It’s not without reason that packaged items like children’s yogurt cups are crafted with unique shapes and vibrant colors, or pet food producers are investing increasingly in containers that not only look good, but also preserve the freshness of its content. Presentation is crucial to the marketing of a company’s products and can be the ultimate deciding factor for consumers when making a purchase.

According to an article in The Drum, a global publication for marketing and media industries, 70% of consumers form an impression of a brand just based on the packaging of its products, and 63% consider packaging almost as crucial as the brand itself. For some brands, “the packaging is more recognizable than the product.”

This means that effective and efficient packaging design is essential for brand positioning and driving higher sales. Companies must invest time and effort in ensuring that vital elements of packaging are near perfect, including clarity, consistency, functionality, practicality, sustainability, color and typography.

While well-designed packaging can drive product purchase, conversely, poorly designed, dysfunctional packages can lead consumers away from products and, potentially, brands.

Julian Stauffer, CEO of Waldner North America (WNA), believes that companies must fully understand their customers’ needs to create an optimal packaging solution that not only looks good, but most importantly meets those needs.

“I think it’s super important for food companies to understand if their consumers are actually using the package the way it was intended. I would question if the intended packaging use is realistic and makes sense,” Stauffer says. “Companies should ensure their packaging portfolio being offered meets the consumers' needs of convenience, ease of use and practicality. There are a lot of opinions around poor experiences, and if a product’s packaging is hard to peel open, requires extra effort or is used in an unconventional way, then it will likely leave a negative impression.”

Teaming up with the right packaging industry partners can play a critical role in helping companies create eye-catching, intelligently designed packages. Companies are seeking a result that has strong shelf appeal and a seamless customer experience, yet which can also be manufactured at a high production rate.

Stauffer notes that creating these kinds of solutions is easier when working with a packaging equipment manufacturer that offers effective and efficient ways to fill and seal a variety of products. WNA, for example, provides its clients with innovative technologies that accommodate different package sizes and shapes, while maintaining a high overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

“Beyond focusing on differentiating your packaging designs, look to how your packaging decisions impact your product and company brand with consumers. Explore varied materials, use sustainable packaging or add elements for the customer’s unboxing or point of use experience,” Stauffer says. “But ensure you’re doing this in partnership with packaging industry suppliers that can still guarantee the highest levels of packaging quality and production efficiency.”

Waldner North America specializes in automated filling and sealing packaging equipment for shelf stable food products in cups, trays, pouches and spouted pouches. The company’s core food product applications include fresh and cultured dairy products, baby food, pet food & treats, prepared foods and ready meals.