Multi-Sensory Package Design Differentiates Brands

Now that online purchases have doubled, brands need to stand out in stores, online and at shoppers’ doorsteps. Multisensory packaging is one way brands can make a lasting impression.

Packaging is a powerful brand statement; sound, sight, movement, texture and scent aren’t simply design principles. These are five essential branding elements that can influence consumer perceptions of packaging during the shopping experience and throughout the product lifespan.

Sound: Audio or Sonic Branding Makes Products More Memorable

For decades, jingles have given consumers ear worms, and the rising popularity of shoppable social media content is making it possible to feature the actual sound of packaging associated with memorable experiences.

PepsiCo is a sensory branding pioneer, and their latest campaign is inspired by the distinctive sound of popping open a can  and listening to the fizz of the cola inside.

Sight: Color and Authenticity Can Build Trusting Consumer Relationships

Color, messaging, graphics and imagery on packages can all give rise to different consumer interpretations; and can ultimately build trusting consumer relationships. People rely on authentic messaging and labels to make choices, and trust brands to provide simple and accurate explanations of ingredients, health claims and nutritional information.

Marrzetti’s consumer-inspired package design makes it easy for shoppers to visualize how they will use their dip. Bold vibrant colors differentiate flavors at a glance online and on store shelves, and consumers see exactly what they are buying with a transparent, re-sealable container. View our case study on this packaging here.

Movement: Size, Shape and Sustainability Matter More Now

As a design principle, movement guides people’s eyes to see what’s important about the product. And, the size, shape and format of a package also literally affects the ability to move and deliver packages to the doorsteps of online shoppers. More consumers today care about eco-friendly packaging, and growing numbers of people want to reduce waste and minimize shopping trips.

Apple’s minimalist packaging attracts the eye through simplicity, and their paper and packing strategy ensures packages arrive safely, while reducing the environmental impact of their iconic white boxes.

Touch: Inclusive Branding Focuses on the Texture and Function of Packages

Involving a diverse group of consumers in the design process can identify how packages function and feel in consumers’ hands during the shopping experience and the life cycle of the product. This is important because some features can impact the accessibility of a product. For instance, some consumers may want a package with safety features to protect children and pets, while another group of customers needs the same package to be easy to open or close.

Kellogg’s partnered with Autism Speaks to consider the needs of children with autism and designed sensory-friendly love notes and snack wrappers to comfort children during snack time at school.

Scent: Olfactory Branding Intertwines Memories and Color Associations

Aromas create immediate and memorable connections between brands and consumers, and studies have found a signature scent can be a powerful element of a brand identity. People also associate scents with colors according to Harvard University biologists, and past sensory experiences can  enable people to imagine smells based on the color of packaging.

According to the Washington Post, Bath & Body Works has had 40 straight quarters of sales growth because the company constantly gathers consumer insights to learn which scents, products, packages, floor plans and prices appeal to consumers of all ages.

Insights Empower Brands to Engage Consumers During the Product Life Span

Creating a multi-sensory experience with packaging can create a strong emotional connection between people and brands with the right consumer insights. Qualitative, quantitative and quick-turn consumer research and analysis gives business leaders and marketers actionable insights. Gaining a complete understanding of people’s perceptions, interaction, and experiences with product packaging can support growth strategies across the full spectrum of the product life span.

Want to read more?
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