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How product packaging affects buying decisions

According to a research by The Paper Worker, one-third of consumer decision-making is based on packaging. This means that the packaging can be as important as the product inside. When shelves are filled with similar products from different brands, there is a high likelihood that consumers choose the product with the design or colour they prefer. So first impression matters. But how much does packaging really affect our choices when shopping? Actually a brand has around 7 seconds to make a good impression on a consumer and convince him. Indeed, an effective design let consumers make decisions faster and easier. Let us see which elements are important to draw the attention of consumers.

The easiest way to catch attention is the right choice of colour. By smartly using  colours  in your packaging, you can visually set you apart from your competitors. Moreover every colour reflects something different. For example, black denotes power, control, heaviness and expensiveness. White denotes innocence, cleanliness and simplicity. Green is often associated with ecology friendly products and denotes growth and harmony. Red is exciting, and yellow is happy. Shades need to be attractive to the target market and send a message of what product it is. By this way, if your product is ecological, you had better use green in your packaging than red.

Typography is also very important. It can be elegant, cool, austere, delicate, straightforward, etc. Like colours, fonts can reflect a personality. Pay also attention to the fact that the text has to be readable. Readability will help consumers take their time to look at your product packaging, whereas difficulty to read fonts – due to size, style or colour – will turn consumers away from reading your packaging.

To reach an impressive packaging, there are some other little elements that have to be taken into account. First, sustainable packaging is popular amongst today’s consumers, so you had better use recycled and/or recyclable materials. Then, try to be crafty and creative. Reinvent old materials, like paper bags and twine, to improve handmade or home goods. Premium product packaging – like tissue paper – is used for expensive products, like jewellery. Finally, the brand has to be visible on the packaging, so that consumers can put a name on it.

Now let us take some examples of experts in packaging. Starbucks,the famous brand which sells coffees and hot chocolates, labels all its products with its easily recognised mermaid medallion. But during the coldest time of the year, Christmas holidays, they replace the basic visual aspect with season cups with ornaments, snowflakes and other icons to engage the warm feeling of family time. And what would be Coca-Cola without its iconic bottle? But once again, like Starbucks, the brand tries to innovate and a limited-edition packaging was created for Christmas – it was even possible to make a beautiful red bow on the bottle.

Design is not only able to inspire a purchase by targeted consumers. It can also create a ripple effect. If someone takes a photo of an attractive packaging and shares it on Facebook, it has a great potential to be quickly shared by others, attracting new customers.

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