When you talk about perceived value, a lot of different things come to mind. Some people look at perceived value as an emotional element, others a tangible one. In the world of branding and packaging design, all of these intrinsic elements float to the surface and provide customers with new ways of absorbing and thinking about products as well as what they represent; both in value, as well as in emotion.
As the economy and globalization continue to drive innovation, the sheer variety of new ways to brand and package items becomes innumerable. Brands use their aesthetics as a way to influence how consumers connect with the brand on an emotional level.
Let’s look at a few of the elements that designers think about when creating packaging solutions, and how they connect to the perception of the brand and the product within.
Packaging helps in developing brand loyalty from the consumer, as easily identifiable brand names create attraction through their colors, symbols, or packaging types. Making product lines or grouping within the same recognizable packaging style, creates a simple way for customers to recognize you within any retail environment. This is an important factor because there are many options available online and in standard brick-and-mortar retail channels.
The important element to keep in mind when evaluating how to brand and package products, is that consumers will evaluate the quality, design, size, color, and innovation. When these elements are stacked in comparison to other brands and products within the same grouping, packaging that stands apart will usually become more recognizable and create a sense of attraction and peek the customers’ curiosity. This gives the brand an advantage over it's competition.
Packaging Design and Quality
The element of quality is an interesting discussion point. We see a wide variety of quality standards for brands using packaging as an alignment. Those brands that are using packaging as a masking source of quality levels within, are moving in the right direction.
As any reader of this article may have experienced, there are many brands that are using packaging in such a way to attract the buyer to convert, but provide a less than quality product within; This is discovered at a later point in time by the buyer. Quality packaging can also have a long-lasting positive affect on consumer buying habits. Brands like Apple, have always done an incredible job with their packaging as an alignment to speak of the quality lying within.
Apple does not disappoint, so the connection of quality resonates true across all of the touch-points. With this being true, the packaging has essentially done the job of marketing the product and created a connection with the customer that is ever-green, delivering both on the external, as well as on the promise of quality inside.
The Color Connection
Color use, typography, and styling can also be indicative of which target audience the products are positioned for. This can be seen by walking down the grocery store aisle. For example, children’s cereals will often be bright and colorful; whereas when you look at high-fiber and healthier options like granola-brands, you will see more neutral color and earth tones palates used.
Alternatively, brands that want to give off the impression of luxury often use colors like black, silver, and gold to make bold statements.
Color has been argued as one of the most important packaging factors. It can be used to grab the attention of the consumer, identify product type (I.E. healthy or natural products using the colors green and brown), or to promote an emotional response. Between 62 percent and 90 percent of how a product is assessed and perceived, is based on the color alone; a much more important factor than the type, substrate or messaging.
As we touch on the perception of value, there are a number of ways that brands can align to elevate or shift their positioning in the market. A great example of this would be brands like Under Armor, that have mastered the art of positioning and quality. At almost any brand touch-point, it is assumed that an Under Armor product is designed by athletes, for athletes, and as such the connection with the brand quality resonates with the average Joe consumer.
If they want to be perceived as ‘in the know’ and working toward improving their health and fitness levels, then Under Armor is seen as the brand that represents their effort, decision, and the fight within. Just like an athlete, the perception of the brand attire signifies strength, resilience, and psychological confidence that you are making the right decisions as a consumer.
Another good example would be how celebrity endorsements and limited supply products can both contribute to a higher perceived value. Limited edition items create a sense of urgency, therefore, consumers are more likely to impulse to buy these products over others. The perception being that if you don't act now, you will lose out on the opportunity to carry something unique that other shoppers will not have access to. This creates a sense of being an great influence and connecting that user to feeling more ‘in the know’ and informed by assimilating to the products that are limited and hard to find.
Perceived value can also be influenced by the functionality and general attractiveness of the packaging type; beautifully-designed packaging can drive sales, increase mind-share, and allow for positive word-of-mouth. A perfect example of this would be presentation packaging for an expensive liquor; something that is connected to luxury, and being a focal-point for anything receiving or presenting the gift.
So, what is our conclusion to the story around packaging design and what it does to user perception?
Packaging matters, and we highly recommend working with an experienced team that understands both the psychology, as well as the production process. Over the years, we here at Eventige, have worked on countless prototypes and packaging design alternatives, and with our recent entry nutriblade entering Costco in Q4, we feel very confident about the way in which we create brand attraction.
If you’re interested in having a chat about packaging design, scroll down, and give us a shout!