Left on the Shelf Again? Time to Jazz up your Product’s Appearance

Left on the Shelf Again? Time to Jazz up your Product’s Appearance

Everyone in retail at the moment is looking for the magic key that will open consumers’ wallets and get everyone spending again. The trade associations have conducted customer surveys, analysed the markets, looked at the economic conditions and still have no definitive answer to the malaise. Several retailers are going back to basics, acknowledging that many of their initiatives have only marginally succeeded. One of the things they know for certain after years of being in business is that customers respond to eye-catching packaging. A product can be value for money, the latest thing, a desirable commodity, but if it doesn’t look great, it will sit on the shelf.

Companies are now going back to their product and food packaging suppliers and asking to give them something that will knock the socks off the consumer as they are prowling the aisles. Everything is in the mix at the moment. They are looking at the colours and texture of the packaging, the shape and size, and especially with food, its ability to protect the freshness of the contents.

Does it Matter if it’s Plastic, Paper, Polystyrene or Something Else?

Great packaging can be anything. It can be a plastic shopping bag, beautiful embossed paper, a wooden box with bright labelling, a poly tube, a heavy duty industrial bag, or heat proof plastic bag. Even bags made from recycled paper that is clearly not a high quality finish can be made to look sensational through colourful and zany labelling. The point is that regardless of what the packaging is made from, the consumer can still be wowed into walking over to the shelf and handling it, if it stands out from the other products.

This last point is one of the most important. Standing out from the other products is absolutely crucial in today’s crowded marketplace, where literally millions of products scream for attention. It is useless to have the most wonderful face cream for example, that smoothes skin in an instant and makes wrinkles disappear, if it can’t be seen among the myriads of other beauty products.

What is Maximum Shelf Impact?

Maximum shelf impact is the effect that the packaging or branding of an item creates. Does it leap out and hit the eyes of the consumers as they are moving past? A rule of thumb, often quoted, is that the product must be noticed in less than two seconds from as far away as three metres. This is a very demanding measure and it means that a product only gets one chance to draw in consumers and make them want to examine it further.

Statistical data confirms that consumers are first attracted to the packaging then they examine the product, read the labelling and check the price. As a result, marketers are expecting packaging supply companies to produce eye-catching colours and designs in their packaging materials. If a product has a “wow” factor that makes it readily visible among dozens of other similar products, it is much more likely to be going home with the consumer.