Marketing is composed of more than you think; most think that marketing is simply advertising or of the marketing mix (i.e. the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Promotion, Place). However, these are only facets of marketing. In this article you will learn what’s at the core of marketing, your packaging can serve as a means of achieving it.
As a quick summary, marketing is everything enabling communication of a brand to potential consumers. But this definition then brings the question about what is “brand.” Brand is essentially everything (name, logo, symbol, etc.) that identifies a company’s offering and differentiates it from its competitors.
This may be a little confusing so in short, marketing is anything that the consumer experiences in association to your brand. It can be as simple as the product, to as specific as the cleanliness of the sidewalk’s in front of your brick and mortar location.
Everything Little Things Matters In Marketing
For instance, if the sidewalk in front of your location is filled with trash and smells terribly, then those emotions of disgust get attached to your brand whether the consumer consciously thinks so or not. All these associations occur at an unconscious level and imprint your brand into the minds of the consumers.
A psychological effect that encapsulates this is called the source misattribution effect. The misattribution effect can be understood as reading an article stating that the sky is blue because of our perception of the light refracting off the water molecules in the atmosphere. A few months from now you may actually believe this, because you forget the source of the information and only recall the information and thus assume it is correct.
This is what happens in the minds of your customers when experiencing your products. They might recall the feeling of disgust, not because of your restaurant’s food, but because of the garbage in front of your location. This disgust will be forever associated with your brand and is extremely difficult to alter in the mind of the customers, which highlights the importance of every little detail when it comes to marketing.
Furthermore, this example is a great testament to the power and importance of marketing your brand optimally and being aware of every little facet of the consumer experience. Any part of your brand, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is, is actually really important and may make or break your brand.
There are 2 main types of marketing
1. External marketing
External marketing is simply making the promise of your offering. The best example is advertising. When advertising your value proposition to your target market, you thereby form a promise that you need to stick to. If you do not fulfill the promise then your brand will be negatively impacted. However, if you do satisfy the promise then your brand will grow and be reinforced into the consumer’s mind.
2. Interactive marketing
The second type of marketing is interactive marketing which is delivering the promise. In other words, most of the simple and neglected aspects fall into this type of marketing. Packaging is a great example of a missed opportunity within marketing which can negatively impact your brand. Packaging in this day and age is more important than ever with the ever increasing rates of ordering online. Packaging means more than most people think and it can be customized in an almost infinite amount of ways.
How Packaging Can Impact Your Marketing
The packaging can serve in the same way as cleaning your sidewalk in the
previous example. More specifically, the consumer may recall the feeling of opening the packaging for the first time and those positive emotions will be attached to your brand, much like the garbage in the sidewalk example (Except here it’s optimized with positive emotions). Apple capitalized on this benefit of packaging, by engineering and patenting their own custom iPhone box. In other words, optimizing your packaging can yield a more on brand consumer experience. Which justifies the small investment needed to start making your own custom packaging.
Moreover, packaging can serve many purposes. Such as, impacting how a brand expresses their offering to their consumers. Also, packaging can serve as another channel of advertising, since other people can see the printed packaging. Lastly, packaging can act as a means of reinforcing your brand’s main value proposition, such as features of quality and durability.
In conclusion, invest some resources into your packaging and refine your brand’s appearance, because every little facet of the consumer’s experience is important to your brand’s success.