Packaging – frequently a brand’s first touchpoint with a consumer – is an important part of the marketing mix, and one that is likely to become more so as marketers confront a looming recession and a fragmented media market.

Writing in The WARC Guide to effective packaging, Simon Gore, managing director of Big Fish, argues that packaging design should be carefully managed and invested in properly.

“Where possible, brand owners should look to partner with experienced designers, who will strengthen and challenge their thinking and keep their brands on the front foot,” he says.

Gore is an advocate for ‘packvertising’, a term coined within the agency when reinventing the Dorset Cereals brand – a combination of packaging and advertising, in which marketers use their brand’s pack as a key medium in the marketing mix.

In the case of Dorset Cereals, an unassuming muesli became a distinctive brand, whose packaging was specifically designed to be impactful on shelf, to show off the product inside, to look good ‘out’ on the kitchen sideboard, and to provide interest on the breakfast table.

“Without any above-the-line advertising, this powerful packaging redesign in 2005 saw the Dorset Cereals turnover grow from £13m in 2006 to £20m in 2007,” Gore notes.

At the same time the new packaging was complemented by a new brand website, which recruited over 0.5 million subscribers to receive regular communications – giving an additional boost to the consumer engagement strategy.

To maximise the effectiveness of a brand’s packaging, Gore puts forward seven packvertising principles to consider:

1. Bring your brand proposition to life;

2. Treasure your brand packaging assets;

3. Let your product speak for itself;

4. Make a real statement on shelf or online;

5. Make your packaging part of the brand experience;

6. Respect and embrace sustainability; and

7. Balance freshness with consistency.

For more details on the application of these principles, read Simon Gore’s article in full: Seven Packvertising Principles: the importance of packaging design in the marketing mix.

Sourced from WARC