Flexible Packaging as a Marketing Tool


You have a great product. You’ve developed, refined, and perfected it until you have a product you’re proud of and that has great profit potential. Whether your company revolves around a single product, or several product lines, chances are, you’ve invested a ton of time, energy and other resources to get to this point.

Now, what about packaging? The type of packaging you choose for your product will have a huge impact on its success. Factors like freshness, protection, and convenience will impact how your product is perceived by consumers – and whether they’ll buy it repeatedly. Packaging choice obviously plays a major role here. But are you giving packaging enough credit for its ability to impact your product’s success through branding and differentiation? What about product information and education?

The first two installments of this three-part blog series on flexible packaging discussed the many types of flexible packaging available. We covered which types of flexible packaging may be best for various products, and the potential cost savings involved. Here, in Part 3: Flexible Packaging as a Marketing Tool, we discuss the advantages of flexible product packaging when it comes to marketing your product.

The ability to use every square inch of the package.

Since flexible packaging is printed while flat, the capability is there to print on every square inch of the package, essentially turning the whole thing into a label.

The entire package can be a bright, eye-catching color. Additional colors, graphics, even photography can be added. Front, back, sides – even the gusset – can carry product messaging and information. So, with flexible packaging, you can include all regulation-required information, and still have plenty of space for product features and benefits, plus eye-catching graphics and call-to-action.

The right packaging allows you to differentiate.

Yours may not be one of them, but we find that many companies still view their product packaging as an afterthought. A tremendous commitment of resources goes into the painstaking creation of their products, but the wrong – or underutilized – packaging can whittle away at the products’ chances of success.

It pays to view product packaging as an essential part of your branding, marketing and merchandising efforts. The packaging you choose can attract consumers and sway their purchases, right at the decision point. Will consumers notice your product amongst the sea of competing products? Will they properly perceive its value? Quality? Flavor? Packaging helps determine all of this.

Packaging has become an integral part of every successful company’s marketing mix. And we have seen a major shift toward flexible retail packaging, and a wide recognition of the power it has to build brands and attract loyal customers.

Choosing the right flexible packaging is vital.

With so many sizes, shapes, materials and printing processes available within the flexible packaging arena, it’s a good idea to do your homework. A good, knowledgeable packaging and labeling expert can help you look at every aspect – including what kind of package messaging is important to the success of your product.

Questions to consider include:

  • What is your competition doing?
  • How do consumers feel about existing products in your category and how they’re packaged?
  • Are there consumer complaints or requests that you can address through the right flexible packaging?
  • What colors, graphics and messaging are you seeing on your close competitors’ flexible packaging?
  • Pouch functionality – how is the consumer using your product?
  • How could flexible packaging help you continuously update your product design, so your product doesn’t become overlooked on the shelf?

Flexible packaging. A powerful tool.

Product packaging is vital to every product’s success, this we know for sure. Flexible packaging, specifically, can be a powerful tool in your marketing and branding tool kit. It must be eye-catching, intuitive, and functional. Flexible packaging allows manufacturers to package their products to answer these consumer demands.

Eye-catching is possible when you work with a flexible packaging supplier that has cutting-edge print capabilities. Full color. Wide web. Roll stock. The options for designing and producing eye-catching packaging are virtually endless.

Creating lasting brands in consumer goods involves the right packaging.

Designed and printed correctly, flexible packaging should have the following characteristics. It should be:

  • Visible - Stand out from the competition and have stopping power.
  • Visceral - Create positive emotional reactions with consumers resulting in a preference.
  • Memorable - Pass the memory sketch test.

Here’s more on each of these points.

Powerful visible brand identity.

A powerful brand identity visually captures the unique essence of the brand strategy. It also connects the heart of the brand to consumers in a memorable way. Flexible packaging allows the freedom to accomplish this through full-package print, texture, colors and shapes.

Visceral expression of the product.

The visual impact of your flexible packaging design should express the unique part of the product experience, and emotionally engage consumers’ senses to create a craving for the product. An example of a tool we use to involve the senses, is soft touch matte. Consumers find it hard to resist touching product packaging that includes this soft-to-the-touch effect. And consumer engagement increases the chance of a sale.

Flexible packaging, a background for impact.

The right packaging background creates dimension, and pulls consumers in. Colors and textures can be used to create visible brand blocks, product differentiation in retail settings, and contribute to the product’s memorability.

Make the most of the power without.

While it goes without saying that what’s inside the package must be good, your product packaging can be the turbo power of your marketing and branding. As a (literally) flexible option, flexible packaging – done well – involves each one of the points above.

Flexible packaging can not only protect and store your product, it can present your product in the best light. It can display the price and value of your product, communicate the features and benefits to consumers, and influence them to choose your product over countless others.

Even if your product is the very best on the market, the wrong packaging can keep it from moving off store shelves. And the right packaging can be the turbo boost your product needs to start flying off store shelves and into the hearts and homes of consumers.

Once you determine that flexible packaging is right for your product, find a trusted supplier with extensive capabilities and experience–one that can help you design and produce a packaging powerhouse for your product. After all, it may be what’s on the inside that counts, but It’s on the outside that products are discovered and chosen in the retail space.