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5 Important Tactics and Components of CPG Packaging in 2016

2015cpgtactics.pngimage credit: alaivani via flickr cc

Consumers don’t realize how much packaging matters. No customer goes to the store in search of the most aesthetically-pleasing, well-designed, or eco-friendly package they can find. Instead, they go with a list and some budget for impulse buys. When decision fatigue hits and they’re surrounded by thousands of products, The Atlantic writes they pick the packages that “signal reliability, trustworthiness, and consistency.”

As consumer preferences and behaviors change, the most important components of CPG packaging design have also evolved. This blog is not intended to address the basic elements of packaging design, such as logos and labeling required by law. Instead, we’ve taken a focus on new and emerging aspects of CPG packaging. Join us as we review some trends to pay attention to.

  1. Digital Integration

When a consumer puts your product into their shopping cart, marketers have won the hardest battle of all. They’ve achieved brand awareness. The next step is establishing brand loyalty. Increasingly, including digital elements on food packaging can encourage your new customers to continue the conversation and deepen your relationships. Social media links, QR codes, and other forms of digital content can invite your happy customers to build authentic relationships.

  1. Value

Catalina Marketing has found that customer loyalty factors have hit a low, and defection os at an all-time high. CPG packaging must communicate a product’s value, to justify both an initial purchase and repeat spend.

Packaging materials can be one powerful way to communicate your brand’s value. Minimalist labels or designs that include handwritten fonts or other artisanal elements can instantly communicate that your product is worth the price. Strong copy and imagery can also work in support of your value.

  1. Differentiation

Luxury CPG products have often nailed the art of differentiation. All it takes is one look at many bottles of expensive Champagne for consumers to identify a high-quality product that’s made by experts.

Minimalist or biodegradable packaging elements can communicate that you brand is committed to social responsibility. Muted color tones can inspire trust in the most health-conscious customers. By investing in a design that reflects your unique value proposition, you can effectively differentiate within your product category.

  1. Values

For millennials and other values-driven customer segments, purchases are a statement. In the age of social media transparency, selecting a box of water instead of a plastic bottle shows that you’re committed to sustainability, and willing to spend a little more for it.

CPG packaging must be more than a package. It should offer a physical capture of your brand’s promise. Single-serve packages promise convenience. Resealable bulk bags promise cost savings without compromising quality. Ensure that your products aren’t just a product, they’re a statement in support of your customers’ lifestyle, with packaging that goes beyond form.

  1. Measurable Return

Traditional thought and CPG research indicates that most consumers spend a fraction of a second judging a CPG label before proceeding with a purchase decision. Can your customers perceive a measurable benefit within a second of glancing at your label?

Your unique value proposition and potential benefit to the customer can’t be subte. If you offer the promise of whimsy, make sure your packaging reflects it. If you’re truly different in ingredients or taste, make sure your packaging stands out from everyone else in your category.

The value of CPG packaging in communicating your brand promise hasn’t diminished. If anything, today’s customers are less trusting and more distracted than yesterday’s shoppers. By investing in the most important CPG packaging design tactics, brands can significantly improve results.

What do you think are the most important components and tactics of CPG packaging design in 2016?

Click to download our free PKG Book Chapter: "Package Design and the Role of  the Consumer" 

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