processes above it can be seen that teamwork is essential in marketing communication as the process will be almost impossible for a single individual to create and deliver successfully alone.

In general, the people who develop the ideas and strategies in marketing research are usually analysts, and those that take the results of these ideas and recommendations to create a new product are usually different from those that will also use these same ideas to create advertising for the product.

“Without a clear idea of what the company goals are, or the kind quality of the product and who they are trying to reach, marketing communicators will not be able to create and transmit a convincing message to the consumers. Therefore teamwork is very much essential to the success of any marketing campaign.”

A marketing campaign team will usually involve people from account planning, account management, creative talent production, media departments and specialist in TV ads, radio ads, billboard advertisers as well as internet and social media advertisers.

All these people need to be managed and they need to work with each other.  Without a collective team spirit, and coordination it will be a chaotic situation and so the marketing communication team has to work with coordinating these heads and assigning tasks to each individual so that the team works flawlessly and delivers the end products as required.

Good coordination of the team will usually lead to convincing messages being sent to the consumer which will ultimately end in making sales and to convert the receiver of the messages to a client.

Looking for a comprehensive partnership with an agency who understands the importance of teamwork in marketing communication? Contact us today to build your synergistic strategy.

The Benefits of Testing Your Packaging Design

As high-tech digital analytics continues to rule the virtual marketing world, don’t forget to collect real-world marketing data including the valuable information gleaned from packaging design testing.

Make no mistake: product packaging is integral to product sales. In fact, a recent study by the leading corrugated packaging company WestRock determined that more than four out of five consumers in the United States have tried a new product because its packaging caught their eye. Furthermore, 63 percent of consumers have purchased a product a second time due to its packaging appearance/aesthetics, and 52 percent of consumers have changed brands as a result of new packaging.

With these figures in mind, businesses are universally committed to optimizing their packaging design. But how can you tell if your packaging is truly connecting with your key consumer demographic?

Packaging design testing basics

Briefly defined, packaging design testing involves presenting several packaging designs to your target audience and asking them to provide honest feedback on each of them. This feedback should ultimately determine which design is the most appealing to consumers and which design its most likely to encourage sales.

By testing their deigns, companies are far more able to wrap their product in external packaging that both sets it apart from the competition and communicates its unique value in a succinct and compelling manner. Companies that incorporate testing into their general packaging design processes have solid data that can readily guide team operations and facilitate coordinated company decision-making.

In addition to helping to bring brand new packaging designs to market, packaging design testing is key when optimizing or otherwise altering your existing packaging. The testing process is also extremely valuable when it comes to reaching out to new or alternative target audiences/consumer demographics.

Types of packaging design testing

Any good consumer marketing agency or packaging design company will tailor packaging design testing processes to meet the specific wants and needs of the client. In order to produce the specific benefits that are most important to their clients, these organizations may employ a wide range of techniques both in controlled study groups and in the marketplace at large.

The venerable packaging products organization Performance Packaging of Nevada suggests A/B testing as an easy and inexpensive way to determine the better of two different packaging designs. This method of testing involves gathering together one or more test groups that are (hopefully!) representative of your larger consumer/audience base. Test group leaders present these groups with two packaging choices and then ask each group member to pick their favorite.

Of course, this relatively restricted form of testing is limited when it comes to assessing multiple design variables (color, size, substance, etc.,). Therefore, depending on its particular goals, a company may choose other approaches to gathering feedback such as filling out comprehensive surveys or participating in thorough interview processes.

Although careful sampling methodology can compile study groups that closely match larger target audiences/consumer demographics, there is no substitute for marketing testing in the field. This method is, of course, far more expensive, than study group testing, but companies can benefit greatly from releasing two or more packaging designs into the marketplace and then collecting data on which design the general public prefers.

Getting the most out of your packaging design testing endeavors

As we have seen, your ideal methods and techniques of packaging design testing will depend entirely upon your unique and specific goals. Do you want to ensure that your product catches the eye of the casual consumer as he/she walks down the supermarket aisle? Or is it more important that your packaging reflects the core attributes and values that consumers associate with your brand?

After determining the aspects of your packaging that are most likely to influence your overall success or failure, you can develop packaging design testing procedures that are right for you. A key metric that you will certainly want to consider is purchase intent, which measures the likelihood that your packaging will motivate people to buy the product that it contains. Secondary metrics will depend on the specific results you hope to achieve and the marketplace in which you operate. These metrics might include appeal (how enticing your packaging is), relevance (how effectively your packaging reflects the wants/needs of your audience), uniqueness (how your packaging differs from that of your competitors), and ease of finding (how well your packaging stands out on the average retail shelf/website).

