5 Surprising Ways to Market with Packaging posted March 27, 2024

Packaging is one of your most essential marketing tools if you sell products on the retail shelf. When buyers decide between two products, labels and packaging can be the deciding factor. When buyers plan to purchase one product, great labels and packaging can entice them to buy another.

Here are five ways to use product packaging to stand out on the retail shelf and create competitive differentiation.

1. Design

Put as much attention into your packaging design as you do any of your marketing materials. Bright colors, glossy coatings, and specialty techniques like embossing and foil can help your packaging stand out. Other methods, such as vintage effects or minimalism (e.g., black-and-white), can also help. Get creative!

2. Targeting and segmentation

Did you know you can break your packaging into target segments like other marketing materials? For example, you might create complementary packaging for different audiences—one for older and one for younger audiences. Or, if you sell into areas with a high percentage of Spanish-speaking consumers, you might print a portion of your packaging with messaging in both Spanish and English.

3. Personalized packaging

As with any other digitally printed product, packaging can be printed in runs as short as one. Allow customers to purchase your hand-ground coffee in bags with their names on them (for example, “Joan’s Favorite Breakfast Mix”) or with the names of friends and family to use as gifts. Allow businesses to brand your products for corporate events. Nearly one-third (31%) of brand owners want to offer their customers more personalized or customized packaging (NAPCO Research, 2019).

4. Testing

The ability of digital presses to produce very short-run packaging cost-effectively means you can run tests of different designs with different images or copies and see what works best. You can also add tracking codes to test calls to action, tear-off coupons, or other incentives. Does it make a difference if the coupon is for $1 off or $1.50 off? Does it make a difference if the picture on the label is a man or a woman? Run a test and see.

5. Mobile codes

Using mobile codes like QR Codes or augmented reality, you can add interactivity like videos and instant coupons. Send buyers educational videos, customer testimonials, or demos of the product in use. Interactivity sells!

Packaging is a powerful marketing tool. Make the most of it.

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