Submitted by JohnsByrne
The best packaging creates an unforgettable experience that encourages the customer to come back purchase after purchase. It creates a sense of loyalty between your company and the consumer. The perfect way to create an unforgettable experience? Multi-sensory packaging.
Customers who experience multiple sensory impressions from a product are twice as loyal than consumers who only experience one. So why not incorporate a multi-sensory experience into your packaging? A multi-sensory experience can be created through different visual enhancers, olfactory elements, sound experiences, and plenty more packaging aspects.
Brands throughout time have incorporated multi-sensory experiences into their packaging for these exact reasons. Throughout this article, we’ll provide you with examples of the absolute best multi-sensory packaging, tell you how to create a multi-sensory experience with your packaging, and educate you about recent innovations in multi-sensory packaging.
An Introduction to Multi-Sensory Packaging
Multi-sensory packaging is simply the practice of incorporating the 5 senses into your product packaging to create an unforgettable experience that promotes brand loyalty. When packaging it’s necessary for companies to go beyond the standard norms, incorporating the 5 senses into you packaging sets your product apart from the thousands of others of the market. Your packaging is the first impression a customer has with your product. Make it count with multi-sensory packaging.
Multi-sensory packaging incorporates stunning visual elements, auditory features, tactile experiences, olfactory elements, and even sensations of taste. . The overall goal of multi-sensory packaging is to increase brand loyalty between you, the provider, and your target consumers.
Enhancing visual elements is a key principle of multi-sensory packaging. The very first impression a consumer has of your product packaging is a visual connection. Therefore, you’ll want to focus on shapes and colors that create lasting impressions and increase the likelihood of long-lasting brand loyalty.
A great way to catch a consumer's eye is to include light effects, like LED lights, or press and off-press effects that will give a unique edge to your packaging. A few of these effects include:
- Glow in the dark phosphorescent effects
- Foils (hot, cold, holographic, etc.)
- UV coatings
- Glitter coatings
- Pearlescent coatings
Each press effect gives a different finish and is effective in pulling people’s attention to your product.
Touch is usually the second sense taken into account after sight. If a customer is attracted by the visual appeals of the product, the next step is to pick up the product off the shelves. In multi-sensory packaging, it’s crucial to make the first time a consumer holds your product a true experience.
With certain tactile elements, you can invite potential consumers to engage with your product. Make your packaging feel unique in their hands. This can be done through various press effects, coatings, and finishes such as:
- Soft touch coatings
- Multi-level embossing/debossing
- Raised UV coatings
- Reticulation effects
- Grit effects
Finishes like these are specifically designed to heighten the customer’s senses and increase the likelihood of brand loyalty. Creating a successful tactile finish truly contributes to crafting a multi-sensory experience.
Olfactory, or scent, experiences are EXTREMELY powerful. Scent is the most powerful sense tied to memory. So, by creating a memorable scent in your packaging, you’ll therefore, increase opportunity for brand loyalty. Scents help consumers recall your product more easily.
Scents can also give your consumer an idea of the product’s flavor or experience before purchasing. You can also use scents to jog old memories. For example, incorporate fresh laundry scent into your packaging if your product is a fabric softener or laundry detergent of any kind. This can be done with printable inks, scented varnishes, or maybe even scratch and sniff packaging.
Sound is a crucial element of the multi-sensory experience. You can create an unforgettable experience by bringing music, sound effects or even visual effects into your packaging. Have music play during a package opening to further connect with your consumer. Or incorporate customized snaps and closures in order to entice consumers.
Be sure not to overdo the auditory experience of your packaging. This can overwhelm consumers and threaten their brand loyalty.
Taste is likely the last sense that comes into play with multi-sensory packaging. Taste is also one of the most difficult senses to convey to consumers. No, we’re not saying your packaging needs a delicious taste, we’re talking about sparking a "taste memory."
Multi-Sensory Packaging in the Current Market
Multi-sensory packaging is being utilized more and more daily. We’ve seen genius displays of multi-sensory packaging hitting the market every day. Here are a couple examples of multi-sensory packaging in the market recently:
Sappi Holiday Gift Program
Sappi, a renowned global provider of specialty paper, recently released a one-of-a-kind holiday gift to thank customers for their 2017 business. They collaborated with a leading print & packaging solutions company, JohnsByrne, to create a true multi-sensory packaging experience to “wow” their customers. The packaging needed to contain 4 rolls of wrapping paper, 4 gift tag stickers, 4 gift cards and 4 envelopes.
