SEDUCING THE CONSUMER
One, two, three, four, five and six seconds. This is the time that separates the success or the failure of a product at the point of sale. In these six seconds we have to seduce the consumer to buy our product, and the packaging design aims to make it possible.
Packaging is the first impact that the consumer receives from a product and this makes it one of the main communication channels that brands have to communicate with the consumer.
According to a Nielsen study, packaging influences more than 40% of consumers when buying a product. Therefore, the packaging becomes one of the best marketing tools that exist.
Before exposing the role of graphic design, I would like to specify what we understand as packaging.
One could say that packaging is the science, art and technology of packaging and protecting the products for distribution, storage, sale and final use by the client. Its main objective is to attract the attention of customers, facilitate the purchase decision and create recognition as well as brand loyalty.
It should be noted that the packaging of a product is the only marketing element that “leaks” into our homes, which is present at the time of consumption and stays with the consumer until the product ends.
The graphic design of a container is much more than a simple aesthetic decoration, since it has the mission of communicating and establishing a dialogue between the brand and the potential consumer of the product.
This packaging must meet four fundamental requirements:
The information regarding the product must appear clearly and legibly.
La identidad visual del packaging tiene que hacer que nuestro producto sea único.
Create the illusion that inside the packaging we will find the ideal product.
With similar proposals the most provocative packaging will always have more possibilities to connect with the consumer.
Graphic resources, like in many other fashions, are subject to trends. This forces designers and brands to always be up-to-date with design trends and learn about new consumer habits. Design and functionality should always be the order of the day.
Searching for simplicity in graphic design, reducing the elements to their simplest form is always challenging, but ends up being rewarding for the consumer. As it helps to quickly understand the product and immediately identify what we are looking for when consulting a packaging.
Beyond informing the product, the graphic design or visual identity of a packaging has the power to convert a standard packaging into a unique and desired product.
The design of the packaging is formed by the packaging itself or structural design and by the graphic design that is the communication or visual identity of the same. This graphic design consists of three major sections:
Visual identity design
Brand, company logo and other distinctive elements such as the corporate color, the graphic style used by the company, etc.
Beyond the quality or the technical specifications of the product, in the decision to purchase, the client takes into consideration the image and aesthetics of the packaging, as well as the overall purchase experience.
The package must provide information about its content, ingredients, origin, utility, instructions for use, etc., so that the user can evaluate the product and make the correct purchase decision.
As users, this allows us to differentiate between the infinite number of products in the market, to compare them and, in the end, to buy the one we think best suits our needs.
Allow me to give an example. In the case of labeling some jam jars that we have made with berries and others with the plums that we have from the town, what we do is indicate in which jars we have placed a jam or another. We may also note the date to remember when we have packed and as a result we are indicating the preferred date of consumption.
If we wanted to sell these fantastic marmalades, we would like the consumer to know that we made them, and we would put our name, that is, the brand. We would also like to tell the consumer that they are natural, homemade, without added sugars, etc … Of course all this information should be easy to read for the consumer but, in addition, we would like the label to be very “pretty”.
This concept of “pretty”, among other attributes, is what brings the graphic design to a container. This makes our packaging unique and different from our competitors and, above all, more attractive.
In the example of jams we know the origin of the raw material and we know the production process. But we may have to design the packaging of a product from which, a priori, we only have very superficial information. It is important to always have the maximum possible product information before starting the process of designing a packaging. Any detail about the characteristics of the product can be key to highlight a differentiating element of the competition.
Graphic resources such as photographs, illustrations, typographies, colors and of course the brand, inform about the specific properties of the product we want to sell. The graphic solution that we apply to each element can be decisive so that the “message” of the product reaches the consumer with maximum precision.
So that the design of the packaging helps the main objective of the container, which is to sell, the first thing that we have to determine is the public to which we want to sell our product. This will allow us to make a design that is in tune with the potential consumer (target) to which we are going to address, such as the demographic profile, the sociocultural profile and, last but not least, its digital profile.
Before starting with the process of creating the visual identity of packaging, we need to know what aesthetics and graphic resources our competition uses. In principle, we should look for a very attractive visual identity that would allow us to differentiate ourselves from direct competition. Although we want to differentiate from the competition should be the most normal, there are brands that deliberately intend to confuse the consumer and adopt a graphical solution very similar to the leading brand in its category to “steal” market share.
Some graphic codes such as color coding can help us to position our product within a certain category of products, such as green, ocher, earth, etc., which visually position us within the category of ecological products.
The consumer, in general, likes to be surprised, and graphic design is a very powerful tool to give an innovative image to our product.
The graphic architecture
Keeping in mind the maxim of “less is more”, the simpler the visual identity of a packaging the easier it is to remember for the consumer.
A good packaging design can generate an investment return (ROI) 2.5 times higher than the investment in marketing, communication, social media, etc …
This figure gives us a clear notion of the magnitude and importance of graphic design in packaging.
I dare to say that in our days it is unfeasible to market a product without the intervention of graphic design in packaging design.