Social media packaging
The way consumers interact on social media can drive how packaging can be used to communicate with consumers. There are key emotional drivers that encourage consumers to share their thoughts, feelings and life events with their social network. These drivers can be manipulated by brands to create connections between active marketing activities and real-life packaging.
It’s interesting to position packaging as real-world and digital as imagination, as packaging is thought of as a static element that cannot be easily changed once it has been created. Whereas anything formed digitally can be changed simply, which is comparable in some respects to the way our minds can flick between various thoughts and ideas.
The introduction of digital print to the packaging industry has blurred these lines, as it enables a more creative and reactive approach to packaging design and production.
When considering the use of social media by consumers the emotional satisfaction achieved can be split into four areas:
- Achieve instant gratification
- Find something different
- Build a connection
- Influence other people
Achieve instant gratification
Consumers expect immediate satisfaction. Social media provides the perfect platform to instantly tell a huge amount of people exactly what you think.
The act of buying a product can provide the same feeling. The process develops from discovery to want or even need, on to eventual purchase and feeling of accomplishment. By promoting effectively a consumer will feel as if they need your product.
By combining digital promotions and interactions with the end product the sense of satisfaction can be magnified. Imagine if the consumer could add their own thoughts or sense of style on to a product, it becomes their own creation not just a standard purchase.
The story around the purchase has grown. The overall consumer experience has gone from simple ownership to creative responsibility.
Find something different
Humans are explorers. People who venture to find new and exciting things are held up as heroes. It’s scary to be the first but also exhilarating.
Social media provides the perfect way for people to show off what they are doing or what they have found. The most posted items online include holidays and trips to new places. We like to prove how exciting we are. At the heart of what we do is the desire to be liked by other people.
By providing content that enables consumers to find something different or to be the first, or even the only one, a brand can capitalise on this key element of emotional satisfaction.
Digital can enable a unique approach to all aspects of communication and production. We can now be one in a million not one of millions.
Build a connection
People can build connection with living or inanimate things. We can fall in love with a particular product, discover a favourite food or listen to a song over and over because we just love it.
People connect with things that inspire their senses and satisfy their emotional needs. Brands use this idea to encourage consumers to be drawn to their product. By creating an eco-system around a particular brand or product feelings of connection are more likely to form. On-going interactions can turn lust into love, meaning a consumer will progress their want of a product into a purchase.
So, why not drive this progression at a faster rate using the reactivity of digital interactions and production? Use digital to communicate and draw lines between digital conversations and the product. Connect real-world and imagination.
Influence other people
Egotistical behaviour is a key driver in consumer life. We buy what’s classed as a special purchase as we want to feel good and impress others. If other people look up to us we feel good and we can influence them.
The digital era has allowed a network of influencers to flourish. It is a recognised element of marketing to encourage brand advocates. People buy from people, especially other consumers who we feel we can trust more than somebody directly involved in a brand or product.
Directly linking advocate behaviour with a product is now a simple process. The network of digital communication can now be represented on packaging. A brand can now feature millions of opinions, ideas and advice on packaging by printing packaging digitally.
A piece of packaging design can now be fluid, there’s no need to be restrictive. We are entering an era that will see brands change how they use packaging to communicate with consumers.