17 September 2020
Don’t underestimate the influence of packaging in the home
Besides protecting the product, the primary role of packaging is to grab consumer attention at shelf, quickly communicate who it’s from and then persuade us to buy it.
We know from Nielsen data that 70% of consumer decisions are made at shelf, but with an average person’s attention span now measured by Microsoft at only 8 seconds – have I still got your attention? – brands have a limited timeframe to establish a true emotional connection at that particular touchpoint.
And that is where we get to the home – often not considered, but with lots of potential for further brand engagement (in our humble opinion!). The home is:
- a place where we are all spending an increasing amount of our time
- a place where we interact and engage with packaging on a daily basis, and finally
- a place where we need people to use our packaging for a product to be bought again! Just look in your cupboards or freezer this evening and see how long some of it has been there…
Here, we’ll suggest five ways that brands can harness this potential to build emotional engagement, drive repeat purchase and brand loyalty in the process.
1. Be bold. Be beautiful. Be display worthy.
We love to be surrounded by beautiful things and packaging is no different; it should be something you’re proud to display in your home. Dorset Cereals set the design standards for cereals back in 2006 and now every category has a brand that’s set the iconic design standards for others to follow. For example; Method’s cleaning products look more at home on a bathroom shelf rather than hidden under the sink, Bottlegreen’s iconic bottle shape and elegant design are often proudly displayed on a worktop rather than shoved in a cupboard, and Napolina’s pared back design oozes quality and sophistication.
2. Consider form and function.
One of the biggest challenges we see is the lack of joined up thinking between packaging format and function. So, stock cubes are messy, cereal runs out without us knowing and pasta bags split and go everywhere. We have the ability to solve these problems using simple format changes - think fridge packs to stop rolling cans, the Lurpak Butter Box to retain freshness and stock in cans from Potts. Even simple windows in the packaging to show us when we’re running low can be really helpful. Pack format has a big role to play here but is often forgotten about.
3. Give packaging a secondary purpose.
In a world where sustainability plays such an important role in our lives, many brands are quite rightly turning their backs on single-use plastics and equally looking for ways to extend the shelf-life of their packaging. For years Gu and Nutella have been shining examples of how to reuse packaging in the home – I know I have a random collection of ramekins and glasses in my cupboard – but brands are now actively seeking out ways to inspire us to get creative. For example, yoghurt brand La Fermière have a page on their website showcasing consumers’ creations from their terracotta pots.
4. Think beyond pack.
Too few brands join the dots and think beyond the surface brand identity and packaging design. Brands that include games and entertainment within the packaging, such as Bear Yoyo’s collectible cards, provide a brand world for us (or our kids – thank you!) to play within.
For us adults, QR codes can be used to drive online and social engagement. A few years ago, KitKat teamed up with Google to deliver comedy, music and video content to watch while having a break, something that was a great fit for the brand.
And last year, Pepsi used QR codes to unlock filters and stickers as part of their summer campaign, which could be used to tag the brand in our Instagram stories.
5. Encourage expandable consumption
When shopping, many of us have certain preconceptions of a brand and the occasions it’s for or needs it fulfils. We worked with Horlicks to reposition it from ‘sleep’ to a ‘relaxing, soothing anytime drink’, suggesting a moment of emotional escapism on pack. Frubes is another good example where the packaging suggests freezing them to make great ice pops for kids too.
And, during our work in the oils category with new brand U:ME, we discovered a clear gap in the market to de-mystify usage, providing guidance and no-nonsense short cuts for use on pack. By highlighting front and centre which oil is best for roasting, frying, etc., not only is it helpful, but it also encourages us to buy other oils suitable for different purposes.
So, there you have it. Packaging is both an art and a science; brands stopping at purely expressing their brand identity on-shelf isn’t enough. They need to work functionally and make it easy for us as consumers to use and re-buy. But equally importantly, they must ensure they’re worthy of a place in our homes.
Interview with a strategist – Tessa Hill
Tessa loves being involved in a project from a very early stage.
All I want for Christmas... is a good limited edition strategy
Strategist Tessa Hill comments on the learnings from five of our favourite Christmas limited editions.
What role does innovation play in driving brand relevance?
Strategy Director Louise Kennedy with some top tips on how to use innovation to drive brand relevance.
Immunity in 2020
Strategist Tessa Hill uncovers the design codes shaping the immunity category in 2020.
Interview with a designer - Abi Taylor
Hear from our Co-Founder on her love of design and how Brandon came to be.
Reawakening a love for brand books
Senior Designer Jay Bates on why brand guidelines shouldn't be left at the bottom of a drawer.
Five Minutes with Louise Kennedy
Louise Kennedy talks to Transform about how brands can stay relevant and how packaging can improve brand performance.
FAB News: ‘Relevance - The Holy Grail of Marketing'
FAB News: Strategy Director Louise Kennedy on what relevance actually means.
Recession-ready tip #2 – Rethink innovation
How rethinking innovation can be a tool to get your brand ready for a recession.
Interview with a designer - Joe Bembridge
Read what inspires Brandon’s first full-time designer.
Recession-ready tip #1 – hero your distinctive brand assets
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy considers hero-ing your distinctive assets to prepare for a recession.
Can casual dining brands survive on supermarket shelves?
Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about how hospitality brands can make an impact through supermarket retail.
Interview with a Designer - Jay Bates
Brandon’s self-confessed brand architecture nerd, Jay, on what inspires him every day.
Marketing Week's ‘All change: The complex route ahead for automotive branding’
As car manufacturers face pressure to move to cleaner energy and shift their strategy, Richard Taylor, discusses what that means for brand.
Hero design for the new hero channel
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy challenges what the hero design is and will become.
Hitting their peak: How brands plan to retain new customers post-lockdown
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about shopping on autopilot and making new habits in the crisis.
Interview with a Designer - Grace Buckley
Grace can often be found in the supermarket rearranging the shelves to show off her work in its best light!
Reflections from the Darkside
Strategist Louise Kennedy’s view on agency life from the perspective of a ‘newbie’.
Will Harrods' bet on a new beauty brand pay off?
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about Harrods' new beauty brand.
Desert Island Ads
We asked our Creative Director for his top 10 ads that shaped and inspired his thinking over the decades
D&AD Top 5 tips to move beyond mediocrity to design greatness
Inspiration from Rosie Arnold at the D&AD Talks 2019
The Joys of Brand Planning
Our Top 5 Brand Planning Tips - identifying new, exciting opportunities for growth.
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles: What lessons can we learn from Coca-Cola's Life U-Turn?
The Brand Packaging Health-Check
The Brand Packaging Health-Check: 5 Killer Tips to see if a refresh is due or long overdue
The Art of FMCG Brand Architecture
Three principles we apply to ensure a successful brand architecture
Refreshing Established Food and Drink Brands
Here we discuss six routes for a brand to acquire new relevant meaning.
The Grocer - Pasta & Sauces report
The Grocer features Managing Partner Richard's thoughts on the pasta and sauces category.
In a bid for simplification and efficiency, the giants are emulating the discounters.
The Logo. On its last legs? Or fit as a fiddle?
Of late there has been a school of thought which argues that the static logo is terminally ill.