One of the biggest challenges a brand faces when launching a new product is trying to figure out the best way to generate consumer interest. After all, most of us are loyal to certain brands and products, and it can be difficult to get people to try something new. This is especially true when the product being marketed has a lot of well-known competitors. How can a marketing team ensure that their brand’s product will be able to be seen- and hopefully purchased- by the right audience? Using custom packaging to help your product stand out against competing brands can help you attract your target market. Of course, not all custom packaging is created equal. Certain factors affect the subconscious mind of the consumer when looking at packaged products, and can make a customer rank products as more or less attractive, based on the physical attributes of the packaging it comes in. A 2013 study (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mar.20651) revealed that attractive packaging triggered more intense brain activity, particularly in the areas of the brain associated with impulsivity when compared with neutral packaging. Additionally, both attractive and unattractive product packaging led to less activity in areas of the brain responsible for reflective thought than neutral packaging. This means that a customer tends to go with his or her gut reaction to a product, and the way it is packaged can make all the difference! Using Custom Packaging to Promote Your Product A product’s packaging can be far more important than you may think. Customers get their first impression of a product by looking at its packaging and can make snap decisions based on their initial reaction. For this reason, it is critical to ensure that your brand new product’s packaging stands up to the ultimate test of consumer preference. But how can you be sure that your product’s custom packaging generates the level of interest and excitement your brand needs to make people purchase the product? Here are some of the key psychological factors that make a consumer choose one brand’s product over another. Color Did you know that most people make subconscious judgments about a product within the first 90 seconds of seeing it? Not only that but the majority of consumers- nearly 85 percent!- base these first impressions on color alone. When it comes to custom packaging your new product, color is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider. Certain colors are believed to be more eye-catching than others, based on research. Using these colors- red, yellow, green, and pink- in your product’s packaging design may help to increase the likelihood of a customer looking at your product first. However, this doesn’t mean that every single product on the market should be packaged in one of these four colors; in fact, doing this would create an opposite effect on consumers, causing them to potentially pass your product up for blending in with all the rest. By ensuring that your product’s custom packaging is in a different color than any of the competitors in your market, you can create what is known as the “isolation effect” and capture your audience’s attention by being different from the rest. Bottom line: if your competitors all use pink in their packaging, use green. Dare to be different, and you may receive more positive attention because of it! It’s also important to consider the emotional connotation certain colors have with people. For example, blue and lavender are considered soothing colors, which is why they may be best suited for calming products, such as spa treatments or moisturizers. Meanwhile, products for the kitchen need to be associated with cleanliness, which is why white or silver are the most popular colors for the packaging of small appliances. By considering your product’s function, you can strike upon the appropriate color for your custom packaging. Shape Quick, what’s the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle? How about a can of Pringles potato chips? Sometimes, it’s the shape of product packaging that makes it stand out against the sea of competitors. While it isn’t often that a product’s custom packaging becomes more iconic than the product itself, like in the two above examples, thinking about how shape can affect a consumer’s choice can help you find the right direction for custom packaging your new product. While there is no such thing as one “right” shape for a product package, there are some things to keep in mind about psychology when you are trying to hit on just the right packaging design. For example, people tend to prefer curves to straight lines and, in fact, show a bias toward sharp, angular shapes in product packaging. This can be because of the way they perceive the product packaging will feel in their hands and naturally gravitate toward packages that are smoother and easier to hold. All of these consumer preferences are something you’ll want to strongly consider f you decide to literally think outside the box when it comes to custom packaging your product. Texture Product packaging that includes a distinctive texture can be beneficial in two distinct ways: not only can it help make your product easily identifiable even by touch, but it can also create a pleasing tactile experience for your customer that gives them a positive association with your brand and the product itself. Choosing a fun texture will encourage consumers to hold your product’s package for longer than they may have with an untextured package. This, of course, can lead to them purchasing the product, even if they didn’t intend to buy anything at all! Smooth matte and high-gloss surfaces can be used to make custom packaging pleasing to the touch, as can soft, fluffy textures. Using texture in your product packaging can also help convey a certain air of elegance or prestige about your brand, causing customers to look upon it as a luxury item. Some brands that market high-end products rely on texture to connote an upscale, sophisticated feeling and make customers feel elegant for choosing them. Depending on the nature of your brand and product, you can make an appropriate choice for a custom packaging texture that makes customers want to hold it forever! Print It’s easy to overlook the print on a product’s custom packaging, especially when you are already thinking about its color, shape, and texture! However, typography can make a huge difference in the success of a product. Since customers who are unfamiliar with your new product will be inspecting the package for information about it, they will be sure to make a stronger connection with packaging that contains a font that resonates with them. It goes without saying that easy-to-read text will help your customers better understand the attributes of your product in a shorter time, but there is something to be said for an ornate script if that font better exemplifies the nature of your brand. Once again, choosing the typography that will accompany your other custom packaging choices is more about understanding the mission and story of your brand: try to choose a font that is short-hand for your brand identity and how you want to be perceived by your audience. For example, products that are more whimsical in nature, such as children’s toys, are best served by a playful, handwritten-looking font, whereas a luxury brand might opt for a serif print font to add a certain old-school weight to the packaging. By understanding how you want your product to be perceived by the public, as well as knowing your target audience, you will be able to hit upon a winning packaging design that can get you noticed by the right people. Be sure to refer to these four key factors and see how your custom packaging design stacks up!