For more information

To learn more about the importance of packaging design testing, contact a skilled and knowledgeable representative at Bigeye today. In addition to excelling at the art and science of packaging design, Bigeye offers a broad range of comprehensive marketing services with an eye on innovation and customized service.

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Tips for Starting a Skincare Company

As the skincare market continues to expand, the time is right for starting your own company. You’ll never reach the level of success you desire, however, without establishing a disruptive brand that stands out from the completion.

A 2019 study by the independent market research company the NPD Group singles out the prestige beauty market as one of the fastest-growing sectors in United States retail sales with an annual growth of 6 percent. And, with an annual growth of 13 percent, the skincare category stands out as a particular achiever, comprising a full 60 percent of the prestige beauty market’s total industry gains.

“If I had to use one word to characterize the state of the U.S. beauty industry today, it would be disruption,” says NPD Group executive director and beauty industry analyst Larissa Jensen. “Whether we look at categories, brands, or retailers, there are sweeping changes taking place in the market landscape.”

Jensen proceeds with a warning to skincare entrepreneurs everywhere, stressing the fact that “brands and retailers must not only be cognizant of these transformations and act upon them, but identify new white space opportunities to captivate consumers and further differentiate themselves from the crowd.”

Leveraging Areas of Disruption in Skincare Industry

Prospective skincare company owners and chief executive officers should pay close attention to the specific growth areas within the skincare industry if they want to capitalize on areas of disruption and establish a distinct, unique, and valuable brand.

The booming popularity of natural beauty products, for example, represents a dramatic sea change in terms of the qualities and characteristics that customers have come to expect. Reflecting this change, the top contributor to the $5.6-billion skincare industry are natural skincare brands. The NPD Group reports that natural skincare products accounted for more than one-quarter of annual skincare sales, up 23 percent from the previous year.

The NPD Group report goes on to identify lip treatments, toners/clarifiers, facial sprays, and alphabet creams as the fastest-growing skincare product classifications. Customers are also increasingly purchasing skincare for the body, protective sunscreens, and self-tanning products.

Legal Requirements to Operate a Skincare Business

Before starting a skincare company, it is absolutely imperative that you understand all the licensing and regulatory issues that you will face. In general, the legal requirements that you must meet to operate a handmade cosmetics business are similar to the legal requirements that other small business must meet. However, as part of the cosmetic/beauty industry, you must ensure that your skincare product(s) pass muster with the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Regulated by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, all skincare products must be deemed safe for consumers for indicated conditions of use prior to their release. They also have to be labeled properly.

It isn’t against the law to make cosmetics in your home, but it is your responsibility to ensure that this is accomplished safely. In his article “How to Start Your Own Line of Skin Care,” Houston Chronicle contributor Michael Flanagan suggests accessing the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines/Inspection Checklist before designing your manufacturing space. This is the best way to prepare this space for its required FDA on-site inspection.

Manufacturing Your Skincare Products

The Houston Chronicle article goes on to offer a number of skincare product manufacturing tips including cutting down on overhead costs by looking for bulk suppliers to secure all necessary raw ingredients. It recommends accessing online distribution networks such as MakingCosmetics and Admix to meet both your supply and equipment needs.

If you choose to start your business with a manufacturing space on your residential property, you can often use your kitchen as your main hub of activity. The equipment that you will need depends entirely on the type(s) of skincare product(s) that you want to make. Skincare companies that plan to make clay facials, for example, can probably begin by using existing household mixing bowls and spoons. Those who want to make soap, however, must first buy soap molds and a few other essential pieces of equipment.

Skincare Company Marketing

No matter how great your skincare products happen to be, you won’t get far in the skincare sector without a comprehensive and outstanding marketing campaign. Here are just a few elements that you’ll want to include in your unified skincare company marketing efforts.

