Too often, companies still view their product packaging as an afterthought. So much time, money, and care go into the meticulous creation and perfection of their products, but if it’s not packaged properly, all those efforts will go to waste.
Leading brands understand the importance of packaging not only in keeping their goods safe, fresh, and protected, but also as an essential part of their branding and marketing efforts. Your packaging is the signature you leave everywhere, and it has the ability to attract today’s customers much better than outdated sales and advertising tactics.
Marketers are familiar with the term “marketing mix,” conceived by Neil Borden, president of the American Marketing Association. Though the term was developed back in the mid-20th century, its concepts are still relevant and widely used by companies today. This tool includes four key elements: price, product, promotion, and place. Now, packaging has become an integral part of this mix, as the industry is seeing a dramatic shift toward flexible retail packaging and the power it has to build brands and attract loyal customers.
Flexible retail packaging is made of innovative materials like plastic, aluminum, and paper that are laminated, printed, and coated to maintain a durable structure and blank slate for creative designs and graphics. Today’s top brands think of packaging as a miniature billboard that has the ability to attract shoppers right inside retail stores as they’re making their purchasing decisions. Companies are working closely with packaging suppliers to select the very best size, shape, design, finish, and type of flexible retail packaging to best represent their product and reach their target customers.
Below, we’ll break down the five P’s of marketing and dive into the reasons why your company should consider product packaging an integral part of your overall strategy.
Product: According to the Promotional Products Association International, the product element of the marketing mix could be replaced with “customer,” since companies are focusing more on the user experience than obsessively perfecting the goods they create. Nonetheless, product and consumer go relatively hand in hand – the product is any item that satisfies a customer’s wants, needs, or desires. Marketers have the responsibility of looking into the lifecycle of the products they are marketing and retool their strategies to keep up with innovation and change in their industry.
Price: This is obviously the cost of a product, and any adjustments made to price will affect the marketer’s overall strategy. It affects demand and sales, and marketers need to consider how much price influences customers’ perception of a product. Determining the price of a product involves insight and understanding from many departments within an organization, but marketers have the responsibility to help sell goods to their target audience no matter how much the product costs.
Promotion: This is what many marketers consider the heart of what they do – it’s all about getting the product out there in the most effective, creative ways that draw consumers in and create a positive emotional response. Gone are the days when traditional print advertising and cold sales calls effectively turn prospects into leads. Now, marketers must practice a wide range of concepts and strategies – both digital and traditional – to get products noticed and draw consumers to them.
Product packaging can play a huge role in the promotion of both a company and its goods as more consumers choose to create their own experiences and educate themselves on their purchasing decisions instead of being preached to and persuaded by an ad or sales pitch. Conferences, trade shows, giveaways, and special events are all new ways marketers are promoting their products and getting them out to consumers. As a result, product packaging must be eye-catching, intuitive, and functional since marketers are putting it in the hands of consumers right off the bat in these instances.
Place: The distribution of a product is the final step in the marketing mix, and it’s the pivotal moment when a brand’s reputation can either be built or destroyed. Your goods are finally in retail stores or online, and consumers have convenient, direct access to it. It doesn’t matter how much positive messaging you put out about your product if it isn’t drawing people in once it hits the shelves. Distributing products involves trusted, efficient partnerships to ensure products are getting to consumers quickly and effectively.
Packaging: Your packaging is the gold star of your marketing mix – it can dictate how well your strategy is working, and it involves each one of the points above. Packaging is what shows off your product in the best light, displays the price and value of the product, communicates the product’s benefits to consumers, and it what physically appears in your various distribution points. Your product may be the very best on the market, but its packaging needs to be the main tool that represents this. It’s the first thing people see, and it has the ability to catch or divert their attention within seconds.
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Your packaging should never be considered an afterthought or just a random part of the marketing mix. It should be viewed as a key place of focus, as it incorporates all other elements of your sales and marketing strategies. Packaging is what maintains the freshness and quality of your product while using vibrant designs to tell your brand’s story. It is the place where government regulated information, like nutritional facts and allergy warnings, is located, therefore keeping consumers safe and illustrating your brand’s commitment to transparency and providing products that are beneficial to their lives.
Today’s marketers are using packaging to reach consumers who are no longer swayed by classic advertising and sales practices – signs and commercials can easily be ignored, but your product simply cannot. If people are looking for a specific item, your packaging is really what’s going to sell it to them in any given retail location. Flexible retail packaging, especially, can help brands communicate their values, missions, and the qualities that make their products so outstanding. Whether you’re a marketer, salesperson, or the CEO of a company, you should be paying close attention to your packaging and working with a trusted supplier to show your product off in its very best light.