The country was outraged by news at the end of May that Cadbury's Roses were changing their wrappers, getting rid of the twisted one we’re so familiar with and replacing them with something altogether more modern.
Robert Opie a consumer goods historian who runs the Museum of Brands was reported to be “quietly horrified” at the new changes, explaining that “The razzmatazz of unwrapping sweets is so important. It’s a key part of our enjoyment of our favourite brands.”
It set me thinking. About chocolate generally (nothing new there!) and about packaging specifically, and how important it is to the whole consumer, and consuming, experience.
1. It reinforces the brand message
Apple has to be one of, if not the most, recognised consumer brands on the planet. And it has totally nailed the “less is more” approach to design and branding. What you see is white and yet more white with the small unobtrusive logo, and the lack of encroachment around the logo, actually attributing it more weight and importance. Would an iPhone even be an iPhone if it came in a black box? Of course not.
2. It makes the product stand out on the shelf
Retail display shelves are bulging with products all vying for a share of consumer spend so how do you make your product the one they choose?
Research* shows that the aesthetic aspects of a product’s packaging - colour, brightness, typography, etc. - all influence where the shopper’s eyes will land on the shelf and what he’ll look at. But get him to spend longer looking at it and you’re more likely to make a sale because, as the same research confirmed, the length of time spent looking at a product influences the consumer purchase decision to choose one product or brand over another.
3. It adds value to the product
If you know your gin you’re probably familiar with Bombay Sapphire. Not unique but unusual for gins it comes in blue bottle, a differentiator in itself. Encrust the bottle with Swarovski crystals, and you’ve got a tipple that retails for $4,300! Same gin, different packaging.
An extreme example but by no means an isolated one. Adding a “gift box” to a fragrance, placing a Champagne bottle in a sleeve or a ribbon around a jar can up the perceived value (and price-point).
4. It creates anticipation
With luxury brands, great packaging crafted well can mean removing it gives a sense of unveiling or revealing of the product – all this adding to the anticipation and likely enjoyment of it. Often created through layers which cause a delay between opening the packaging and seeing the item inside it’s reminiscent of unwrapping a gift, even when you’re aware of what the inside holds.
Premium brands especially recognise the need to deliver a joined-up brand experience at every customer touch point and that packaging can have a significant influence on the consumer’s perception of it. In the case of the Cadbury’s Roses I still find them just as irresistible and, despite how they’re wrapped, enjoy them just as much. The new wrappers make them significantly less “rustly” and so, for me and fellow cinema-goers, that has to be considered progress!
* Research from the University of Miami and California Institute of Technology, National Academy of Sciences http://theconsumerfactor.com/en/influence-packaging-consumer-purchase-decision/