Do people buy packaging?

The visual clues are in the packaging, so do people buy products becuase of it?

Claire Sim
By Claire Sim
  • 3 August 2018
  • Reading time: 5 minutes
Branded packaging

Foreign supermarkets are full of surprises. Not only can you find a wealth of delicious treats that aren’t always easy to get your hands on at home, but (if you’re packaging geeks like we are), there’s all these new and exciting brands to check out too! It’s always fascinating to see how different values are being communicated in new and inventive ways around the world. It might just be the novelty of all these new packaging ideas, but sometimes it feels like here in Britain we’re not pushing the boundaries of what well thought out packaging can do for a brand.

Have you ever heard of that old technique of standing in the doorway for just a moment when entering an interview, or somewhere else you might be keen to make a good first impression? Supposedly it allows your peers to quickly assemble an assessment (albeit a superficial one) of your carefully considered personal presentation. We think a similar idea applies to packaging for anything that’s going to end up on a supermarket shelf or any other customer-facing situation.

It’s so important that, when creating packaging that’s going to stand a chance of ending up in someone’s basket, the label/box/packet not only makes a true representation of your product and brand, but catches the eye too. The alcohol industry is a shining example of some of the most innovative trends in packaging around at the moment. From commissioning up-and-coming artists to create some incredible (collectable, even) craft beer labels, to undeniably striking bottle shapes – it’s a sector that’s setting the bar so high one would almost be tempted to say that boring, unimaginative packaging would stand out more against the majority!

In the same way a picture can paint a thousand words, a well-considered piece of packaging can instantly strike a deep chord with potential customers. After all, who has time to read your brand story in the middle of a bustling supermarket aisle when all that’s really needed is a good wine to go with dinner that evening? We’re so lucky to have such an incredible choice these days that we often simply need reliable visual clues that lead us into making a more informed choice on what we’re buying.

Of course, the information available once we’ve picked up that particular item of interest is the next step – but one just as important as design. According to this study conducted by Boston-based consultancy C Space, when it comes to buying food, 76% of us look at the ingredients and 51% of us check the place of origin. So, any brand trying to outsmart new customers with slick stylish packaging as a cover for a low-quality product be warned: you’ll soon be found out! You can also be sure that those customers whose faith you’ve betrayed won’t be back.

In a way, packaging is all about trust. It’s the opening gambit of a brand and offers a promise of what the customer can expect from the product. People are obviously keen to know what they’re buying, but often just don’t have the time to add everything up given the range of options they have.

If you’re thinking about packaging, or just want to get some more of our expertise on what’s one of our favourite subjects – we’re always happy to chat!

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