How Innovative Packaging Can Boost Your Consumer Engagement

In a world where the average person receives 121 emails a-day, is exposed to almost 5,000 daily advertising messages and instant gratification rules, it’s unsurprising that the average attention span of a consumers is 8 seconds. This means, as a brand, you have 8, short, seconds to attract your customer, engage them and inevitably convince them to select your product from the shelf. It is no surprise that to be seen and noticed, your packaging and marketing message needs to be instantly bold, colourful, attractive and compelling.

What’s more, the expansion of e-commerce and digitisation, as well as ever-changing consumer preferences, have all made keeping up with these shifts harder for businesses. As such, much higher levels of innovation and agility are required by businesses to deal with the pressures and potential disruptions emanating from these trends.

We are going to take a look at how, by using innovative packaging, consumer engagement with your product could be boosted on shelf and your product can be seen in those precious 8 seconds.

  1. Versioning

As consumers remain insatiable for the novel, ‘versioning’ (multiple releases of a product, all of which have the same general function but are improved, upgraded or customized) is one technique used by marketeers to boost engagement. There are a number of different types, each of which can be applied in a different way to the desired effect. ‘Randomised versioning’ for example is geared towards increasing consumer engagement by increasing interest in the product through several different packaging designs. Meanwhile, ‘affinity versioning’ can connect a product to a community of consumers. Examples of this might include a regional packaging campaign featuring a local sports team logo. This technique allows for agile and fluid packaging design which is constantly innovative and responsive to its target consumer, current trends and sector changes. The different packaging versions spark renewed interest and engagement amongst consumers as they feel they are getting something new each time despite the fact the product is the same.

  • Go Beyond Bold

Ensuring your product has creative, bold and innovative packaging is attention grabbing and will ensure that it stands out on the shelf. So, whilst keeping your products aligned with consumer trends and preferences is essential, standing out on shelf and being different has proven just as key. But, increasingly, brands are going beyond bright colours and bold design to encourage consumer engagement. In line with our digitised world and the rise of technologies like augmented reality and app-access, brands can now take something like packaging that’s very static and make it agile and interactive through clever use of technology. This strategy of using packaging as a bridge to the digital world can be highly disruptive with a great deal of potential for brands. Adding a digital feature to something static and physical like packaging can boost engagement; whether it’s the inclusion of scannable QR codes, augmented realities or digital engagement features the brand comes across as innovative, modern and thus engaging.

NB: As a part of our look at commercial packaging this month, we will be looking at some of the best in class for innovation; keep an eye out on our social media!

  • Using Innovative Materials

Increasingly, consumers are pushing brands to be more sustainable and ethical. As such, we have seen brands respond to these demands, building sustainability into their goals and company promises. Last year, McDonald’s announced its packaging would be 100% renewable and recycled by 2025. As Millennials aim to become more socially and environmentally sustainable, sustainable or recyclable packaging has become a selling-point for consumers and ‘eco-friendly packaging’ has become more than just a buzz word.  In fact, implementing eco packaging into your brand’s operations is no longer an option – it’s a necessity as consumers start to seek out for these terms when selecting products from the shelves.

  • Staying Smart

Our final engagement technique is user-friendly, smart packaging. Packaging that goes beyond just encasing the food or beverage but instead has a dual (or even muti)-functionality; by providing a way to serve, preserve or even eat/drink the product also. This smart use of packaging offers functional solutions to consumers, improving their user experience and allowing them to slot the product into their everyday routines more redily. This has been proven to have an impact on customer engagement, with 64% of consumers saying that a positive experience has the biggest impact on their brand loyalty. Through packaging innovations like smart packaging, multi-functionality and embellishments, consumers become more engaged with, and loyal to, the brand, thereby increasing sales.

With all of this innovation and new technology impacting a variety of industries, there has been a paradigm shift from “the big eating the small” to “the fast eating the slow.” This shift has become particularly evident in the packaging landscape with the emergence of agile brands, which are disruptive, innovative and quick to respond to market trends. This responsiveness has all them to compete with brands of scale — the larger, established brands that often have a global reach developed over many years.

The takeaway? Innovation has proven beneficial to brands beyond product development, new channel opportunities and creative business techniques. Instead, to stay ahead of competitors, brands must strive to incorporate innovation into areas such as packaging also.

If you need help with your functional commercial plan, including packaging innovation, sell in stories or branding support in order to increase shelf or online attention then get in touch with our leading innovation experts at F!S.

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