(Or, navigating the navigation - a packaging essential)
Walk into a retail environment and look around. Start counting the brands you can identify and those you can't. If you start to feel like you're counting stars in the sky (minus the romance), you're getting it.
Navigating in the age of pirates and treasure chests involved the challenge of crossing vast oceans. Today, consumers face the overwhelming task of navigating vast megastores instead, stocked with brands and packages from all over the world.
Help the pirate reach your treasure trove by considering the importance of navigation when packaging your product and releasing it to the open market.
What happens when a consumer walks down the aisle? Exactly how is your package happily tossed into her cart? By using design tools, consumer are given navigation clues to reach the destination you set out for them. There are navigation elements that help move them through the category of options. And there are elements that get them to the exact SKU within your display of options.
Navigation involves visual clues like type, color, pattern, words, shapes and anything else visible. Some parts of a package serve to connect it to the larger family of products, while other elements make the package utterly distinctive. The full effect of these elements can only be understood by looking at the category as a whole, i.e. context matters.
And what about the aisle experience? Until you spend time observing and analyzing why consumers do what they do, it may appear that they're behaving quite erratically. Consumer behavior may seem irrational until ideas surface that address the behavior, and then the consumers are rational and valuable to the brand manager who achieves this greater understanding.
To learn more about the other essential factors of good packaging, check out our latest book, Design Matters // Packaging 01.