I ran to the grocery store the other day for a quick trip, mainly for foodstuffs. On my way to the milk cooler, I cut through the detergent aisle … and suddenly found myself putting a bottle of fabric softener in my cart. And I really didn’t need fabric softener. So why?
It was the packaging.
More than just another bottle in a sea of plastic bottles, this one jumped out at me because it looked like it was made out of a flowing, silk-like fabric. I HAD to stop and pick it up. As I was running my hands over the bottle, I remembered that I might be low on fabric softener. So I bought it.
It was a great reminder that to set itself apart on the shelf, effective packaging has to be more than just bold graphics, clear messaging or colors. It must have some arresting quality — something the shopper doesn’t expect to see in that section of the store or on that shelf. Things like innovative shapes, tactile substrates and materials, and evolved functionality of old favorites are some of the things that beckon a shopper to pick up a product and hopefully give it a try (aka a sale). If the experience really delivers, it hopefully means repeated ones.
It’s human nature to judge a book by its cover — packaged good brands are wise to remember that.