Author: Elinor Martin
Christmas is just around the corner and with that comes the excitement and anticipation of what presents will be waiting under the Christmas tree on Monday 25th December. But when you’ve torn off the wrapping paper, what will the packaging underneath be like, and what does that packaging say about the brand?
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll love innovative and bespoke packaging. While searching online for a gift for a friend who needed a bit of TLC, my colleague recommended the company Bear Hugs, which provides a ‘personalised hug in a box’ - a box filled with treats. Perfect! When I received the box, filled with tea, chocolates and a bear hug mug, I was delighted to be greeted by outstretched paws. It really was a bear hug in a box and a great way to bring the brand to life!
This got me thinking about the power of brand packaging and the engagement it can create with customers.
With the increase in online retail, brands are increasingly looking at new ways to stimulate customers’ senses and create a connection. Packaging plays a significant role especially for online purchases and ecommerce businesses as it’s a brand’s direct link with the customer. Along with the product, it can also be influential in repeat business.
Apple has been a leader in creating a ‘sensory experience’ with its packaging. The Apple iPhone box, for example, was developed so that it could only be opened slowly, building the anticipation for the product inside. The design of the box is minimalist and visually appealing, correlating to the design of the product inside and consistent with Apple’s corporate branding.
Another memorable and personal packaging example is the well-known Coca Cola Share a Coke campaign, which put the packaging at the forefront of the campaign, so consumers’ intent to buy was, in many cases, down to the bottle rather than the drink.
In this age of social media, not only does memorable packaging leave customers with a positive association of a brand, but it also makes for an experience to be shared with others. Take for instance the trend to ‘unboxing’ online, which involves the unpacking of products captured on video. Online there are thousands of videos of consumers literally unboxing products and, going back to the Share a Coke campaign, many more photos of people sharing their personalised labels and boosting their social media views and impressions.
Packaging definitely plays an important role in a brand’s identity and building a connection with the customer. Whether it’s a personalised box or creatively wrapped contents delivering a memorable experience through packaging, one that is visually representative of the brand can, in my opinion, increase engagement with the brand.
Obviously packaging is not the be-all and end-all of a product. However, receiving a well-thought-out and innovatively packaged product definitely goes a long way for brand recognition and entices me to continue to engage, through social media or repeat purchases, with particular brands – some of which I’m hoping will be under my Christmas tree this year!