The Opening Experience
The packaging goal was to create an unforgettable, dramatic reveal. The end result was a custom folding carton (telescopic design) gift box that utilized custom scents. Upon opening the telescopic box, a flip-top lid that revealed the message “Wrap Your Holiday Joy.”
When opened, the gift box first revealed specialty stickers placed on top. When opening further the customer found gift cards, envelopes, and lastly for the big reveal, the wrapping paper. This wrapping paper featured the latest advances in print technology including:
- Spot gloss UV
- Metallic effects
- Soft touch coatings
The finishing touch on the Sappi packaging was the pine-scented varnish. This varnish was released upon opening to connect the packaging with warm holiday feelings. Its goal was to create a true holiday feel.
This next multi-sensory packaging experience is a product of the popular band, the Decemberists. The Decemberists wanted to create a unique experiential packaging for their incredibly loyal fans. They wanted to feature colorful art throughout the packaging that was interactive and insightful.
The Decemberists challenged the designers to create small additions that would produce massive results such as - unique pop-ups, specialty die cut elements, a hidden Illimat card, and pinwheel page-turning chassis-lifting vinyl pockets.
The Visual & Tactile Elements
This design was all about sight and touch. The package incorporated 10 pieces of 7” vinyls. Each vinyl had its own beautiful artwork. The real impressive feature of this packaging was the pop-up pinwheel page-turning factor. The structure of this packaging was designed to mimic a pop-up book, therefore encouraging consumers to interact and engage with the packaging through touch. Each page contained unique artwork, a vinyl, and some even featured collectible hidden elements such as the Illimat card.
Overall, the goal of this packaging was to encourage consumers to purchase it because of its overwhelmingly interactive experience. Each page was a new multi-sensory experience. By combining touch and visual aesthetics, the Decemberists created a beautiful, unforgettable multi-sensory packaging experience.
Innovations in Multi-Sensory Packaging
Multi-sensory packaging has come a long way in recent years. With the emergence of new packaging technologies, more and more opportunities for multi-sensory packaging have come about. With new varnishes comes new opportunities for scents. With new auditory technology, comes new opportunities to bring sound into your package opening experience.
Recent innovations have created endless opportunities for companies that want to create a true experience for their customers. Here are the most revolutionary innovations in multi-sensory packaging:
Telling Stories Through the 5 Senses
In recent years, it has become harder and harder for brands to truly stand out on the shelves. The only way to guarantee your uniqueness is to connect with the consumers on a deeper level. Consumers must feel something special about your product. So, companies have started innovative storytelling packaging multi-sensory projects.
By telling a story through the five senses, companies can communicate on a deeper level to consumers. This way a consumer doesn’t feel like they’re just getting a product, they’re getting a full-fledged experiential story. For example, as we stated earlier, the Decemberists did a great job of telling a story while appealing to all senses. Each page was an insight deeper into the band and also incorporated unique tactile and visual aspects. This innovative new trend is increasing brand loyalty across many different industries.
Smell & Memory
A huge innovation that we touched on previously, is the connection between smell and memory. Smell is the most related sense to memory. So incorporating it into packaging can evoke strong memories and emotions for consumers. Companies have begun to truly utilize this principle in multi-sensory packaging.
Scent is the most powerful sense to use in multi-sensory packaging. It’s been used to draw customers in very commonly. Scratch and sniffs are a common way companies attract new customers. Just like in the Sappi holiday gift packaging, scents can remind people of good memories. For example, try incorporating a fresh, floral scent into packaging to remind customers of Spring. The opportunities are endless.
As the packaging industry advances, so do the innovations relating to the sense of touch in packaging. As prior stated, touch is one of the first opportunities you will have to create a multi-sensory experience with your packaging. With certain technological advancements in the packaging industry, new tactile innovations are presented.
Some new packaging touch innovations are:
- Custom etched foils
- Holographic foils
- Lenticular printing
- And much more
Creating a truly multi-sensory experience is not an easy task. It requires the proper balance of all five senses and even then, you’ll need to make sure you’re creating the ideal unforgettable experience. From using sound in the opening experience to scratch and sniff packaging, multi-sensory packaging is the packaging you need to boost sales. If you do it right, you’ll increase your brand loyalty significantly. Multi-sensory packaging is THE way to get your product to fly off the shelves.
JohnsByrne specializes in producing custom solutions for packaging designs.