Six ways to make your product packaging market itself on social media

Each time a customer buys something from your store or restaurant, whether online or in-person, it's a golden opportunity to get free marketing for your brand. You won't even have to lift a finger since your customers are going to do it for you.

All it takes is focusing on your product packaging design, so that it's unique and attractive enough that your customers voluntarily share it on social media, giving you free publicity.

This is real: In a 2013 study by Dotcom Distribution, almost 4 in 10 respondents admitted to wanting to share an image of an online order on social, if it arrived in unique or branded packaging. Another study from 2016 by Shorr Packaging revealed that YouTube videos with “unboxing" in their title have exploded by 871% since 2010.

Here are six ideas to motivate your customers into sharing pictures of your brand on social media – by making your product packaging design something to remember.

1. Use color to create an emotional reaction

Colors that speak to your customers' emotions create a spark that motivates them to snap pictures of your packaging and share to social. According to Dr. Sally Augustin from Design With Science, colors have emotional correlations, some of which include:

  • • Red – love/danger/excitement/strength
  • • Blue – competence/trust/dependability/security
  • • Orange – value/basic/straightforward

If you own a chocolate store, this could mean selling Valentine's Day chocolates in bright-red boxes, along with the perfect roll labels to display your logo.

Heart Felt Tips (pictured) employ eye-catching postcards to add a burst of color to their clear pencil cases with a brief introduction to what they do and their web address, so people can find out more.

2. Display your logo proudly

Your logo displays your brand identity and values with just a symbol, emblem or letter/wordmark. It has the power to attract attention in the blink of an eye.

Your custom product packaging is the ideal spot for your logo because it has the power to make an ordinary wrapper, box, carton or container look like a visual feast for the eyes. Anything that looks good results in more social shares.

3. Make it easy to open the packaging

Focus on the user experience of your packaging. If your customers cut their fingers or struggle with your packaging to the point of actually damaging the product inside, it's no good.

Not only may people require treatment, but those injured by packaging are sure to take to social – to complain about your brand.

To avoid this PR nightmare, delight your customers by designing easy-to-open packaging, including clear user instructions on how to open it with the least resistance.

Fizz Bath Company add stickers to their resealable zip lock bags, which are easy to open and store without spilling any of their contents.

4. Use vivid imagery

People are visual creatures, and your customers are no different. Studies indicate that imagery on the product's packaging raises shoppers' attention to a brand. To get more people to pay attention to your product packaging design, use colorful imagery.

For example, if you own a hair salon, then the bottles of hairspray or the tubes of molding paste your customers buy should feature images of great hair, enthusiastic people, or the natural world.

Product labels are ideal areas on which to upload fantastic imagery to help sell your product in your store…and then inspire your customers to share their experiences on social after the purchase.

5. Emphasize texture

What can make your customers turn their heads and give otherwise ordinary packaging more attention is texture. Whether embroidery, glitter, stitches or raised lettering, anything that helps them experience your product through the sense of touch is an unexpected bonus that will increase the likelihood of social sharing.

One example is the beauty brand Glossier; its line of products emphasizes texture in its blushes and highlighters. As a result, when you search for #glossier on Instagram, you'll see hundreds of thousands of results.

6. Show off typography

The visual aspect of custom product packaging extends beyond colors and visuals. It includes the words that your customers read. That's why typography that stands out—whether through the fancy lettering of scripts, the boldness of slab serifs, or the readability of sans serifs—is always a winner.

Packaging typography should:

  • • Communicate clearly
  • • Be attractive
  • • Extend your branding

An effective way to deck your packaging with stunning typography is on roll labels that you can customize to fit your branding.

Planning goes a long way

When you're thinking about how to design your brand's packaging, take extra time to consider its feel, attractiveness and how it represents your brand. These little things go a long way toward increasing the chances of your customers sharing your packaging on social, thereby giving you free marketing that your customers will only be too happy to provide.

About Marc Schenker

Marc has been a staff writer for Web Designer Depot and has written for Shopify and SitePoint on many UX and UI-related topics and issues. He also runs The Glorious Company.

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