It’s often said that the purpose of packaging is to protect and preserve products. But the truth is packaging can be so much more than that.
Think of the time you excitedly tore open the wrapping on a Christmas present on the morning of a childhood Christmas Day. The smell of new leather rushing over you as you opened a shoebox containing a pair of Doc Martens boots that you wanted to save for. The satisfying feeling you got when you first slid a new iPhone out of its sleek, intricately packed carton using the trademark drawer.
Even if you don’t have these exact experiences, you can likely think of several that are similar. These memories can prove to be formative parts of our lives, inspiring us years and decades into the future and forming lifelong relationships between us and our favourite brands.
For brands, that level of emotional engagement is priceless – and achieving it requires considering all the ways consumers engage with their packaging, from pre-purchase to the opening experience and disposal.
Style and substance
It was 2010 when a landmark scientific study confirmed what virtually everyone already knew – the aesthetic design of a pack influences a consumer’s purchasing decision. Naturally, all brands want their packaging to look as good as possible so that it visually engages modern consumers and tempts them to pick it off the shelf amidst a sea of competition.
This is very important, of course, and is easier said than done. But what happens after the consumer has purchased that product? If the packaging is all style and no substance, there’s a good chance the consumer will have a negative experience caused by a damaged product or a frustrating opening experience. If that negative experience is bad enough, then all the exquisite aesthetic design in the world won’t persuade that consumer to buy again.
As important as aesthetics are, they aren’t usually the things that build that relationship between consumer and brand. These things stem from the broader experience of consuming a product – and packaging is a central part of that experience.
Avoiding wrap rage
Of course, most of the positive memories associated with the packaging we’ve experienced tend to revolve around opening it to get at the product inside. The build-up of anticipation and excitement, followed by the rush of endorphins as the packaging is peeled away to reveal its contents.
Studies have shown that the enjoyment – or lack of enjoyment – in this experience leaves a big impression on consumers. A recent consumer survey found that 57% of consumers experience ‘wrap rage’ when trying to open packs. Cartons with no opening device were rated the second most frustrating pack type, as anyone who has had to hack through layers of parcel tape binding their delivery with scissors to get to their item will agree.
That opening experience forms part of a consumer’s perception of a brand or product. If their first experience upon purchasing a new product is one of frustration, that first impression will stick. As in any walk of life, people will not put up with frustration when they know it is unnecessary.
Opening is integral
The easiest way to ensure that any consumer can open packaging easily is to take the inclusive approach. In other words, the opening experience needs to be incorporated into the design of a pack itself by the inclusion of an integral opening mechanism.
This opening mechanism should be made to offer the optimal opening experience without compromising other important aspects of the pack. We’ve covered aesthetics already, but sustainability is hugely important to today’s consumer. Study after study shows that consumers are voting with their wallets for packaging they perceive to be designed sustainably.
That has led to an increase in fibre-based packaging, which is generally easier for consumers to recycle. And it’s this growing demand for easily recyclable, functional, frustration-free solutions that drove us to develop Rippatape® Halo. This paper-based tear tape offers incredible cross-tear strength for a satisfyingly clean tear on carton board products and can be dropped into the paper recycling bin along with the empty carton.
For consumers, this means an easy opening experience. For brands, that opening experience builds a strong relationship and trust with the consumer. And for converters and packaging manufacturers, they’re able to stay ahead of the curve and enhance their product offer for their customers. All of that comes from a simple paper-based tear tape applied to a carton or corrugated box.
By making the decision to include tear tape in your pack design, it won’t be long before your packaging is part of the lifelong relationship between your target consumer and your brand. Now that’s the sort of engagement money can’t buy.
Click here to learn how Rippatape® Halo can help inspire the next generation of happy packaging memories.