Judging a Book By Its Cover….

We’re told time-and-time again we shouldn’t do it. But in my opinion this idiom doesn’t always hold true. Besides, we’re not talking books here…and sometimes the outside is a quite fair representation of what’s on the inside.

Talking specifically about the packaging of a good/consumer packaged good, what the outside looks like can often “make or break” a sale, wouldn’t you agree? I do, and I’ve long been someone who pays close attention to how companies–particularly big brands–are invested in the details of how their products appeal to consumers. Regardless of the quality of the end product (that comes in time, and ultimately where brand loyalty is created) the packaging is often one of the main influencers of purchasing something. We’ll cover that more in future posts, but today I wanted to speak to the follow-up of the purchase, and the continuation of the consumer experience beyond the shelf courtship.

I’m a big fan of Ben Sherman. They’ve not only got great quality product, but the presentation of their goods–both offline in-person and online–are visually appealing. Makes it very easy to solidify a purchase! So recently I bought something via their website, and while over the next few days it’d actually escaped my mind I’d placed the order, was thrilled when I received my shipment. For a few reasons:

1. Immediate recognition of Sender. Not sure about you, but often times when I buy things online, it’s hard to even realize who it’s coming from when I receive the shipment. Not the case here – my memory was all of a sudden jolted and reminded about my purchases.
Sometimes its about the package
2. Consistency of experience through all channels. So what I mean by this is a continuous consumer experience from start-to-finish. One of these for Ben Sherman is the “A Heritage of Modernism” position of their brand. It’s fluid throughout their website, their social channels, and clearly they carry that through their offline channels as well. For me, it creates confidence and trust that I know what I’m getting…and is strengthening my relationship with the brand. In this case Ben Sherman.

Sometimes its about the packageSometimes its about the package Sometimes its about the package

3. The fun, playful attitude of the packaging. It certainly would be so simple for Ben Sherman to deliver their consumer’s purchases in a non-descript, plain package. But through the details of here, it really sets them apart – it’s almost the last “bang” the customer gets before opening-up their purchase and enjoying it.

Sometimes its about the package

Packaging can make or break any product. Specifically, consumer packaged goods. I mean, I don’t know about you but for me how a product appears on the shelf can sing out “Buy me, buy me! You know you want me” or “turn the other way – I’m a good product but my makers didn’t care enough to make the beauty outside match what’s inside.” I think the tail-end of this experience should be given just as much thought and care as the beginning. After all – this is a long-term relationship we’re building here (candlelit wine appreciated from time-to-time…just FYI).

What are your thoughts? Does the creativity, and thought put into packaging (before or after purchase) in any way influence your purchase behavior?

Oh…and just in case you’re wondering, here are my fantastic purchases:

Sometimes its about the package