If there are 2 identical items of the similar quality, price or taste- which one do you think will sell more. The one with the plain packaging or colorful creative packaging?
It is almost always the one with the more beautiful packaging or design would sell better.
Generally hypermarkets would often have their own products such as tissue paper, sauces, cleaning products, etc. These products are often priced at a cheaper price than conventional brands so most of the time, they do not bother with the design and packaging because they assumed that people would buy just because it is cheaper.
But recently I noticed a very interesting real life example of how interesting design can increase sales. In Thailand, Tesco Lotus and BigC hypermarket sells their own generic brand of tissue paper.
The picture above shows the design of tissue box under both the brands. The green box is under Tesco Lotus while the colorful elephant design is from BigC. Actually Tesco Lotus has changed their design recently- the prior design is even more boring which is just a plain white tissue box. Now, unless turquoise green is your favourite colour, the design may not be too appealing and the only reason you may buy it is because of the cost.
I have visited BigC and Tesco Lotus. Both these hypermarkets have their own unique positioning but I usually find the items in Tesco to be cheaper. Yet, people would prefer to buy the tissue box from BigC… and tissues, like toilet paper are highly moving consumer products.
The quality of the tissue paper is the same, if not identical. I saw no difference between the quality in both these brands. However, I would prefer the BigC tissue paper box because of its colourful design it immediately brightens up the entire room. And you study the design, it consists of 6 repeated motifs. There are the same elephant with 6 different color and background combination. Then the pattern is arranged differently each roll giving the impression that there are many different patterns.
Another thing is that BigC does not display its name prominently on the tissue box unlike the one in Tesco Lotus or brands from Makro. Retailers could just buy these tissue box and place in their customer areas – the colours does bring in a little cheerfulness.
In the beginning, BigC would probably need to invest a little more in the design and a slightly higher cost in colour printing. Because the price of the tissue box would still be cheaper than what you find in other more popular brands, people would think of visiting the store. And once they are there on their trolley and coming with their families, they are not going to be getting the tissue box alone. They would probably load up the entire week’s worth of groceries and get other items as well.
Through this example, we can see that packaging itself is very important as it can also potentially attract more sales for the outlet.
Another clear example of this is Starbucks. Starbucks does come up with interesting coffee mug designs. There are different designs to suit each personality and preference. Each holiday season there would be a new design out. And to me, they are priced ridiculously high. The price it because if the customer brings in any mug from Starbucks, they would get discount on their Starbucks coffee. So customer figured that if they save $1 from each cup of coffee, it would be worth the $20 that they pay for the mug.
And the customer tends to come back often to Starbucks to buy coffee just for the $1 discount as well as feeling good that they are not further filling up the landfills by using their own mugs. It is also fashionable to be carrying the mug all the way from the Starbucks outlet to the office…. because in the movies it is how the typical corporate culture is being shown. (But what they may not realize that the $5 coffee will quickly add up- if they save the amount rather than use it to buy coffee, they would gain a sustancial amount of savings).
Think of how you can apply the idea above in your business. You can have creative packaging- like a good design of a recycle bag, table calendar or highly consumable and movable items that goes with your business. All you need to do is to invest upfront once in a creative design. See if this strategy can help to grow your business and increase your sales.