Escaping the commodity box on shelf

Seriously….Are you being perceived by customers as merely a commodity on shelf? If so you need to figure out how to escape the commodity box your product/brand has fallen into.

To free your product/brand from the commodity box, your product packaging design must help your target customer see your product in more fresh and revealing ways. Your product pack must garner their attention and prompt them to see inconsistencies or uncertainties with the product they are currently habitually buying.

Rage against beige! Be different — A better way to create differentiation

Our brains are programmed notice differences. Creating packaging that attracts and engages means finding a way to differentiate and surprise on shelf. Differentiation is one of the most daunting challenges brand marketers face. Unfortunately, many of the traditional approaches or “best practices” designed to distinguish you on shelf actually end up having the opposite effect and you end up being commoditised. Just because you stand out on shelf does not ensure you end up in the shopping trolley.

Beating the status quo

Your biggest competitor isn’t who you think it is. It’s not the other competitors in your category. The fact is, your number one competitor is your consumer’s status quo bias. It’s their inherent aversion to buying something different from what they’re buying today.

Busy consumers are indecisive and are less likely to buy something different from what they’re used to buying. This is known as the dreaded “Stick with the status quo. Stick with what I know!” The sad truth is that the majority of consumers prefer to do nothing instead of changing. (Think your bank account! Even though you may have wanted to change on numerous occasions, it’s just too much of a hassle!)

Doing nothing or staying the same is safe and comfortable. Changing to something new is associated with threat and risk. To break through consumer inertia and habitual buying patterns means your product pack, your silent salesman, has to tell an irresistible story whilst make a compelling case for why they should change, now.

The heart of disruption on shelf

Of course you need to grab the consumer’s attention and get them to stop and take a look at your product. Packaging’s number-one responsibility is to get noticed. And the second priority is to create a pack that compels the customer to put you in the trolley and take you home. However simply touting “this product can make you feel better” rarely works these days as a differentiator (very often it has the opposite effect).

At the very heart of your compelling “why change” story lies your emotional connection (EC). EC sets the stage for the differentiated “why you” story you must have for you to reinforce your uniqueness on shelf. As the saying goes,”If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.

Evoking contagious emotion

Great so they’ve taken your product home. How do you make sure they buy you again? Today’s consumer needs to connect with a brand if you are ever to gain their brand loyalty and have them purchase your product again and pass on your “goodwill” to their social network.

Here are 5 ways to ensure emotional contagion

  1. Ensuring you meet the consumer’s quality expectations (This goes without saying)
  2. Keep changing to stay up with consumer expectations.
  3. Ensure any loyalty programs you include, exceed your target consumers expectations and demonstrate your appreciation.
  4. Ensure you are available to communicate with your consumer on their preferred social network channels encouraging consumer feedback
  5. How will you take advantage of the technology and variable data to creatively to engage individually and personalise your customers buying experience.
  6. To ensure you dominate social media your packaging must be “share worthy”, encouraging your customers to get fired up and share images of their purchase

Originally published at jamandco.com.au on August 29, 2017.

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