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Why Is Packaging Your Silent Salesmen?

By 05/06/2020July 20th, 2020No Comments

Have you considered your business’ silent salesmen? 

The silent salesman. A phrase you may or may not have heard of. But, without knowing it, you may have already considered it. Still unsure? Let us help – it’s your packaging.

When selling a product, the first thing that probably comes to mind is your sales team. It is these driven members of staff who talk the talk to the right target markets to get your product into their hands. However, there is another member of your sales team who often gets forgotten. They are not part of ANY essential sales decisions and NEVER have any input – they always remain silent. Who? Your packaging.

While your sales team can talk to potential customers on the phone, there is one place where they can’t be – the shelves. Right next to your competition. It is here that your silent salesmen steps into action.

The current marketplace is miles away from past store shelves. Consumers are very much on the go; they need to cut through all the noise and find the right brand for them – and we want that to be yours. Therefore, your packaging NEEDS to speak for your product and do this effectively.

So, in this blog, we will discuss what exactly we mean by the term ‘silent salesmen’ and how your business can take advantage of your silent salesmen.

Your product’s packaging is more important than you realise…

Many, many years ago, local stores such as groceries used to stock goods in barrels. These would be filled with flour, sugar, coffee and many other staple foods. Packaging was no such thing! It wasn’t until the late 19th century that packaging came into play. Firstly only being used for protection and convenience, it quickly became popular for businesses to offer differentiation. Consequently, in the late 1900s, supermarkets became stocked with more than 20,000 products, and product packaging officially became vital to a business’ success.

A product’s packaging is the first thing a customer sees when they browse the shelves at supermarkets. Therefore packaging has quickly become the silent salesmen for most businesses. Think about it. If you’re in a supermarket, are you going to choose the mundane packaging which doesn’t appeal to you? Or are you going to pick the visually stimulating packaging that demands your attention? Easy choice. Packaging works as a silent salesman because consumers make psychological connections.

Packaging may appeal to a customer if it represents something important to them. For example, an environmentally conscious shopper is likely to choose a product that is packaged in recycled materials. Whereas, someone who has an active lifestyle is more inclined to select packaging which features a famous sporting figure, or even images which reflect an active lifestyle.

shopping cart between shelves in food store F6AM7GN

Therefore, in the 21st century, packaging designers and marketers are breaking away from tradition and beginning to design new, exciting packaging. With new and interesting features developing and being integrated into modern designs, the consumer’s experience is being driven by convenience and flexibility. Designers must not stay stuck in the past with grocery barrels but look to the future. Serious packaging must look at becoming a silent salesman.

So, how can my silent salesman make me money?

You may be thinking, aren’t stretch wrap and shrink wrap the same? Well, you wouldn’t be the only one. One of the most popular questions we get asked is the difference between shrink wrap and stretch wrap? As a packaging material, pallet wrap is often confused with shrink wrap; however, the two are very different…

Stretch film is wrapped tightly around packages or objects to secure them together or keep them protected. Whereas, shrink wrap, is applied by first covering the item loosely; then heat is used on the shrink wrap, causing it to recoil tightly around the package.

As discussed, stretch film is typically used to hold loads together on a pallet for transit or storage and comes in a variety of speciality films. Some types of film include UV, vented or even anti-static. Whereas, shrink wrap is usually applied to protect a single product from dust or moisture. Or to tightly combine smaller items to together. It is commonly used for covering foods, such as cheese, meats and vegetables.

In The Shops

Within retail, packaging has to perform well in a variety of areas. From large supermarkets to local convenience stores. But regardless of the playing field, packaging has to succeed. As many of us have become switched on to smart packaging, inevitably so have retailers. These venues are demanding much more creativity in how the products they sell are packaged and presented to the consumer. Therefore, merchandisers and consumer product companies are beginning to realise that innovation in product packaging can make a significant difference in how well the product moves through retail cycles.

Visual Recognition

Within the psychology of shopping, there are visual zones which impact packaging design. These are:

  • From 12 feet away, a consumer can recognise a product. This recognition zone is the first area in which you can gain the customer’s attention. Bright, bold colour, familiar typography are all triggers to entice the customer in.
  • At 3 feet away, the customer is getting closer to the product; this is known as the buy zone. The packages shape and style, combined with custom graphic (or a packaging trend) grab the attention of the customer further and leads them to the next zone.
  • Finally, from 1 foot away, the curiosity zone begins. This zone means you have captured the shopper’s attention from 12 feet away to them, picking you product up. They will be holding your product in their hands, examining it. This is when the consumer looks at the critical details such as ingredients, product description.

Each of these zones plays a vital role in escalating the consumer from shopper to buyer. That is why more and more packaging designers are creating packaging that responds to these three visual zones.

Taking Advantage Of Shape

Packaging has endless options. They should not be confined by creativity and imagination. With advances in technology, packaging can become flexible. With configurations including single-serve sizes or dual compartments with or without perforations. Or even different compartments for dry or liquid items. These different configurations allow businesses to add unique character and personality, but most importantly, customer value.

Adding features to your packaging adds functionality for the consumer. By adding this convenience, give your business the chance to create a positive user experience, which in turn provides a product with is a valuable marketing benefit. It can significantly enhance new product acceptance and continued brand loyalty.

Overall, it is clear that investing time in your packaging design means you can take advantage of your silent salesman. The packaging of your product is an essential member of your sales team – so ensure they are heard on the shelf. If you would like to discuss your packaging need, get in touch with a member of Eastpac today.