How to use Retail Packaging as a Marketing Channel

How to use Retail Packaging as a Marketing Channel


We’ve spoken at length over the past year about how the sharp rise of eCommerce due to the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted the way we look at packaging. However, with the mobilization of the vaccines, we are staring into a new dawn of potential herd immunity and the possibility of returning to some semblance of normalcy. This means that retail is making a comeback, baby. 

Packaging is an incredibly important element of any company’s branding. It is an avenue to deliver a message, and in some cases, may be your first point of contact with a potential customer. Because of the return to the store, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the important aspects of using your retail-specific packaging as a marketing vessel. 

  1. Retail Packaging as a Canvas

Retail packaging is how you present your product to potential consumers in a retail environment (think packed onto a store shelf with other products in your genre). This becomes your first advertising opportunity, akin to messaging you may see on a billboard or magazine ad. Your packaging therefore becomes your canvas. Your ultimate goal is to persuade a customer to choose your product over your competitor’s. The importance of knowing your audience therefore becomes incredibly important. What are the preferences of your customer? Their likes, interests, experiences, habits. The list can literally go on. Once you sort out some of your key demographics, you can design and refine the colours, wording, graphics, and typography which compose your packaging. 

  1. Personalization

While you obviously cannot target your packaging for each and every person who may buy your product, there is always room to get messages to the consumer. Personalization could mean creating packaging which tells a story, tells your brand story, or speaks to your consumer demographic in a manner that seems like an intimate letter. An example of this would be looking at generational marketing – what are things that Gen Z and Millenials gravitate towards? Does this involve a specific image, colour scheme, or catch phrase? You can also consider investing in custom shipping boxes to stand out to retailers. Or retail displays to quite literally bring your product off the shelves and into their own personalized, stand-alone vessel. 

  1. Transparency 

Packaging transparency is where you build trust with your customers. This essentially means that you are truthful about what your packaging says, what ingredients are listed, and what your product does. The food industry provides great examples with respect to transparency. Within the food industry, governments regulate things like nutritional facts, allergy information, and require that the ingredients must be visible. The same cannot be said for industries like health/wellness, or beauty. So be clear about what your product can do, don’t gloss over important information, and ensure that your package delivers an accurate message. If a customer trusts what you are saying, they will likely repeat their purchase. 

About The Author

Kirsten Crisostomo is a freelance copy and content writer based in Vancouver, BC.

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