  • An official website – In virtually any industry, a high-quality website is absolutely essential. Your website should reflect your company’s core values and commitment to excellence. Even if you don’t plan to sell your skincare products online, customers will inevitably turn to your website for answers to important questions as well as information about your company and what it does best.
  • A strong social media presence – Reach your target consumer base on the social media platforms that they already frequent. Depending on your target demographic this might mean maintaining compelling, informative, and up-to-date company pages on multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Social media outreach is a great idea for a wide range of reasons, but its ability to engender both consumer-to-company and consumer-to-consumer interactions is simply unparalleled.
  • Email newsletters – As a skincare company, you’ll want to turn each buyer into a repeat customer. Email newsletters are a great way to drive consumer loyalty. Although you don’t want to bombard customers with constant messages of little value, occasional newsletters can be a great way to make customers feel valued. Share content that will command attention, announce the release of new products, and motivate consumer action with various sales and promotions.
  • Non-digital marketing efforts – Don’t forget that the majority of people still buy their skincare products in brick-and-mortar stores. Consider visiting regional beauty salons, spas, and health/beauty stores to offer free samples. If these establishments express an interest in buying your products, you should provide them with attractive wholesale pricing. Other traditional sales techniques that continue to work well include the staging of at-home skincare parties.

Skincare Branding

While all of the techniques outlined above can effectively reach your target demographic of existing and prospective customers, you simply won’t get far with a bunch of disorganized and unconnected advertising efforts. In order to be truly successful, your company must unify all of its marketing activities under the banner of an overarching brand that is both captivating and exceptional.

Your branding efforts must begin with the creation of an effective company name and logo. Don’t take these steps lightly! Both your name and your logo must be carefully designed to resonate with your audience.

Keep your name simple, catchy, and easy to spell, Pay close attention both to how your name looks when read and to how your name sounds when spoken. If possible, choose a name that conveys some sort of strategic meaning.

The uniqueness of your name is also a paramount concern. To see whether or not a favored name is already in use, check online with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Your name and logo should lead the way when developing a brand that projects a distinct and desirable set of characteristics and values. These specific characteristics and values will depend entirely on your target demographic.

For example, a “macho” brand is perfect for companies in the fast-growing men’s skincare product sector. Other skincare companies have found success with socially conscious branding messages and company affiliations, offering products that are responsibly sourced and supporting a broad spectrum of charitable causes.

Best Skincare Packaging

A recent report by the leading corrugated packaging company WestRock shows that more than four in five American have tried a new product due to its packaging. And packaging is particularly important in an overcrowded skincare sector that has products desperately competing for attention on store shelves everywhere.

Like all other facets of your marketing operations, your unique product packaging must align with the characteristics and values of your brand as a whole. This is absolutely essential if you want to connect with your chosen consumer demographic.

Although no two skincare companies should wrap their products in similar packaging, there are a few universal guidelines that companies must generally keep in mind. For example, a highly important part of presenting a professional image is ensuring that all your brand-name products follow a constant design style.

Skincare Video Production

In today’s marketplace, a business that fails to use video as part of its comprehensive branding and advertising efforts is bound to fall behind. The 2020 State of Video Marketing Survey by Wyzowl reports that 85 percent of companies use video as a marketing tool and that 92 percent of marketers who use video rely upon it as “an important part of their marketing strategy.”

When you stop to consider the fact that beauty product videos are the most searched-for video type on YouTube, the tremendous potential of video marketing in the skincare sector should be immediately obvious. In addition to producing and releasing traditional video ad spots, your skincare company can benefit from motion graphics infomercial content, instructional how-tos, and recorded customer testimonials.

Get Professional Guidance

Unless you happen to be a seasoned marketing professional, you will want to secure the assistance of a professional skincare marketing agency well before establishing your company and beginning to distribute your products. At Bigeye, we know the supreme importance of founding your skincare company with an extremely powerful, unified organizational image and a highly compelling, targeted marketing message.

Let us help you launch your brand right the first time, so you don’t have to contend with the significant cost, hassle, and wasted time that go hand in hand with subsequent company rebranding efforts.

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Why Great Marketing Means Thinking Outside the (Sandwich) Box

Think outside of the box or in this case outside the sandwich and partner with a brand package design agency to creatively connect with your consumers.

There’s no denying that subscription services are hot. You can now have razors, meal kits and even a curated selection of candy from across the globe delivered to your door, weekly or monthly. This shift toward subscription goods is one reason why brand package design has become increasingly important in recent years. A beautiful or visually arresting design can make regular delivery of expected goods feel almost like a gift.
Given the rising popularity of the subscription model, it’s hardly surprising that brick and mortar businesses are attempting to join the party. What may surprise you, however, is the identity of some of these legacy brands.

How Arby’s took “thinking outside the box” to a new level

In early January 2019, the fast-food franchise Arby’s announced it would begin rolling out a new subscription service for sandwich lovers called “Arby’s of the Month.”

