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5 Packaging Elements that Influence Consumers

Ever wondered what influences your customers' buying decisions? Subtle packaging elements play a big role. Explore 5 key packaging elements that unconsciously guide your customers' choices and learn how to leverage them for better sales.

Wendy Chan
Wendy ChanLast updated Published 5 min read
5 Packaging Elements that Influence Consumers

When it comes to packaging there is a lot more than meets the eye. The packaging of a product has an unconscious impact on consumers. It is important to be aware of how your designs impact consumer’s buying behavior. Even the smallest of differences can help your product stand out to consumers and in turn, can improve a consumers perception of your brand. After all, a business is not just about who makes the best products or sells the cheapest ones; it’s about how you position yourself amongst your competitors. Here are 5 factors that you should keep in mind when designing packaging for your products:

1. Graphics and Color

Using attractive, colorful and striking packaging is important for any business whether it is established or just starting up. Businesses these days tend to use brighter colors, for example, Spotify changed the shade of green used in its logo from a duller green to a brighter one. Check out the blog before for an insight into why more businesses are following this trend of switching to brighter colors in their logos and packaging.

Spotify logo comparison

Using the correct combination of colors has the ability to evoke certain feelings and has a psychological impact on consumers. This impacts their perception of the product and company and thus influences their decision to buy or not. It has been established that about 90% of the buyers make snap judgements about the products they want to buy on the basis of the color, demonstrating the importance of colors to boost sales.

Check out this color chart below from this blog for a quick reference:

Color guide with descriptions

Promoting sustainable and eco-friendly packaging has become increasingly popular. By implementing sustainable practices into your production process it allows you to use greens and appropriate graphics to promote your product as environmentally beneficial. By simply placing an ‘all natural’, ‘organic’ or ‘eco-friendly’ graphic on your product’s packaging consumers are more likely to trust and select these brands than others. Even utilizing just the color green produces the same effect. There is an underlying sense of health, ethics and safety that is being sold with the product when these aspects are on the packaging. This is a great way of achieving an edge over your competition, especially when there are many substitutes available. How your business operates can be used as a unique selling point, and exploited through using particular graphics and colors to enunciate your company’s ethical and socially responsible practices.

2. Size

PackMojo boxes dim

Did you know that even the size of a box can impact how consumers perceive your product and most importantly your brand? Choosing the correct size box is quintessential to help consumers build the correct perception of your products. According to the Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Management Studies, research has shown that if customers find it difficult to determine the quality of a product, their purchase decision is heavily impacted by the size of the packaging. Consumers also tend to judge packages that are elongated in shape to contain larger sized products. This too can impact consumer buying behavior and if you’re looking to portray your product as sized larger than competitors, this simple trick could make a difference in whether your product is chosen of the aisle. However, with sustainability at the forefront of consumer's minds, it is important to not go overboard and create excessive waste with your packaging.

3. Status

Quality packaging is a great way to legitimize and differentiate your product from its competitors and can be crucial when it comes to promoting your brand. This becomes especially important in saturated markets where competition is high and products are homogenous. Well-designed packaging demonstrates a well-designed and functioning company. Unique and attractive packaging acts as a selling point in itself and can impact your brand image in comparison to your competitors.

Colors magnifying glass

4. Quality

Product packaging reflects quality. Is your product packaging of high quality? This will not only determine the integrity, quality and legitimacy of the product but also an appropriate price that can be charged to prospective consumers. When product packaging is attractive, of high quality and entices potential buyers, the product it represents, sells more often. High-quality packaging portrays your product as being premium regardless of what is being sold, hence more freedom when it comes to price determination.

5. Price

Why is it that consumers are willing to pay higher prices for products that have direct, cheaper substitutes? One factor that packaging can influence is the price consumers are willing to pay for a product. Think of brand perception as an umbrella and packaging as one of the ribs holding it up. The packaging is an important factor in determining product quality. If a product is perceived to be of high quality and luxurious, this allows businesses to charge higher prices as consumers feel as though the higher price is worth it.

At the same time, higher prices also give the perception of a higher quality product. However, if the product is priced higher but does not appear to be of high quality, possibly due to its packaging appearance, consumers may experience the phenomena of cognitive dissonance. Consumers experience cognitive dissonance when choosing which product to purchase, as they have inconsistent thoughts, beliefs or attitudes when comparing prices for substitute products which are cheaper. They may feel as though it is not worth it to buy a more expensive product if a cheaper alternative is available.

Multicolor hang tags

As packaging can help portray that your product is of higher quality, it demonstrates that your product is worth the higher price. This, in turn, reduces any cognitive dissonance experienced by consumers.

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