Understanding shoppers:

Beyond branding: A new era for packaging

By Dave Patten, Senior Client Director at MetrixLab

Retail is one of the most dynamic, exciting and competitive sectors. Whether you’re a retailer or manufacturer, it is more important than ever for you to understand how shoppers behave. In our ‘Understanding shoppers’ series of blogs, we share our latest thinking. We tackle a variety of topics – from channels, to branding, to new approaches to insight, and beyond.

Here we look at the importance of perfecting your pack design.

‘Packaging offers a way to gain competitive advantage and improve profits’

Beyond branding: A new era for packaging (part 2 of 3)

Packaging has long been at the forefront of branding, and rightly so. Right now, packaging is undergoing a necessary transformation. The pack is changing as companies reduce waste, save money and maximize profit. Consumers’ evolving lifestyles add a further complication. The challenge is for brands to evolve their packs and stay relevant.

Packs have always needed to achieve shelf stand-out and communicate a clear and persuasive message. But forward-thinking companies are now going beyond these core objectives. Such companies understand that packaging offers a way to gain a competitive advantage and improve profits.

Danone, for instance, has changed the shape of its yogurt pots. The new pots are stronger, removing the need for an additional cardboard sleeve around some packs. This innovation has reduced production costs and improved Danone’s green credentials. Kraft Heinz has created convenient single portion packs of one of the USA’s firm favorites, Mac & Cheese. These convenient on-the-go packs drive new consumption occasions and retail for three times more per gram than its regular packs.

As our world becomes increasingly urbanized and living spaces become smaller, packaging will continue to change. But it will still need to deliver in terms of branding first and foremost. As consumers increasingly shop online, however, packaging alone won’t be able to make a brand stand out. Online, it can’t communicate all relevant information or persuade consumers to make a purchase on its own.

Also read the first post in this series: “Keeping it real: Bringing online and offline behavior together”.

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new consumption occasions and retail