To carry the message further, you’ll have to look for the distinctive elements that will ensure repeat purchases and engender a sense of loyalty. That is how the package goes from being just a container to becoming part of people’s lives, building implicit conﬁdence in the minds of those who purchase the product. There is, however, another equally important aspect: variety. Products lose customers when other brands develop more varied, innovative lines that better accommodate consumer preferences. A battle rages to grab consumer attention in the least possible time, and your basic imperative is to overshadow the products next to yours. The best weapon? Packaging. Packages act as silent sales experts, responsible for communicating the product’s plusses to the buyer, who tends to go through a fascinating cognitive process. Thus, our package goes from being just a container with a name to a soundless salesperson, from a plain box with a brand to an expert communicator of product attributes. But this character offers a further beneﬁt: minimal cost. Many clients think that by broadcasting their message via the print and electronic media, they’ll have every potential customer convinced that their product is the best out there. The capacity of the press, television and radio to spread the word is unquestionable, but how many messages are broadcast every day? How many billboards, how many bus stop, radio, television and print ads are we exposed to in a single day? Do we really pay attention to those messages? And even if we did, how many of those messages compel us to actually purchase the products advertised?
The only way to reach every single customer is through the package. According to the most respected studies, up to 82 percent of the decision to purchase a product is made while standing in front of it. But what about the mass media message? How much of what gets spent on advertising ends up missing its target? These resources are being squandered, because we’ve lost sight of the main objective: to build for the future and achieve corporate goals in the medium and long term. The focus of mass media should be to maintain the brand’s presence in the minds of consumers. They should aid the global sales strategy by providing additional support for the brand. It must never be forgotten, however, that the actual sale is made at the shelf or at the store window.
Products are created in the factory. Brands are created in the mind. Walter Landor, founder of Landor Associates
Published on Jul 3, 2009