Good packaging doesn't just protect the product, it's also the best ambassador for the brand. Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann
EUR 5 million for a cereal box
Retailers sell a box of cereal for around three euros, although an own brand product usually costs under two euros – including the contents, of course. However, regardless of whether it’s a branded product, its real value is five million euros – at least according to experts in the packaging industry. What they’ve got in mind is the equivalent value of the packaging if it were an advertising vehicle (media-equivalent value). A promotional campaign is expensive. It can easily reach millions with outdoor, printed, radio, TV or online advertising. Each advertising expense is matched by a value calculated on the basis of different parameters. After all, investors want to receive returns. And what’s the point of a costly campaign if, at the end of the day, the customer ignores the product on the shelf – for instance, because it just doesn’t appeal to them?
70 per cent of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale (POS) – even if most purchases were originally planned in advance. Thousands of products are vying for consumer attention. This makes the packaging all the more important. As well as providing adequate protection for the contents, it needs to prompt the customer to buy the product. Ideally, therefore, the packaging and the product should form a unit, Where consumers can look at the packaging and draw conclusions about the quality of the contents. If the product looks good on the outside, then this is added value for the company. The manufacturing cost of the packaging can, as it were, be offset against its media-equivalent value. After all, it all needs to be packaged somehow anyway.
The sale of 664 million boxes of chocolates results in 22.3 billion touchpoints. Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann
Purchase decisions at the POS
70 per cent of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale.
Nearly 40 per cent of purchases are spontaneous and made in the actual shop.
Only 30 per cent of customers decide in advance which brand they want to buy and then actually buy it as planned.
More than 15 per cent decide on a specific product group before they go shopping, but don’t settle for a specific item until they get to the POS.
Nearly 10 per cent plan beforehand which brand they want to try, but then try a different product when they get there.
Just under 10 per cent buy something completely different than originally planned.
Attractive and effective
Another reason why packaging is popular with marketing departments is because it tends to stay in people’s homes for quite a while – longer than an advertising leaflet. The consumer usually picks it up several times, strengthening their brand loyalty and increasing the chance that they will buy it again. This valuable contact via the packaging is known as touchpoint contact and is particularly valuable. As a result, the customer links product and advertising – in a rational, emotional and tactile sense. This has a positive impact on the bond between the customer and the product.
A cereal box is worth five million euros – when you include its advertising impact. Photo: tba
In fact, a study by the association Pro Carton has shown that a cereal box generates an average of 45 touchpoints. To be more precise: it is seen 32 times (visual contact) and it is touched 13 times (tactile contact). If, say, 10 million products were sold, the media-equivalent value would be around 4.8 million euros. These details form part of a modelling approach based on projected gross ranges. The value is intended to illustrate one dimension, in particular: the contribution of packaging to the successful marketing of the product.
Packaging has a greater impact on digital natives than on older target groups – despite the fact that young consumers often make their purchases online. What matters is that when they look at the packaging, they draw conclusions about the quality of the product. Photo: rawpixel.com