CPG Marketing Trends: Three Ways Product Packaging Can Influence Consumers

The role of product packaging is often misconstrued as serving only as the final selling point to consumers. However, there are two fundamental truths to consider about packaging.

First, packaging is the only marketing medium for your brand that every consumer purchasing your product sees. Second, packaging is the only marketing vehicle that the marketer has control of once the product is in stores. In-store advertising could be incorrect or overlooked by shoppers. Thus, the message your packaging sends becomes crucial.

There are a number of ways packaging can serve your product. Here are three ways product packaging can influence consumers:

  1. Effective packaging can attract new consumers but keep current users away from competitors. Brands must find the balance between brand recognition for current users and appeal to new users. For example, last year Tropicana had to withdraw new packaging from the market. The design was not recognizable to current users and consumers purchased competing brands.
  2. Packaging communicates new brand positioning. Use packaging to create the consumers perception of the brand. The perception created of a brand from packaging can set products a part from the competition and defines products.
  3. Packaging can close the sale. The consumer has the product in hand, the last thing to consider before making the purchase is the text on the packaging. Determine if packaging needs to educate users or captivate consumers with a simple claim. Then consider the message on the product’s packaging and ask yourself if that is accomplished.

Beyond these three points, there are several ways packaging can influence consumers. Other things to consider:

  • What does the packaging say about your brand?
  • What message are you communicating to consumers?
  • Does it attract new users?
  • Is it visually appealing?

Look at the goals of your product and determine if that is the message being communicated from store shelves. If not, it may be time to consider new product packaging.

Photo credit: Matthew Hurst


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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