From shelf placement to home delivery to life in the pantry, your product’s packaging can deliver winning user experiences that nurture your retailers and customers into becoming brand advocates.
Another “Retail Moment of Truth” is what Proctor & Gamble defines as the Second Moment of Truth (SMOT)—the experience that each user has with your product after choosing it.
The actual product—chocolate, perfume, or what have you—is the primary experience, but so too is the box it comes in. Also, the SMOT is important for the retailer, not just the consumer.
Your retailer experiences your product first, so you must make that experience a positive one. In their 2016 Package Development Playbook, Packaging World Magazine reminds us that a well-planned display creates a welcome experience for your retailer throughout your product’s life on the shelf. “The ideal retail-ready package [is] intuitive for the stock person to display correctly [with] easy-to-follow graphic instructions.” To do this, it must be easy to:
Assemble and set into place
Look good while selling down its contents
Refill or replace its contents
Break down and dispose of the display
Here’s an example. JL Darling makes Rite in the Rain all-weather writing paper and tools. In a chaotic sporting goods store, the Rite in the Rain “Pop Box” display dispenser makes it easy for the retail staff to set up and sell individual weatherproof notepads at checkout. The busy stocker can quickly follow clear illustrations on a tear-away panel. The carton lid converts into a deep green pop-up billboard that hangs from a standard hook or presides atop its display on the counter. On the checkout counter, the back of the pop-up header arms the cashier with a clear value statement: “Rite in the Rain is a patented, environmentally responsible, all-weather writing paper that sheds water and enables you to write anywhere, in any weather.”
JL Darling’s display dispenser wins the retailer’s heart. It creates a good experience at the placement stage, and then it makes the seller look smart at the point of purchase. A great product in a great display wins twice at the Retail Moments of Truth!
Tactile User Experience
As Design Packaging’s Creative Director Evelio Mattos noted in a 2015 post, you must “create a great tactile user experience through structural design and material selection.” This is true whether or not your product is purchased in-store. For the product purchased online, a well-designed shipping package can deliver that perfect experience right into our consumer’s home, creating a rich, unveiling experience.
In its branded shipper box with a glove-soft feel, Rivet & Sway makes an elegant entrance at Sasha’s front door, with an assortment of stylish eyeglass frames for her to try on. As she parades in front of the mirror trying to decide if she is a Rebel, a Jetsetter or a Smarty Pants, Katharine Hepburn is right beside her with a famous quote inside the box lid: “If you obey the rules, you miss all the fun.”
Sasha selects her favorite look—perhaps one that matches that new outfit. The shipper box, with its second sealer strip, makes it easy for her to return the demo frames to Rivet & Sway along with her eyeglass prescription. A week later, Sasha's Rebel custom eyeglasses are delivered to her door—in an elegant Rivet & Sway box, of course—with a simple message inside: “Hooray!”
Consumer research expert Perception Research Services compiled the results from several studies to discover which packaging innovations matter most in driving growth. According to PRS, product owners often miss an opportunity to make a package easier to use during its life at home. They discovered that consumers typically don’t complain about packaging that doesn’t fit on the pantry shelf or dispense well. Instead, consumers transfer its contents to a jar, canister or other (unbranded or mis-branded) container.
From its bright yellow, easy-grip canister, Argo Corn Starch is pantry-ready and easy for the cook to measure. The resealable storage container banishes the traditional messy box—or its replacement jar—and keeps the Argo brand front and center, down to the last tablespoon. By using packaging to improve the consumer experience, a great product trusted by cooks for over 100 years has refreshed its identity and reclaimed its visibility in the pantry.
When it comes to consumer product packaging, there is no question that structural innovation drives success in the store, and at home. (Our EMERALD PACKAGE PLANNER can help you create the experience that invites your retailers and customers to become fans.)