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Maximizing the 5 Senses with Product Packaging

Custom box packaging for candy

Product packaging can capture a great deal of attention from the shelf. It also presents an opportunity to engage with all five senses to create a truly memorable brand experience. Sensory interactions with products can help increase sales, improve customers’ ability to recall your brand, and boost loyalty.

Here is a look at how packaging can influence each sense:

Visual

Visually appealing packaging

Before a potential customer reaches to grab a product from the shelf, packaging must first grab their visual attention. Most information that the brain gathers comes from visual cues. If your packaging isn’t visually appealing, you risk not being able to leave an impression on the other senses.


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Catching a customer’s eye is perhaps the most important aspect of designing a packaging design that stands out on the shelf. To create impactful visual effects on packaging, brand managers and packaging designers can choose from a variety of press and off-press effects including:

  • UV coatings for a high gloss finish
  • pearlescent coatings for luxurious shimmer
  • glitter coatings for a bold look
  • metallic sheens
  • foils (hot, cold, holographic and more)

Expert application of coatings, varnishes, and press and off-press effects can result in a packaging that draws the eye in from a distance and makes the packaging jump off the shelf.

Auditory

Sound is an unexpected and delightful addition to packaging

Packaging that makes sounds is sure to captivate your audience because it is often an unexpected sensory experience. There are a number of ways brand managers can incorporate sounds into their packaging, such as specialized snaps and closures.

Depending on the product, you also may be able to add music or sound elements to further speak to your brand’s image. For example, a spirit brand promoted by a musician could have a musical clip implemented into the packaging design with a micro-speaker that would activate when someone handled the packaging.

Tactile

Achieve a tactile experience with coatings, finishes and press effects

It isn’t just about looks. Touch is a major factor in purchasing decisions. When customers reach for a certain product on the shelf, the box has to feel a certain way to their fingertips.

The tactile experience should convey something specific about your product. To achieve a tactile experience, packaging designers can implement a variety of coatings, finishes and press effects such as:

  • soft touch coatings for a velvety texture
  • raised UV coatings
  • grit and sandpaper for a coarse and rugged effect
  • reticulation effects for unique patterns
  • multi-level embossing/debossing

Appropriate tactile experience relevant to the packaging design

Choosing elements that create a tactile experience should be well planned and help reinforce branding and product elements. For example, a cosmetics manufacturer selling a skin refining cream may not want to choose a gritty finish as their tactile element. Depending on your product, a soft finish, a raised finish or a sandpaper coating may be the right choice.

Olfactory

Scent is the sense most directly tied to memory

Scent is the sense most directly tied to memory. Not only will a scented package help customers recall your product, but it also helps you offer a package design unlike any other. Scents can evoke the product’s flavor and give consumers a better idea of what they are purchasing.

Printable inks, scented varnishes or even scratch and sniff areas can be used to create an olfactory experience which creates an opportunity for more engagement with the packaging and improved brand awareness.

Gustatory

Convey the flavor of your product with packaging design

While it may seem difficult to convey the flavor of your product to consumers before they buy it, you can accomplish this through visual cues that evoke the taste of your product. Design elements like great photography and clear windowing that gives buyers a clear view of your product help activate the taste buds.

Convey flavor with visual cues, photography or a window thru the packaging

Food manufacturers can also use sensors that indicate a product’s freshness on the package.

Multisensory packaging creates an unforgettable experience for customers. Contact JohnsByrne today to find out how you can incorporate the five senses into your packaging.

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