Retail’s First Moment Of Truth – The Package


What is a package any way? We all know it conveys a product from point A to point B. Besides the obvious of getting it there undamaged or not broken, what’s a box supposed to do? That job has changed dramatically in the last decade. The package has become the “first moment of truth” at retail. And now, especially it’s going to decide whether someone will by your product, or not. So you better pay attention to not only what goes inside but what’s on the outside of the box.

Just because you have a great product doesn’t mean its going to sell. Or even if you have it in the right retail environment that it’s going to fly off the shelf. Packaging a product the right way entails much more than just creating a box to put your product in. Sure, you are going to get it there in one piece, we hope but gone are the days of the box acting as only a protective shipping container. The box today is the “retail” salesperson. The box or package is expected to provide the necessary information to make an informed shoppers’ decision plus no salesperson is available to answer a question either. So the package must be the silent salesperson to tell all there is needed to know.

More importantly conveying the information about what is inside and how it’s going to help the consumer solve a problem. That’s an important factor to remember. When someone looks at your product in their minds they are saying “What is this product going to do for me?” Do think about your package from a consumer’s perspective, not a package designers or engineers. Don’t get caught up in the notion about what has to be “ON” the box rather what needs to be on the package to pique or satisfy the consumer’s interest. Keep engineering driven statements to a minimum, rather explain what value and benefits they will derive vs. technically oriented information.

Think about the people who shop. Today’s consumer is a moving target. You have market trends, demographics and market niches that are continually evolving at any point in time. If you are not staying on top of these trends then your product isn’t “connecting” to them with the right message. That core “message” is one of the most important attributes of your product packaging.

An intrinsic message can be conveyed in a number of ways. You can make your product more appealing though a variety of package applications. Here are a few ideas to consider, compelling graphics, a complete family of interrelated products, engaging lifestyle photographs, clear and concise and short instructions and benefits driven statements. All of which have a subtle “feel good” message for the consumer. It tells them what they need to know or provides information that “connects” them with other satisfied buyers.

Were you aware that women either influence or make the purchasing decision 85 percent of the time? In some market sectors its more and in some less, but over all its women that make the primary purchasing decision. What is going to get her to buy your product? The answer is not what you might think.

But consumer’s goods companies are finally waking up to that fact. Unfortunately, its not as simple as just taking the man off the box and replacing it with a woman. Nor is it to use pink packaging or other feminine colors. . Did you know that the number one color for packaging chosen by women is blue followed closely by red?

So first, understand you need to connect with her on an intrinsic level. Do you understand why she is making the purchase? Alternatively, you need to know where she will be shopping. One thing is for sure, she will be in a hurry. Today’s women are over worked, time crunched, and busy multitasking. How are you going to help her make an informed purchasing decision? Make it easy for her to buy and easy to use and understand and you will have a winner.

Are you aware that the 50 + generation is the fastest and most affluent purchasing demographic?

Did you know that:

· Americans age 50-plus control $7 trillion, or 70% of all US wealth.

· The 50-plus group brings in $2 trillion in annual income that they want to and are willing to spend.

· One baby boomer turns 50 every 8 seconds of every day custom electronic cigarette . Do a little calculating here about this market size. Think of all the boomers that you know besides me.

· The most common phrase that seems to satisfy everyone is “active adults.”

Do you know what they want in their product packaging?

Whether you use the word, “boomer,” “senior over 50,” or “aging,” this age group doesn’t want to be referred to as old. No “over the hill” context. Use words that are not considered negative. In a recent survey I conducted, the words “golden,” “aging” and “elder” were disliked.

Sell the 50 + generation the experience and the benefits that come in using your product or service. Lifestyle issues are important. Boomers expect to live well and longer so conveying this in your product will create relevance.
And don’t forget their eye sight issues too. Bigger type will satisfy them. As our population matures manual dexterity in opening the product will also become increasingly important.

It’s trends like this that dramatically influence product packaging and who will be the primary shopper. Yes, there are many other important demographics out there but women and 50+ gen. account for a tremendous and lucrative segment of the population. One you cannot overlook in any product packaging.

So it is imperative to understand what today’s consumer expects and demands from their product packaging. When a consumer shops, 70 % of the time they make the purchasing decision in the retail environment. That means at the store, not before and also means your product is competing with dozens of like or similar products for their attention. The clutter and proliferation of competitive products is almost mind boggling.

So even if you have established brand awareness, is it enough to make your product stand out on the shelf? A quick note here on branding for seniors: The over 50 population is not brand loyal contrary to what you might think. They will switch brands if you provide a superior experience especially at a lower or competitive price.



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