Thinking of a gift for Christmas or a luxury item?

As Christmas nears our thoughts turn to the gifts we’d like to share with our friends and loved ones. Whether we’re aware of it or not, packaging plays a role in influencing what we buy, but compared to other products it perhaps has an even harder role to play.

As the buyer, like every other pack, it needs to play the usual roles of standing out from all of the others and entice me to buy it. However, in its role as a gift I will also be thinking about what the recipient will be thinking of the brand, and what my choice of brand for them says about me. Impressive packaging conveys the message that I care about the recipient – making the way the product is presented especially important.

At the fixture my purchase decision is likely to be much more considered – very different from a ‘grab and go’ approach I might subconsciously adopt when purchasing everyday items.

I like wine. I like the odd brandy or cognac too. But I’m by no means knowledgeable about either category and I’m sure many others aren’t too, yet I buy wine and spirits as gifts. Who hasn’t bought a bottle of wine simply based on what the label looks like? On occasions like this the pack, as well as any point of sale material, needs to educate me as much as possible, but in very basic terms, as to the quality attributes of the product (the taste, the smell and so on).

High-end spirits use unique packs and finishes such as embossing, seals and coloured glass to convey quality and craftsmanship. Perfumes use distinctive packs, both the bottle and outer box, to entice me. In both these categories, and luxury products generally, brands complement the basic pack structure with effects such as tactile surfaces or more subtle detailing that communicates prestige and attention to detail that are expected, and wanted, from a luxury product.

If you’re marketing a luxury brand and you’re on sale in Far East markets like China, then you’ll be very conscious of counterfeiting. I’ve found consumers in those markets want to be reassured that they’re buying the genuine article, and these special touches make the product just that little bit harder to copy, and play a key role in differentiating real products from the fakes.

So if you’re marketing products that might be gifted to someone, bear in mind the additional roles that your pack has to fulfil. For more thoughts from me and other industry commentators on luxury packaging and gifts, read the article in Packaging News here.

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Chris Peach
01962 842211
Article date - 09/12/2013
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