You could be forgiven for believing that how your business’ goods are packaged comes a distant second to the quality and presentation of products themselves.
This is wrong because the consumer experience begins well before someone tries on a neckless for the first time, squeezes fancy cream from a tube or a morsel of food hits their taste buds.
It’s better to consider it a holistic experience beginning at the moment a customer sets eyes on a box, bag or parcel, whether they’re in a bricks and mortar shop or browsing online.
A brand magnifier
Packaging is a vehicle for your brand and a valuable opportunity to convey messages about your product: is it couture or bargain basement? Healthy or devilishly naughty? A nice-to-have or one of life’s essentials?
It also gives clues as to whether you expect customers to be mostly men or women, young or old, and what sort of person they might be: cultured, sporty or epicurean, for example.
Get the messaging wrong and it will cost your business dearly. According to pollsters Ipsos, 72% of US consumers are influenced by packaging design, while a study by Bain & Company shows that between 60 and 80 per cent of customers won’t repeat purchase if there’s no connection to the product, a problem solved with an engaging brand.
In further evidence that packaging is more than just something to put stuff in, 35 per cent of consumers admit to having watched unboxing videos, in which, as anyone who watches unboxing videos will tell you, the box is the star of the show – at least for the first few minutes.
A strong approach to packaging means more than just face value. Increasingly, consumers seek reassurance that what holds their purchases is sustainably sourced and easy to recycle. More than two-thirds of consumers want packaging to have had a previous use, according to a survey of 15,000 respondents by Trivium Packaging.
The same study shows sustainable packaging is a consideration that impacts purchases for 54 per cent of consumers, while a whopping 83 per cent suggested they would be willing to fork out more for parcelling with an ethical past.
Sadly, the industry has been slow to adjust to the hardening line against waste. Fast-moving consumer goods and single use plastics are just two areas in which packaging too often falls short of increasingly ambitious standards.
Taking the second of these examples, despite a major effort by consumers to recycle household goods, only about 16% of used plastic is used again, with the rest being incinerated, chucked into landfill or simply dumped.
But times are changing, and with the international community’s ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions, a major pillar of which is the minimisation of waste, businesses are having to revisit supply chains from the ground up.
Partly owing to pressure from the buying public, a growing number are sourcing packaging materials from sustainable sources, offering new ways to collect and process waste and even finding ways to create new goods from old packages.
Beautiful, sustainable packaging is no issue
Custom, sustainable packaging brand noissue is a market leader in the drive to balance wow factor with a light environmental touch.
The business allows users to design and create bespoke packaging, mixing and matching products to suit induvial brand values with a simple online design tool, which it says makes it easy for organisations to grow their brand presence without fuss.
On the sustainability front, noissue commits to using only materials that are either compostable, recycled or reusable.
Compostable packaging typically comes from renewable plant-based materials which breakdown in a domestic composter within 180 days or 90 days in a commercial set-up.
The company’s recycled product line originates in second-hand plastic, including ‘single use’ bags and drinks bottles. The material is processed in a dedicated recycling plant and recirculated, effectively doubling its lifespan.
Meanwhile, reusable packaging is categorised as having an obvious future use beyond that of holding a product for a customer. While most packaging is single use, in theory being recyclable after use, reusable packaging offers a multitude of functions.
A sturdy, attractive, box or bottle can live on as a desk tidy or storage option, even a keepsake, meaning packaging has the potential to become a useful ally in a customer’s home improvement plans.
On top of all this, noissue provides clear information on products to help businesses make more informed decisions. Plus it offsets the carbon impact of shipping, having planted more than 43,000 trees worldwide as part of the fight against global deforestation.
Packaging is, of course, only one part of the sustainability puzzle and organisations of all sizes have the opportunity to invest in the future by making the right choices on everything from how they source to how they sell.
But with clear, attractive and targeted design, combined with a genuine commitment to the planet, businesses are a step closer to balancing profit with purpose.
This article was written as part of a paid-for content campaign with noissue