Whether it’s your secret weapon, or your piteous downfall, the way you package your product can have a significant influence on consumer behavior. Often, two identical products appear side by side how will the consumer choose which one suits them? The only differentiating factor to set your product apart could be its packaging. Not only do 93% of people judge a product by its visual outer appearance, but also 52% of online consumers would choose to buy from your business again if they receive quality packaging.

When a potential consumer is looking at your product package it’s as if they’re communicating with your brand directly. This is your opportunity to speak to them visually and make your case; why they should select this product over any of the others on the shelf. Here are 4 ways you can utilize your product’s packaging design to make it one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal.

Eco-friendly Design

According to a survey by Tetrapak, consumers all around the world are increasingly on the lookout for sustainably packaged products. The study found that 57% of consumers look for environmental logos on the products they buy, and 55% indicate they are willing to pay more for environmentally sound packaging. With more and more people paying attention to environmental concerns associated with their packaging it is a practical decision to make to step up your eco game.

Not only do packaging machines allow you to create whatever sort of creative design your imagination can come up with, but innovative options like Highcon’s (highcon.net) solution also allow you to simultaneously speed up turnaround time, lower costs, and reduce your carbon footprint. If your consumers are concerned with not only sleek and creative design but also the environmental concerns of packaging, investing in eco-friendly design can land you a spot in your consumers’ hearts.

Say a lot with a little

Simplicity is key when it comes to impressing your consumers with package design. The first thing your consumer should understand when looking at your package is what your product does. If your packaging distracts from this goal you’re doing too much. When people are choosing from a range of products on a shelf, they are not taking the time to read each label; use visual clues and symbols to say what you want to portray with as few words as possible.

Your consumers don’t want to trudge through unnecessary clutter to understand what your product does - make it as simple and intuitive for them as possible. Using software like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or Esko allows you to view your design in 3D to make sure you’re not doing too much and your packaging is clear and simple in design.

Highlight your brand’s personality

Since your brand’s line of communication is through its packaging, use this as a platform to express your personality. Don’t forget what a large impact color, text, and symbols have on interpreting your brand values. Packaging is essentially branding, your packaging represents your brand values, and identity. If your product were a person, what would they say? Make your packaging speak to the consumers and capture their emotions without words. When you’re selecting all of the aesthetics i.e. color, typography, size, texture, keep this question in mind.

Package Experiences

If you’ve ever opened up a package containing new jewelry or a nice gift you know the exhilarating feeling you get when tearing through the tissue paper, and unwrapping the beautifully knotted bow on the top. This is all part of the experience that packaging can deliver. Along with the personality of your brand, give your consumers an active experience, instead of choosing your packaging for purely practical reasons. Give them a little something extra. If you are packaging a food product, give them an experience that makes their mouth water there in the aisle, if it’s a kid’s toy make your packaging interact with them on the kid’s level.

Your packaging branding goes a lot further than the aisle of the store. Great branding can do a lot for the marketing of your product. When people form emotional connections through symbols or other aspects of your packaging, they're more likely to remember it, forming long-term relationships between the consumer and your brand. In addition, if the consumer really likes the packaging and it expresses something new and innovative, 40% of consumers will share that packaging on social media. The best form of marketing is word of mouth from consumer to consumer, making your packaging an excellent place to start.

Aviv Ratzman has 18 years' experience in the printing industry, primarily at HP/Indigo, in various roles in production, engineering and R&D. His involvement in general management, production processes, cost and quality control as well as his in-depth knowledge of the packaging market and entrepreneurial spirit provided the springboard for his move to found Highcon together with Miki Zimmer. Aviv holds a BA in Business Administration from Derby University and MBA in Entrepreneurship & International Management from Swinburne