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With the increase of online shopping, does a package still matter?

With the tremendous increase in online purchasing, does a product package really matter much anymore? When a quick click will tell you most of what you need to know about a product, what do we really need a package to say or do?

We still believe a package really matters. These days, boxes arrive at our homes with goods wrapped in little more than a plastic bag wrapped in an envelope: sometimes we have no clue about its origin, who made it and how. We’re becoming unmoored from the makers of what we buy.

A good package can still be bold, beautiful, and create enduring brand connections. Here are some of the reasons to make packages that matter…

The Thrill of the Touch

Social media can effectively communicate the luxury of a product to consumers.

However, if a product sold online arrives and its quality does not live up to the social post, consumers will be disappointed. The same goes for the packaging. Great packaging should convey the quality and brand essence of the product inside the box.

Winning luxury brands are smart to consider using the sensation of touch to evoke emotion. Fine materials and textures are appealing, and designers have a wealth of premium substrates, films, inks, finishes, and embossing techniques at their disposal.

Unboxing the Hype

“Unboxing” experiences can create great anticipation, with the use of papers, stickers, décor or samples. A great example is the Henry Rose brand. Henry Rose offers a line of original fragrances with 100% ingredient transparency. The story of the fragrances is told in the package: each scent comes with a postcard of photos and a poem about the that don’t ever appear on-line: they are only ever part of the box, to be discovered only upon un-wrapping.

Walk the Talk

The package can be an important medium to amplify the product benefits, brand story and even brand values. Consider easy-to-open packaging. For example, a product for arthritis pain can show it has customers in mind. The Aleve brand worked with the Arthritis Society testing prototypes with arthritis sufferers to create a pill bottle that supported customers who might have stiff joints and struggle with opening bottle tops.

Package Sustainably

When it comes to products made with sustainable materials or natural organic ingredients, there can be some brand love lost when the package and product have a value disconnect, and the product arrives in extra plastic and non-recyclable materials. A package made as environmentally friendly as possible – recycled board, less paper, and organic inks, would provide more credence to a product that claims to be all natural. Together, the product and package can celebrate natural elements. Natural imagery outside and inside the box can further connect the sustainability values of the brand.

Brand Marketing in the Phygital Dimension

In Nearly all consumers carry a phone while shopping. Dynamic QR codes allow consumers to scan and learn more — right at shelf. Brands now have new opportunities to deliver brand campaigns right from the package. The use of QR codes has become more normalized, and consumers are more comfortable holding their phone over a ‘Scan Me’ message on a package to learn more.

Bayer launched new product that had a significant learning curve for customers. They needed to tell the story about how the benefits of two supplements (fiber and inulin) worked together in a new gummy format. Package neck tags held a QR code that revealed a 2-minute video explaining the new product and its benefits. Consumers watched this at point-of sale while they held the package in their hands. Phygital campaigns on packages can be amazingly cost-effective ways to create understanding and a call to action. And they are also a great strategy to trial different messages, and piloting campaigns. Is it time to re-invest in the prime real estate of your package?

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