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Influencing Consumer Behavior With Retail Packaging—A Review

Protective packaging serves several purposes. First, it’s a functional product that protects a variety of tangible goods. These goods can be anything from dog food to plant food and anything in between. Pet packaging protects your pet’s food and maintains freshness, and lawn and garden packaging protects plant seeds until customers can get them into the ground.

But there’s another big benefit to packaging that goes beyond protection: the ability to influence consumer behavior.

We’re not talking about hypnosis or mind reading here, but your flexible retail packaging serves as a powerful marketing tool. And it’s powerful enough to potentially take control of your customer’s buying decisions.

Spell it Out With Protective Packaging

We all know that words are extremely powerful—especially in the world of marketing. There’s a fine line between crafting powerful sales copy and keeping your facts straight. Misleading product information can result in a big mess, but there’s ways to affluently translate your message without compromising your credibility.

Here are a few tips to writing copy to influence consumer behavior without compromising your credibility.

  • Keep your message short and snappy. Chances are that you don’t have a ton of room to write a book on your flexible retail packaging. Even if you do, writing a book in this situation is not the time or the place. Customers want information that they can quickly consume.
  • Make your message easy to understand. In this situation, you want to do your customer’s thinking for them. If they have to think too hard or long about what you’re trying to say, they likely won’t stick around for long.
  • Highlight what’s important. What is the key message that you are trying to deliver to your consumers? It helps to remember your audience while you compose the perfect copy. Are they health enthusiasts? Are they children? When you have a solid grasp of who is buying your product, you can get a better angle for influencing your customers with your protective packaging.

Getting your brand’s message on point is critical for convincing customers to buy. You might not get your message perfect right out of the gate, but get to know your customers on a personal level and integrate their needs into your copy. Once you make that connection with your customers, influencing a purchase becomes much easier.

Get Real With Graphics And Clear WindowsPopcorn Packaging

When your product is sitting on the store shelf, sometimes your customers might have a hard time envision the real thing out of the bag. To get around with consumers who need some extra visual motivation to buy, consider including lifelike graphics that display your product on your flexible packaging.

One option to demonstrate your product with graphics is to create life size serving sizes right on the package. This is especially helpful to customers who are watching their portion sizes and can get an idea of a serving even before opening the bag.

Clear windows are even better for giving customers a real glimpse of your product. Not only will they get an extremely accurate portrayal of your product, they will be able to see the texture as well. Visual cues can have a heavy influence on consumer behavior. If you are trying to tap into the senses with your packaging, visual elements are key.

Printing Kick Things Up With Color and Typography

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that color has a big influence on buyer decisions—whether it’s a conscious decision or not. There’s a whole world (not to mention, a whole wheel) of colors to choose from, and selecting the right color can help grab attention and increase sales.

  • Blue is one of the safest colors in sales. It signifies trust and relaxation. Oreo and Chips Ahoy! are two examples of flexible retail packaging that uses the color blue
  • Black shows power and authority
  • Red is a stimulating color—it’s believed to generate excitement, but sometimes it can cause alarm
  • Green symbolizes nature; many companies who produce natural products choose to have some shade of green on their protective packaging
  • Yellow signifies optimism and clarity

Once you have your packaging color scheme, it’s time to consider typography. Typography is the font choice that brands use to deliver their message on packaging. And believe it or not, there is an art to choosing the right fonts for your brand.

  • Combine san-serif fonts with a serif font. An example of this Myriad and Minion
  • Don’t try to combine fonts that are too similar, such as Minion and Novelty
  • Keep a contrast between your font choices
  • Ideally, stick to only two different font faces—three fonts maximum. Too many different font styles will come across as distracting and confusing, leading customers to check out the retail packaging of your competitor.
  • Fonts can set moods. Large, bold fonts can stimulate excitement, while cursive fonts can bring in a feeling of elegance
  • Vary the font weights (boldness) that are in the same family

Learning how to influence your customers through flexible retail packaging is the key to establishing a credible and desirable brand. Striking the right emotions while customers are at the grocery store can make or break your sale. And not to mention, overriding the competition depends on influential packaging and your brand.

If you need extra help determining how to influence your customers through your protective packaging, work with a supplier whose graphics and marketing department can help you select the right elements to set the tone.


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David Marinac

Written by David Marinac

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.