A great marketing initiative can be the difference between a product being successful or a failure. Even the big players will invest a lot of time and money into creating fantastic marketing strategies when launching a new product. For small business owners competing with large companies’ marketing budgets can prove difficult and while online marketing and social media have helped to even the playing field slightly, often this isn’t enough.
What many small business owners sometimes overlook is the need to invest in good labelling and packaging. While it is common to concentrate on printing leaflets, email campaigns and buying ad space; many consumers will be swayed by good packaging. In fact, a product’s packaging should be a key aspect of its marketing strategy. We are naturally very visual and, despite our best intentions, the majority of us are swayed by looks.
Packaging as branding
For small business owners this means that investing resources into product packaging and labelling should be considered a priority. The packaging you choose should reflect and reinforce your business’ branding. The colours should complement and highlight the colours of your branding along with giving an idea of how you want potential customers to feel about purchasing the product. In the same way that the colours you choose for your branding can impact on how others see your brand and the values it represents, the colours you choose for your packaging will influence how consumers feel about buying your product.
Another aspect to take into account with packaging is the target consumer. If you are aiming at an ethical customer, for example, you should consider using minimal packaging like folding carton boxes as this will be viewed as more environmentally friendly than one with lots of unnecessary packaging. Alternatively, if you’re aiming at the luxury market everything about your packaging should create a feeling of quality and expense.
One of the most important aspects of packaging for business owners is the labelling; this is also one of the most difficult areas to get right. Not only is the labelling a chance for you to talk directly to potential customers, but it often needs to contain legal information as well. Although different products will require different information, all labels should include basic information like the price, name, bar code and safety information if the product is potentially dangerous. It is also essential that you ensure that all the information you put on the label is accurate, otherwise you will be breaking the law. Also make sure that if the information is a legal requirement it is written in English, however if you are planning to export your product abroad you also need to put the information in the language of the country you are exporting to, otherwise you will have to create a whole new label.
While the label is a legal requirement, it is also an opportunity for business owners to communicate with potential customers. As such careful consideration need to be taken into account about the wording that is put on the label. An example of how great labelling copy can really boost a product is Innocent Smoothies, which pioneered fun and frivolous language being added to its labels that made its products seem young, trendy and unique.
With the world going increasingly digital, you no longer just have to consider the packaging of physical products but those that you sell online as well. Your online packaging will include your website design, along with how you display your products on your website. Think carefully about how your online products are displayed, will you choose a white background or coloured one for example? As well as this, you need to decide if you will give potential customers alternative views of your product.
While packaging and labelling can be easily overlooked by other areas of the marketing campaign, to ensure that your product is a success it should be taken into careful consideration. Your packaging and labelling is your chance to communicate with your customers, to make the product stand out from the competition and to help booster your brand and image. Even if you are only displaying your product online you still need to take into consideration how you will package it to potential customers, otherwise, no matter how good your product is, consumers will be unlikely to choose it above your competitors.
Written by Derin Clark on behalf of Abbey Labels, a label supplier that specialises in printing quality labels for business owners.