The Impact of Packaging Design on Consumer Behavior

Mother and children are choosing dairy products in shop

How many times have you or someone close to you been interested in buying something just because the packaging design caught your eye?

Maybe it was a brand of cereal you wouldn’t have considered trying, maybe it was some home electronics (video game systems, streaming devices, etc) that you were considering before you finally had the box in your hand at the store, maybe it was just a scent of deodorant you used to wear but forgot about before they changed the color of the packaging it came in.

Studies have shown that the packaging of a product can have a number of effects on consumer behavior, both positive and negative. No matter how knowledgeable they consider themselves about the product in question (or even competing products in a similar space), the logo, coloring, and even the very shape of the packaging can really influence the consumer’s purchasing process and could very easily make or break the deal while they consider their options.

Reinforcing Brand Awareness

For example, the design of your packaging can have a major impact on brand awareness and overall brand identity. Consumers, particularly in the modern era of retail where brands have permeated into nearly every aspect of life, can find themselves developing a strong emotional attachment to brands, particularly ones they grew up with or ones that have had a major impact on their life in some way. By displaying your logo front and center on whatever branded packaging you ship and market your products in, you have much better odds of reinforcing that emotional connection – and creating new ones.

Conveying Quality

Good packaging, both in structural and  graphic design, and even choice of materials, can also help reinforce notions of ‘quality’ in the minds of your consumers. No matter how well made the product inside may be, flimsy packaging – thin materials, bland colors, lack of branding – can create the illusion that your product is equally cheap and possibly accident-prone. No matter how much R&D went into the design of your new smartphone, if you ship it off in a thin, plain cardboard box, people will get the impression that it’s some cheap knockoff from that shady table at the flea market with all the fake designer scarves. Using luxury packaging in both mail order sales and traditional retail can help prevent lost business by keeping your customers aware of the quality of your products – and can provide additional security during shipping & transport, too.

Standing Out Among the Crowd

Perhaps the most important aspect of packaging design on consumer buying habits is the idea of standing out and creating a good first impression. With as crowded as most retail spaces are these days, both physically and in the number of products competing for mindshare, one of the best ways to stand out is with a good first impression – and the best way to do that is through packaging design. Color choice is huge for this, as well as logo design and placement and overall packaging feel. You need something that will pop off the shelf without being too loud or ostentatious, and your colors need to reflect the product inside. For example, a cereal marketed at adults will typically call for more subdued pastel colors than the loud primaries of one aimed at children, and a sleek television streaming device will need packaging that’s much more minimal and modern than something like a mass-market downscaled television.

This actually ties back into a previous point. A number of studies have shown that even above and beyond the first glancing impression, using higher-quality packaging like rigid boxes is more likely to get customers to come back and buy your products in the future due to the perception of the product’s higher overall quality. Making a first impression is great, but business thrives on repeat customers and sustained business, so using quality material is crucial for creating positive mindshare.

Even something as seemingly simple as packaging can make a massive impact in how your product is received by the public. Next time you’re rolling out a new campaign or product, make sure to spend a little extra time designing the package it comes in. You just might be surprised by how much it can help.

And if you are looking for packing to help your new products stand out among the crowd, contact Litpac today.