Tech which makes Sense

Does a product remain the same without its packaging? As the saying goes, looks matter, and without a properly designed package, a product is a hard sell, regardless of how good its other attributes may be. In fact, the packaging design represents what the brand stands for just as much as other elements of the brand’s visual identity, and in some cases, the packaging is almost as important as the product itself. After all, what would Coca-Cola be without its famous bottle?

In China, as in other markets, packaging design not only has the role of protecting the product and explaining its attributes and benefits, but also has the role of attracting consumers. Studies show that shoppers generally decide what to buy at the point of sale. To help sell the product successfully, the package must differentiate and characterize the product and ultimately become part of the product experience.

But how can packaging help the brand engage and attract Chinese consumers? What are the factors to consider in designing truly distinctive packaging for the Chinese market?

In this article, Labbrand discusses the impact of packaging design on companies operating in China and, in particular, the issues that product brand managers need to consider before falling into the “culture trap” and developing packaging. that overlooks the differences between China and Western markets.

We’ll look at the components of package design in the order that a customer might perceive them: color; label and font; images, patterns and shapes; and materials

1. Choice of color

Selecting the right color palette for packaging has a lot to do with the ultimate success or failure of product branding. In fact, color plays an important role in a consumer’s purchasing decision. People take a little over a minute to decide on a product they see for the first time, and much of this judgment is based solely on colors. Therefore, the intelligent use of colors in packaging design can contribute not only to differentiating the product from the competition, but also to influence moods and feelings and, ultimately, attitudes towards a product. certain product.

“We all have involuntary physiological and psychological responses to the colors we see,” according to the Chicago-based Color Research Institute, a group that collects information on the human response to color and then sells it to industry. “Colour…affects our appetite, sexual behavior, business life, and leisure time,” says Eric Johnson, the institute’s director of research studies.

In fact, the same color can be perceived very differently in different cultures. For example, green is not popular in Japan, France or Belgium, while it can often be seen on packaging designed for Turkish and Austrian consumers. People from Islamic cultures react negatively to yellow because it symbolizes death, but they like green as it is believed to help fight disease and evil. Europeans associate black with mourning and tend to prefer red, grey, green and blue. In the Netherlands, orange is the national color and can therefore be used to arouse nationalist sentiments.

Colors also have great meaning in Chinese culture. Yellow, as the color that only the emperor could wear, and red, as a symbol of happiness and good luck, are very powerful colors to design product packaging for the market in this country. However, this does not apply to all product categories: Chinese consumers generally find these bright, bright colors attractive for food products, but tend to prefer white and pastel colors for personal care and household items.

For example, General Mills adapts the colors used on its own product packaging for the Chinese market by using bright, bold colors.

Kleenex, on the other hand, features bright colors and slightly abstract flowers on the packages sold in the US, but designs Chinese packaging with pastel colors and small, delicate, lifelike flowers.

2. Label and font

The label and typeface are critical to attracting consumers as they are a prominent visual element on any package.

Different countries have different regulations about what information product labels must or must not contain, therefore the size and layout of the information on the label may need to change in order for the product to enter a certain country. .

In addition to country-specific regulation on labels, the key to marketing the brand to local consumers is the font used on the package. This is especially true in China, where foreign brands adopt Chinese brand names, and consequently Chinese typefaces, to better communicate with the market.

Coca-Cola, to cite a brand that truly masters the art of packaging localization, places as much importance on the Chinese-written brand as on the original English. Chinese typography therefore becomes an integral part of the brand identity in China and shapes the packaging in an unmistakable way.

So much so that the Chinese side of the packaging is the one shown in Coca-Cola’s visual communications and advertisements in the country.

3. Images, patterns and shapes

Researchers estimate that more than 70 percent of purchasing decisions are made at the point of sale. Here the consumer quickly assimilates all the products on display – and also hastily searches for clues that will help him make a decision.

Product brands that are successful in the Chinese market clearly take into account how images and patterns printed on packaging influence consumer decisions towards their own products.

For example, Mirinda, in order to effectively reach the younger segment of the Chinese market, not only uses brighter colors, but also features locally beloved cartoon characters on the packaging.

Pepsi instead draws on local culture, people, icons and activities for inspiration to capture and engage Chinese teens. Pepsi Tin reprocesses all of these elements and uses them to dress up a locally relevant package.

Nivea offers a line of lip balms packaged in smaller solutions than those sold in the west. This is because Chinese consumers tend to prefer smaller pack sizes. This is particularly true for food products, as domestic departments have relatively smaller storage space and refrigerators than in the US or Europe.

4 materials

The material used to produce the packaging is also extremely important to win the preference of the target consumers. For example, a growing segment of the population around the world and in China do not like products that use too much waste material for packaging directly due to environmental concerns.

Price-conscious consumers, by contrast, are less concerned with the quality or recyclability of packaging, and are generally more likely to consider other, more function-oriented factors when purchasing a product. However, these factors often depend on priorities that change depending on the category of goods, the specific product, and the buyer’s available budget.

In other words, the material used to package a product reflects how much the company understands its market.

Colgate, for example, chose to differentiate its products in China by using a packaging material that was hardly used by competitors when the company entered the Chinese market in 1992. Back then, most domestic toothpaste manufacturers used aluminum tubes. . Colgate instead embraced the plastic tube now used by nearly all toothpaste brands, as it is more convenient, durable, and safe for the user. The new packaging material has helped Colgate gain about a third of the market share over the years.

In contrast, Alpenlibe, the candy manufacturer, uses the same size, design and colors in the packaging it sells both in the West and in China, but in the latter case, it wraps its own brand candies in two thick layers of paper. , since the containers are resistant. generally associated in China with higher quality products.

Packaging has incredible power over what people buy. In the same way that people express themselves through the clothes they wear, they also make statements about who they are through the products they buy. In fact, we buy products not only for their functional attributes but also, and perhaps even more important, because these products promise to satisfy desires and longings. The package that wraps the product carries a large part of that promise.

The challenge when it comes to building a consistent “promise” locally is interpreting the global brand identity and creative concept in a meaningful way for the Chinese market. The package design should attract attention, stimulate curiosity, create a connection, and ultimately make the buyer think that the product is the best on offer. China is a country with a long history and rich culture, creating codes in the minds of consumers that must be considered during packaging design. To succeed in China, foreign brands must reinterpret their identity through the eyes of Chinese consumers to truly understand how colors, patterns, images, typeface, and material choices can contribute to creating an experience. of significant product.

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