Convenience is a major factor to consumers these days. They don’t just want convenience; they expect it.

Whether it’s having a stranger pick up their groceries through an app, or having a personalized stylist pick out their outfits for the week, consumers want their lives to be simplified.

But, it’s not just that processes have to be made easier and more streamlined. Consumers also expect the products and services they buy to be tailored to their needs. After all, there are very rare instances in which a one-size-fits-all tag applies to today’s products.

Personalization is important for your packaging strategies. It fits into ensuring your products offer a high level of convenience to your consumers. There are specific solutions to help you effectively integrate personalization into your packaging strategies.

Why Your Packaging Strategy Needs Personalization

Consumers’ Needs Are Different 

When internal marketing teams are identifying target markets and customer personas to target, there typically isn’t a single demographic they focus on.

Most brands—if not all—will have several personas that make up their core target market.

For example, let’s say an ibuprofen brand is working on packaging for new P.M. pills. The marketing team has concluded that there are likely two personas within their pool of core consumers.

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First, there is a group of people who are looking for a reliable solution to help them sleep and alleviate aches and pains that keep them up at night. These people are still shopping around for the right pill for them, so they would prefer to buy fewer pills for a lower price during their “trials.” As a result, the marketing team may suggest a SKU with a smaller bottle that is economically priced to incentivize a purchase.

Second, they have identified another persona—people who have tried the smaller bottle had positive results, and therefore are willing to pay more for a larger bottle of pills so they won’t need to purchase another anytime soon. They know what they want, and are looking for the added convenience of having a bigger supply on-hand and a better price for buying a higher quantity.

Because the marketing team predicts that more consumers will initially be interested in the “trial” bottles, they suggest putting more of those on shelves than the big bottles for the first several months. Once they notice sales going up on the larger bottles, they’ll start putting more of those SKUs on the shelf.

Because the sizes of the packaging are different, the design will also need to be altered for each to utilize space. The messaging on the packaging may also differ. For example, smaller bottles often come with the description of “travel-sized,” while larger bottles are referred to as “family-sized.”

You can see examples like this throughout any grocery or retail store you walk through. An 18 pack of batteries vs. a six-pack. A case of beer vs. a 12-pack. A rack of 12 dining plates vs. six.

Global Languages

Global brands should be very familiar with this type of packaging personalization. Not only do global brands need to have different languages within each country or region they operate in, but the words they use have to be relatable and accurate to each customer.

Sometimes it isn’t enough to translate English into another language word-for-word, as things can get lost in translation.

For example, when Mercedes Benz launched in China, they changed their brand name in this market to “Bensi.” Unfortunately, that translated to “rush to die.”  Not exactly something you want the name of a car—or any product—to translate to.

Making sure that the language and the connotation of each word on a package or brand name isn’t just something global companies must be aware of. Even domestic brands here in the U.S. can run into similar problems.

Just take a look at this Business Insider article which breaks down how different states and regions use different words to describe different things (did you know that folks in Eastern Wisconsin call water fountains “bubblers?”)

Ensuring that your packaging is personalized to fit the language and dialects of every market your brand is operating should be near the forefront of your packaging strategies.

Other Packaging Characteristics That Can Be Personalized

We touched on how different packaging attributes can be changed for personalization (quantity and the text), but here are a few other ways you can alter your packaging strategies to be tailored for a variety of customers.

Size – The size of the package and the quantity within it go hand-in-hand, but they can be differentiated based on the need of the consumer. For example, the “travel-sized” is obviously beneficial for the consumer because it allows them to easily fit it in their backpack or suitcase. In this scenario, the smaller package size is the main benefit.

How about a bottle of pop (or soda, if you like)? A brand may offer a 12 oz. bottle as well as a liter. The customer who buys a liter may share or plan on consuming the entire beverage over the course of a week. Meanwhile, the person who purchases the 12 oz. is looking for a beverage to consume faster. In this instance, the quantity is the benefit.

Color – While it’s typical for Americans to associate the color red with a warning or danger (stop signs, red lights, fire extinguishers, etc.), people in China view red as a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, happiness, and celebration.

However, this doesn’t mean American brands should never use red. One of the most loving U.S. holidays (Valentine’s Day) is filled with the color red—from hearts and flowers to cards.

Examples like this illustrate that there aren’t really any hard and fast rules when it comes to your color choices. Instead, the color of your packaging should be used to help reinforce or instill the emotions and feelings you are trying to convey.

It’s important to remember that different colors can have different meanings depending on the situation.

If you’re curious about which colors mean what in different parts of the world, check out his handy International Color Symbolism Chart!

Shape – The shape of a package can also be personalized. A good example of this is the many brands that offer toothpaste pump bottles vs. those that are in tubes. In this instance, the shape of the packaging changes, and in turn, so does the functionality.

To read more about personalization in packaging and other packaging design trends for 2020, check out this guide!

Solutions For Ensuring Your Packaging Strategies Can Incorporate Personalization

So, now that we’ve established the importance of personalization in your packaging, what are some ways in which you can make it easier to accomplish these types of packaging strategies in your processes?

Well, a lot of your packaging success starts with the technology and design solutions your packaging team uses.

Here are two solutions that will make personalization in your packaging a cinch.

WebCenter

WebCenter can do a lot, including improving visibility of bottlenecks through reports, reducing time on packaging creation by 50%, and speeding up approval cycles. This solution can also make personalizing your packaging much faster without sacrificing quality

As a robust workflow solution, WebCenter allows modifications to packaging to through a more streamlined personalized packaging approach.

MediaBeacon

Whether brands have just a couple of personalized packaging designs or many more, there is a need for ensuring that everyone can attain the brand assets they need to design each package. With MediaBeacon, your team has a single, secure content hub to easily access the same versions of assets to use in current projects or to repurpose for new, relevant projects.

Creative teams often spend copious amounts of time looking for and ultimately failing to find assets they need. Or, they find the asset, but by the time they do, they are behind on their work. Instead of making your talented creators waste time making phone calls, searching their inboxes, and investigating their desktops for clues of where assets could be, invest in DAM.

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