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Packaging plays a determining factor in the purchase decision. At this moment it moves in an unstoppable growth market, very competitive and with a fast and constant evolution in the points of sale.

For that reason, the packaging must be consolidated as a differentiating element and as the main stimulus of the purchase. In this way, and as James Pilditch affirms, packaging becomes the “noiseless agent”.

What would a product be without its Packaging?

As consumers we are frequently unaware of this element that accompanies the product of our interest, but if we visualize our behaviour in the buying cycle as consumers and use of the product, we would perceive its influence on our decisions. This influence is based on:

  1. The selection of the product from among all the alternatives presented to us in the purchase line.
  2. Capacity of the packaging to protect the product.
  3. Easy opening and re-opening.
  4. Integrate container waste easily into selective collection circuits.

There are many functions that we are asking for this element, consciously or unconsciously and that are only perceived when they are not given.

Therefore, in the package “the value, it is assumed”, and when it does not have it, it penalizes directly on the purchase or the repetition of purchase.

So, what are the characteristics of good packaging that ensure the success of the product?

First, it is crucial to consider packaging and product in a global from the initial stages of conceptualization.

  • A very common ERROR occurs when the packaging is not integrated in the initial phase of product design or re-design.
  • Product and packaging should be considered as a whole, the coherence between both elements strengthens the brand image.
  • The consideration of the packaging in the last stages of the product may entail the need for re-designs, delays in launching and therefore, extra costs.

There is no use for a great product whose packaging does not present and protect it properly, and conversely, packaging quality is not synonymous with product quality.

In addition, the consideration of packaging in the last stages of the product may entail the need for re-designs, delays in launching and therefore, extra costs.

Once the initial stage of product and packaging design is over, the “art of seduction” begins.

The product must attract, its clothing is essential in terms of attraction and decision.

In short, the packaging is the advertising that the consumer perceives at the point of sale, therefore it must represent not only the product but also the brand and the company.

  • You must achieve this effect in a few seconds.

The packaging must get:

  • Project brand value
  • Enhance differentiation

Well, although it is already a success to get the product in the shopping cart, it should not frustrate the expectations of the consumer, otherwise the repeat purchase will be penalized.

In order to analyse usability and consumer expectations, we should ask ourselves this question:

What is our reaction as consumers if …?

  1. We spread all the rice when opening the packaging.
  2. The product we have purchased does not correspond to the full colour photo that describes the packaging.
  3. We have to dedicate all the morning of Three Kings’ Day to “extract” the toys tied to the container.
  4. There is no way to open the “clamshell” container that contains the memory card we need now, without the help of scissors, cutter or similar.

This concept is well controlled by Amazon, establishing the principles of “frustration-free” packaging under the FPP guide. Let’s not forget that it costs to capture the consumer and, above all, to retain it.

The food packaging, which must be linked to all the requirements:

  1. The conservation of the food until the established time of life.
  2. The compatibility between packaging material and food.
  3. The adequacy of its size and shape to the ration and use of the potential consumer.
  4. The legal requirements that are required as a food container.
  5. New labelling requirements (more details in “Consumer Food Information: how to adapt the labelling of the package to regulation 1169/2011” at

Therefore, a suitable package underpins the differentiation of the product, helps it to present itself, and can covey the impression that it is better than that of its competitors. You can consult or ask for more information about all these elements. In RepaQ we make the adaptation to regulations, legal requirements, compatibility and adequacy and conservation of food.

The package becomes its own seller, and acts as a link with the consumer since it anticipates what it thinks or expects of the product. It establishes a “non-express communication” with the consumer by suggesting what it contains or what it is supposed to contain.

There are many psychological and visual factors that determine the appropriate choice of colour, shape and materials of the container, depending on the marketing strategy adopted.

These factors are becoming increasingly important and also vary according to the cultural traditions and tastes of each society. We could include them in two broad categories:

1.The visual and tangible

What the packaging communicates visually. It includes those factors that allow the perception and differentiation, in short, the attraction to purchase.

Shape, colour, material … allow the package to be attractive and to be perceived in fractions of a second at a maximum possible distance.

Without forgetting the information or the transmission of useful data for the consumer (price, date, composition …) or of obligatory information (specific labelling of foods, cosmetic products, chemicals …).

2. The deep (or intangible)

It includes the seduction or capacity of fascination or incitement to purchase, the mirror effect or the reflection that makes the packaging of a lifestyle prompting the purchase. Pildritch already said: “The packaging, like a creative seller, should be used to encourage dreams, but selling reality”. You must tell a story in second. A product “wrapped in a message, wrapped in a dream” is sold.