5Cs to Great Packaging
Never before in the history of mankind, has the consumer had such immense power of choice as they enjoy today. Walk into any retail store or open any ecommerce portal and, no matter what the product category, there are more than a dozen brands vying for their attention. The principal challenge for us marketers then, is how to get a consumer to first notice, then engage and next decide to buy our brand.
Research into consumer psychology and buying behaviour shows that the first instinct to pick up a product is driven by emotion rather than logic, which comes later, when the consumer needs to justify the purchase.
The buying impulse moves from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind. It’s like love or rather like at first sight. In marketing parlance, we call this the First Moment of Truth (FOMT). These are the precious few seconds between when the consumer first spots your product and makes the decision to buy it.
So how do you ensure a win at FMOT? How do you ensure that a browser becomes a buyer? And what after that? FMOT alone will not guarantee your success!
How do you ensure that the consumer has a great experience with your brand (Second Moment of Truth or SMOT) and chooses to buy you again (that’s TMOT or the Third Moment of Truth)! For this we need to look at packaging design not in isolation but as part of a consumer’s ecosystem, right from purchase, to carry, to use, to store, to reuse and recycle. We need to deliver value through each step of this journey.
At Therefore Design we have developed the 5C Strategy to ensure consistent wins for the brands that work with us.
The first C is Context:
We live in an interconnected world where nothing happens in isolation. We are bombarded with information and messaging that shapes our psyche and drives our behaviours. There are constantly evolving trends and undercurrents that impact consumer decisions. As brand consultants, we study shifting market dynamics, watch out for social influences that impact consumers mindsets and monitor developments in the FMCG sector to ensure that brands we create are in sync with the times.
The second, Competition:
Knowing what your competition is up to is imperative for your success. Differentiate or Die are the immortal words of marketing guru Jack Trout. We work towards creating a Blue Ocean space for our brands, where we can command better value rather than get mired into price wars with competition. We craft this Blue Ocean strategy by building a deep understanding of value drivers for the category, enabling us to build a stronger value perception than competitors in the minds of our consumers.
The third C is for Consumers:
Listening to them, understanding what makes them tick, their needs, concerns and fears, all form the building blocks of our strategy. We focus on identifying what emotion we want our brand to evoke in consumers, what are the feelings they should experience when they first see and then use our product. Is it a sense of well-being, a sense of adventure, desire or a feeling of self-worth or status that will help them to connect with our brand?
Channel is the fourth C:
What is the ideal distribution and key sales channel for the brand? Is it traditional retail, modern retail, e-commerce? Can we innovate to create another way to reach the consumer? Based on the above, what should the format of packaging be? These are some of the questions we ponder. Besides delivering a superlative consumer experience, we endeavour to design packaging that can help optimise resources during manufacturing and across the supply chain. Reducing the carbon footprint, saving time and costs are important goals for us.
To tie it all up – A Compelling Story:
A good story has the power to create instant connection. Research shows that when people associate with a story it can activate different neural networks, creating a higher level of involvement and more active engagement. Crafting a compelling story that builds on the insights of context, competition, consumer and channel, enables us to build brand experiences that have instant appeal and thus build better recall for the brand. We strongly believe that behind the success of every great brand is a great story.