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It’s Time To Understand The Online “Package” – 3 Tips For Success

Posted By: SGK July 29, 2014

As marketers we need to think of packaging in all the ways consumers experience a brand, whether that’s online or in the store. While most physical packages were designed to compete in a specific context, typically on shelves, smart brands know they can’t allow this consumer connection to suffer online.

Simply taking assets and tools developed for the traditional retail trade and repurposing them to fit online won’t work. These “mug shot images” only indicate what is sold in retail stores; they don’t leverage the advantages of the online shopping environment. 

This begs a crucial question: How can we use a brand’s equities more fluidly and efficiently across a broad array of selling environments? 

Here are three tactics for making the strategic work of brand architecture pay off online:

1.    Think More Analytically
The good news is that online, we’re given permission to do more selling and more communicating than in-store. At the start of the marketing concept process, think analytically about engagement and conversion and understand how each figures into every context. When the mediums support each other early on, you’ll be able to avoid a situation where the core physical package is beautiful but everything else is dilutive of the overall brand experience. 

2.    Apply Your Learning
Brands whose marketing tools are optimized for multiple environments will outperform those that simply regurgitate resources created for traditional retail shelves. This must be done concurrently, with this key understanding: all shelves deserve customized attention, but all must be mutually reinforcing. That's because we know consumers will be shopping across different shelf types (local grocery stores, club stores and online).

3.    Remove Barriers  
This approach will put pressure on online partners to allow for deeper brand experiences than simply copy-based product spec information. It will require brands to develop visual and copy assets that can be shared nimbly but powerfully across “shelves.” And it will require collaboration between suppliers and retailers along the lines of what happened in brick and mortar in the past. 

The result will be a new online retail “shelf” and a new definition of packaging itself. And the brands that do these best will be the ones we’re all talking about tomorrow.