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Packaging design and return on investment

Every company is in the business of selling something, be it a product or a service. Any product or service is packaged. Each packaging design should represent an extension of that company's brand assets. If brand identity and package design are aligned with brand strategies and marketing initiatives, the end result is packaging that significantly contributes to marketing ROI.

Understanding how different investments benefit the company is an obvious aid in effective budget planning and allocation. An empirical ROI measurement may also help convince investors to take the risk and pay for a design and development project. Even if it is hard to achieve, trying to get some ROI in the design is worthwhile for both the consultant and the client because it creates a mutually beneficial business framework.

Many marketers are beginning to believe that packaging is just as complicated as building brand equity, and achieving ROI is just as difficult as advertising. However, corporate package design budgets are very small compared to advertising budgets.

Packaging an essential tool that expresses a brand's assets has a much higher return on investment than conventional advertising. Package design, an integral part of a brand identity system, can span more than three advertising campaigns and more than eight advertising cycles, as explained by researchers from various brand consultancies, corporate statistics, and independent research.

Certainly, there is no single explanation for why some initiatives undertaken by companies succeed and others fail to meet expectations. However, across multiple brands, categories and countries, research has identified five common mistakes/decisions that determine failure, including:

    Redesigns: Large companies have established research systems to evaluate or "validate" new packaging systems before launch. Many packaging companies try to redesign just because they want to "make some news". As a result, significant resources are spent on innovation or redesign efforts that are not necessary.

    Problem Solving: Many efforts are rooted in false assumptions about the brand and its packaging (eg, "the packaging looks old", "it should be easier to hold", etc.). Thus, a large amount of time and energy is directed in one direction, only to discover a very different matter through experiments on the shelf and/or at home. For example, "Improve shelf visibility" is a standard goal in almost all design briefs. And while visibility is absolutely critical for smaller brands and new product introductions, sub-brand acquisition and differentiation are often more pressing issues for big mainstream brands like Colgate, Dove and Tide.

    Design Core Values: In today's world of clutter and choice, purchasing decisions are largely driven by what people see and how they feel about the products they typically buy. Therefore, visual values – including unique and ownable shapes, colors and symbols – are more important than ever to help shoppers navigate the expanding aisles and identify familiar brands. Frequent changes in product designs, in terms of color, shape, icon, cause confusion among product buyers. They feel that their product no longer exists.

Naturally, brands cannot remain static for life, but the key to successful regeneration is the right balance of disruption and continuity: if there is a sudden change in a key visual feature such as a new packaging shape or a primary image, it is necessary to consider other key elements such as To maintain the color of the package or the identity of the brand, etc. Additionally, marketers should ensure that front-of-package messages help explain sudden changes in package appearance (such as "new look" or "improved formula").

Measuring ROI in design is not easy and in many cases an imperfect science. While we focused largely on what not to do, the encouraging news is that companies can systematically increase their likelihood of success with package design.

What is "return" in packaging?

Return may be a hard and definable measure such as sales, sales or market share. But equally, it may be a "softer" measure such as brand awareness, public perception or even employee morale, it may also be a combination of both types of influence. Soft measures are difficult to measure but can still be measured using various research methods. A few possible "returns" that the client may be looking for:

    Rebranding, perhaps to change attitudes or compete with a competing product or service

    Increase visitors or arrivals

    Longer shelf life

    Clearer information on forms and brochures, resulting in fewer calls to customer helplines

    Use of more sustainable materials

    Conceptual innovation or research that leads to possible new products

    Increase product sales or market share

What is an "investment" in packaging?

Similarly, an investment can be defined as a fee or fee, which in turn is the payment of a design firm's expenses, which is only part of the cost of a design project.

Investments made by companies generally include:

    Cost of materials/goods

    Possible changes in production processes

    Tool costs

    Engineering costs

    Distribution costs

    Time spent by employees on a project

    Removal of old materials/products

Suggested study: Marketing What is?

    Other sales, marketing and promotional activities

When a design process is in motion, designers often make visual decisions about color, form, texture, function, etc. One way to commercially assess these creative intuitions is to set control measures where old and new designs are allowed to run side by side.

In almost all organizations, research is heavily weighted toward supporting validation to inform final decisions. When investments have already been made and often when teams are up against deadlines and/or committed to making changes. For process improvement, companies need more information and insight at the beginning of design initiatives, identifying opportunities, appropriately allocating resources, and providing direction. In particular, companies should understand the strengths, limitations, and values of their current packaging, just like conducting a SWOT analysis of products.

By evaluating current packaging against the competition on the shelf, in-hand, and in-use, and by identifying design values through various mapping and discernment exercises, we can inform design briefs and set clear practice goals and standards. Ultimately, this helps ensure that any redesign effort solves a real problem and addresses a real buyer need or competitive disadvantage without wasting time.

Another best practice is to integrate the shopping context and store environment into the design brief, by analyzing the shopper's buying pattern, the retail realities of key channels, and the role of packaging in the complete shopping experience.

More and more, this process includes the realization of the digital age, which includes the interaction between online and person-to-person shopping and the role of smartphones and QR codes in the narrow passage. Collectively, this shopper insight helps define the core mission of packaging and also helps determine how packaging can best fit different products based on retail stores and shopper interests.

Companies are facing new realities in the market, with the emergence of greater market customization that has created new demands and new challenges for companies' marketing departments and consultants. Many of today's new market segments have limited the overall success of mass marketing and eroded brand loyalty. Add to this scenario, there is a glut of private labels in retail stores, affecting the "premium value" image of branded products and reducing sales of "national brands". Customer expectations are increasing day by day with the emergence of different brands. Big brands are now looking at how to make the best designs and market them to get the best return on investment.

Corporate marketers are not alone in dealing with these and many other complications in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. All of their corporate counterparts must incorporate flexibility into their business plans and re-align with corporate goals and marketing objectives.

Companies design and manufacture products, but customers buy products they like. Customers prefer design over all brands. The most successful brands are carefully managed and consistent. Savvy marketers know that retaining customers while acquiring new customers is the best way to maximize ROI and beat the competition. Delivering the brand message with the right marketing strategies, leading the brand values in the packaging of the company's products and services, relevant customer experiences and ultimately building brand loyalty with the best ROI on it.

Source : Packaging-Labelling