June 25, 2012

Good Things Come in Great Packages

In a society driven by the importance of looks, package design is vital when it comes to brand image and is the best chance to make a sale based on looks alone. How many times have you been faced with a decision between two different products and let your decision fall on the design of the product or its packaging alone? I know I have been guilty of this more than once, which led me to consider just how important package design really is.

According to Marketing Week, up to 70% of purchase decisions are made in stores and are heavily influenced by package design and marketing. Product design involves form and can be used for a variety of functions. Some of these functions include differentiating your product from your competitors, giving a physical aspect to your brand’s personality, and to serve as a brand identity tool so that consumers are able to recognize it anywhere. Also, for many consumers bonding with package design marks the beginning of an experience with a brand and can spark product loyalty. The design of a product can be a very powerful marketing tool, argues Mike Smart, design strategist for Design Council. “Design gives form to the idea and the role of the designer is very much to understand and position themselves between the ideas world and the physical product on shelf. Designers have a focus on the craft of making something but maintain the integrity of the research behind that brand.”

One of the best examples of successful package design is Chanel No. 5 perfume. Now in its 90th year of production, Chanel No. 5 is the best-selling fragrance of all time all thanks to its classic and timeless bottle. The most important aspect of the perfume, the bottle, has remained largely unchanged since its conception in 1922. Back then the bottle was actually made of delicate crystal and featured a rounded top. But that container proved to be much too fragile for shipping. It was then that Coco Chanel made some modifications to the neck and stopper of the bottle. Her idea was to produce clean, simple lines and to feature the perfume itself with a translucent bottle. The simple white label with black type, which has also remained unchanged since 1922, it is a strong representative of simplicity and functionality.

Not all brands have been lucky enough to experience the same success as Chanel and are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to get a leg up on their competition. Package designers have recently taken into account how popular social media has become and have started to integrate it into their packaging. In the United States you can now use an iPhone application to scan a special barcode on the packaging to receive information about the product. Previously brands were limited on what could be put on packaging by its size. Now, these barcodes will direct consumers to Facebook, Twitter, or others sites linking them directly to promotions, comments, reviews, as well as inviting real-time feedback.

Are you able to recognize your favorite products just by their packaging alone? Whether it’s the bright red and sliver of a can of Coca-Cola, the sleek and modern design of Apple products, or the distinctive styles of your favorite automotive brand, package design is among the first things that consumers notice about a potential purchase. For many brands package design is the deciding factor on whether or not their brand stands out or fades into the background.

Contributed By: Nicole Juliano

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