Monday, May 12, 2014

Innovative Packaging: Can this be the most effective form of food marketing?

As a marketing executive for food items, you understand the importance of packaging and how it enhances the appeal of the product. As a senior in the Northwestern Medill IMC program, I have found two articles that show the importance of packaging when it comes to marketing food products found in grocery stores.

In Effective Food Packaging Design: The Aisle as a Runway, Stephanie Silver brings up various points that reiterate that packaging for food items is of utmost importance when it comes to what drives consumers to make a purchase in the grocery store. This article highlights the fact that most food items in a grocery store are low involvement and most consumers spend less than a few seconds when choosing a food product. Since the average consumer is making many low involvement decisions while in the store, packaging has come to be very important. Packaging can not only attract consumers’ attention, but also promote certain messages that can appeal to the emotional side of consumers. The way a product is packaged is an easy way for food marketers to tell the consumers about the product inside and attract them to buy the product. When there are various options at around the same price for each item in a grocery store, packaging can be the factor that makes the consumer choose your product.

Ted Mininni builds an effective argument on the premise that 85% of human decisions are governed by the sub conscious in his article: Appeal to the subconscious through package design. So, it is not effective for food packaging to list feature and benefits, but rather package the product in a way that appeals to the consumer on an emotional and deeper level. This is not an easy feat to accomplish because each brand has a target consumer, but also wants to reach out to consumers who would normally not purchase their product. Food packaging decision makers need to do extensive research in order to get a glimpse into the consumers sub conscious and this can then be translated on to the packaging which is the most tangible representation of a brand.

From these two articles, here are some ways to effectively package food items in order to attract consumer and appeal to their sub conscious emotional side

1. Research – dig deeper into what appeals to consumers emotionally. Find out if consumers value the price, quality, taste, or something else about your product and then highlight that through packaging.
2. Promote Message – use packaging an easy means to show what your product and brand stands for. Packaging can be used to promote a brands values or a certain message that they are trying to relay to consumers. For example, if the brand is moving towards an environmentally friendly stance, they can use sustainable material to package their products.
3. Attract Attention – this may be the most important part of marketing through packaging. When there are many options in a grocery aisle for the same kind of product, your brand should distinguish itself from the others through packaging. By using unique and innovative colors, shapes, fonts, etc consumers will be more likely to quickly decide to make a low involvement purchase.

Without effective packaging, your product will fail on the shelf. Even in the midst of marketing through ads in magazines or TV commercials, the most important form of marketing a food item comes down to the grocery aisle and what will make that consumer pick your product off the shelf. Innovative packaging will communicate a lot about your product and brand without using excessive wording and will also attract the consumer to put your product in their shopping cart.

Devika Ghosh is a senior at Northwestern University. She is studying Economics and also pursuing the Integrated Marketing Certificate. Devika is hoping to explore opportunities in the CPG realm and has had internship experiences with food related companies such as FIJI Water and the Food Group. Contact Devika on Twitter @DevikaGhosh3 or through LinkedIn to continue this conversation.

1 comment:

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