The marketing job doesn’t end when the sale is made and the product is purchased or shipped.
Many factors contributing to company image and brand perception continue to be in play after the product leaves your premises. Top of the list is likely product performance. There’s something else though, perhaps underappreciated and deserving of more attention, that contributes to the overall customer experience.
The packaging that comes with your product — whether it’s the retail shopping bag, the shipping box, the actual product contents structure or even the B2B product container — can be a strong influencing factor in how you feel about what you just bought.
Case in point is clothing and sports performance marketer Under Armour. Buy something in one of their factory stores and you’ll take your items home in a bag that boldly declares: Everything here was engineered to make you better.
Makes you feel pretty good, right?
The slogan on the bag fits perfectly with the company’s mission, abbreviated as “Under Armour makes you better;” and in longer form: “Under Armour’s mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation.”
It may seem silly, but when a customer walks out the door with that bag, he gets an immediate reinforcement on his purchase. Later, at home, during the unpacking process, the bag provides a second, gratifying reinforcement about the purchase, and anticipation for how wonderful and maybe even fun it will be to wear/use the product.
Of course, putting names, logos and messages on shopping bags and other retail packaging isn’t new. When you put a brand reinforcement message on your packaging though, you’re stepping up your game and maximizing what otherwise would be boring, utilitarian packaging.
For example, you could have an empty bag or product information and positioning messages like Trader Joe’s and Red Dog Tavern.
Pizza boxes offer a terrific marketing opportunity, yet many pizzerias use an unbranded, generic box. Why? Sure it takes a little time and some modest upfront investment to create a custom graphic, but the payback time will be fast.
Leveraging the real estate of your product and/or product delivery packaging isn’t just for consumer products. This idea applies to the B2B world also.
After all, someone, or multiple people at your customer will see and interact with your product. This is a potentially important touch-point. It’s not unreasonably expensive or invasive to the production chain to at least stamp a company logo on the exterior B2B packaging. It may not be a financial hardship to print a short message either. The point is to at least think about such messaging opportunities. You, the B2B supplier, own that real estate and can influence how you are perceived. Why not take advantage?
Harvey Chimoff is a versatile marketing and business team leader who believes good marketing sells. Contact him at StratGo Marketing, a plug-in marketing department resource for company leaders.