If you’re breaking out in “meat sweats” at the thought of a limp, week-old roast beef sandwich arriving at your door, fear not: These boxes contain “sandwich-inspired items” rather than actual buns, beef and horsey sauce.

The first boxes were distributed to members of the “Arby’s of the Month” club and contained the following promotional items: A visually pleasing brand package design with red and white Arby’s ski hat, a scarf designed to look like a giant slice of bacon, temporary Arby’s sandwich tattoos, a branded dining tray and a note from the company’s so-called “Head of Sandwiches” promising five more months of Arby’s themed goodies.

Arby’s priced the six-month subscriptions for a flat $25 fee. While they quickly sold out, the company says it will alert consumers as soon as more subscriptions come available in the coming weeks.

Why Arby’s chose the subscription box marketing route

Marketers can leverage larger societal trends to great effect. Look no further than Gillette’s recent #metoo-inspired “We Believe” ad, which gained massive attention while courting considerable controversy. Another example: Nike’s 2018 campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which leveraged the football star’s visibility as a social justice figure.

Now, a “Sandwich of the Month” club doesn’t have the same gravitas. Yet it falls perfectly in line with Arby’s playful, slightly goofy brand identity. Audiences don’t expect a roast beef purveyor to create an idealistic, high-concept ad campaign focusing on human rights. A campaign that builds upon Americans’ recent fascination with subscription delivery boxes — presented in Arby’s signature off-kilter style — is perfectly pitched.

Merely choosing to use the subscription-based model isn’t enough, however. For a truly successful campaign, Arby’s needed two additional things: Delivery items that would delight their customers and an appealing box in which to contain them.

Arby’s succeeded with the former — after all, who wouldn’t be amused by receiving a giant, flowing bacon scarf? For the latter, Arby’s chose to partner with the ad agency Fallon, who came up with a striking example of a strong brand package design to support the campaign.

Overall, Arby’s delivered a clever, on-trend and on-brand campaign idea supported by great design and social media marketing. With those elements in place, it’s little wonder that Arby’s new promotion sold out almost immediately.

What BIGEYE can do for you

If your brand would like to elevate its current marketing approach — or take advantage of truly compelling brand product design — we urge you to contact BIGEYE  today.

Want to Win Over Consumers? Try Humble Brand Packaging Design

Have you ever received a large package from Amazon — only to discover a much smaller package inside? It’s kind of like the retail version of a Russian nesting doll.
There’s a word for this phenomenon: Overboxing. In a world where the global environment is under rising stress, overboxing has emerged as a real issue for businesses and online retailers. Customers, especially younger ones, are demanding sustainable solutions — which means brand packaging design has become more important than ever.

The perils of “overboxing”

Online retail giants such as Amazon and Alibaba ship billions of products each year and these numbers are expected to grow significantly in the coming decades. That translates into an enormous amount of cardboard, styrofoam and bubble wrap.

Given the hefty amount of debris that comes with modern packaging – and isn’t typically recycled – that’s a serious burden on the environment. Amazon is attempting to limit the damage by asking its vendors to follow new standards under its “Frustration-Free Packaging” program. The ultimate goal is to limit overboxing by having vendors send their products to Amazon in boxes that are ready to ship.

This is an approach that aligns with changing public sentiment. The numbers are stark: 94% of Generation Z members say businesses should work to solve environmental and social issues, while 89% say such efforts are a factor in their buying decisions. No other demographic group places this of an emphasis on corporate sustainability.

Sidestepping “wrap rage” and delivering agile design  

In the early days of e-commerce, businesses took the same retail products meant for the shelves, placed them in a box, and shipped them to online retailers or customers. Today, that kind of practice often leads to extraordinary waste — and “wrap rage”-induced social media call outs.

In order to stay on the right side of sustainability, today’s businesses are moving away from a product design aesthetic that made shelf appeal paramount. Instead, these businesses are merging this objective with the practicalities of sustainable packaging.

Hasbro’s “Baby Alive” doll is one such example: By following Amazon’s stricter guidelines, the company was able to reduce the total amount of packaging used by 50%. Other popular products that have been redesigned for sustainable shipping include Play-Doh and Mr. Potato Head.

While choosing this path may require additional research and development money, smart brands can recoup part of this through the use of clever marketing. Sustainability is a major priority for many buyers and can serve as a critical differentiator for brands seeking a competitive edge.

Brand package design that pops

Our creative team has an eye for design that jumps off the shelf (or in this case box) — and a desire to help companies grow sustainably. If you think your product can benefit from better brand package design, we urge you to contact us today.