Packaging is crucial to successful brand development. Yet it is often underappreciated, despite addressing multiple critical roles.
- Encloses and protects the product contents regardless of whether it’s cereal, beer, macaroni and cheese, frozen foods, pharmaceuticals, electronic equipment, contact lens—whatever.
- Promotes efficient transportation from the plant to the distribution center and customers.
- Aids stocking at retail, storage facilities of any kind, and even in the home.
- Protects against potential tampering to ensure customer safety.
- Facilitates display and identification.
- Provides valuable information (e.g., ingredients, nutritional content, etc.).
Another vital role is communication and promotion. Packaging is the face of your brand at the point-of-purchase and engagement.
There’s a saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” However, I’ve been attracted to many books I purchased based on their covers. Likewise, attractive and captivating packaging draws me to many brands.
Alcohol beverage packaging is an excellent example of the power of packaging. It is among the most seductive and captivating packaging. Passing the restaurant bar on the way to your dinner table, one can’t miss the variety of alcoholic beverage brands displayed and backlit on mahogany shelves. They are like “eye candy” calling for your attention. The packaging communicates appetite appeal and a whole lot more.
There are three levels of packaging beyond the pallet. There’s the case. Then there’s the shelf stocking package. The last package is the bottle. I’ll address the shelf stocking package and bottle.
I’m particularly fond of an occasional single-finger pour of single malt scotch. Here’s the shelf stocking package for Glenlivet 14 Single Malt—front and back.
The first thing one notices are its use of rich colors. The colors help draw attention and stand apart and out from other products in the line and competitors: purple, tan, red, and gold. The brand name and year, The Glenlivet 14, are proudly displayed, making brand identification on the shelf easy. It engages target customers with the story of its founder, George Smith, and its distillery. The packaging also creates appetite appeal with a description of the taste experience: “Smooth citrus, rich honey and subtle liquorice spice unravel across your palate. A portion of the whisky is finished in cognac casks. Delivering a rich and creamy flavour.” Mmmm, sounds delectable.
The Glenlivet 14 packaging says, “check me out and take me home.” In case you’re wondering, I didn’t take it home. My wife selected and purchased it to treat me. It suggested tasty indulgence, even though she doesn’t touch the stuff.
I also enjoy sipping tequila. By the way, the occasional wee dram of single malt scotch or tequila will lower my BSL (blood sugar level), which is important to me as my levels run high and I try to keep it in check. But I’m not making excuses; I occasionally enjoy a nip.
Don Fulano Anejo Tequila is a brand I’ve sampled. Judging from the contents, I’ve enjoyed sampling it many times (over a long time!). It’s good. I sip it straight like I do with the single malt scotch whisky.
Don Fulano does not have a shelf stocking carton. It’s stocked by the bottle, a lovely one at that. The label communicates that it is a small batch of 100% pure agave distilled by a family and aged in French oak casks. It expresses itself in a way that gives it authenticity and suggests care and pride. And yes, it lives up to (my) expectations.
Regardless of the sector or category, packaging at the point of engagement, purchase, and use can make a difference in achieving brand success. To make packaging matter more, we must strive to:
- Reflect and communicate the Brand Idea—the theme of the brand positioning strategy. Packaging is branding and must be consistent with the brand positioning strategy.
- Capture the target customer’s attention by standing out from the crowd of competitors.
- Engage the target customer and spark interest.
- Showcase the brand’s benefit (e.g., taste enjoyment, efficacy, reliability, etc.) to the target customer.
- Compellingly provide requisite information to trigger purchase and use.›
Packaging is the face of your brand. Strive to put the brand’s best face forward with its packaging.
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Thanks for your interest.
Peace and best wishes in making your marketing matter (even) more,
Richard Czerniawski firstname.lastname@example.org 847-312-8822