Creative Bottling as a CPG Marketing Tool
While manufacturers typically view marketing and packaging as two completely separate entities, the truth is that they are inextricably intertwined. For products sold in retail settings, the packaging is often the first point of contact with a potential consumer. It should stand out from the crowd, convey a clear branding message and entice the customer to pick it up off the shelf.
With liquid products, the importance of packaging is only heightened. Because of the unique challenges of shipping and storing a liquid product outside of its packaging, these branded bottles are far more likely to remain in use throughout the product’s life. The dual purpose of bottle packaging is function and branding; a unique bottle design is more likely to be taken off the shelf and into the consumer’s home.
Shape of the Bottle Itself
When you think of a bottle, some version of a plastic cylinder is most likely what comes to mind. These round models are popular for good reason — a circular design allows the greatest volume of liquid product to be held with the smallest possible surface area of materials used. But moving beyond a plain cylinder can provide a competitive edge against other brands.
Geometric designs such as rectangular bottles or triangular prisms with straight walls offer a bold, striking appearance, and allow for efficient storage. Bottles that are intended to spend more time in the hands of the consumer, such as beverage bottles, are showing a rapid trend towards ergonomic designs intended to more comfortably fit into the hand. Slimmer “waists,” divots for fingers and walls firm enough to prevent crushing are all selling points for the ergonomic bottle.
Color and Texture
Smooth, clear plastic is no longer the only way to go for liquid packaging. For some liquid products, clear packaging is the obvious choice because it allows the consumer to see exactly how much of the product is left, and also showcases the visual appearance of the product, if this is a selling point. For products where these factors are less important, bold, consistent colors can create a powerful branding message that will make your products easily recognizable. Incorporating colored graphics and elements into an otherwise clear bottle is a powerful way to achieve both.
Creating a textured outer surface for a bottle can not only provide a pleasing visual effect it can also make the product easily recognizable the moment it is grabbed — without even being seen. A custom sensation in the hand while holding the bottle can become an iconic consumer experience.
Choices for the Conscientious Consumer
In today’s increasingly connected world, more and more consumers are consulting their conscience when making their purchasing decisions. Awareness of environmental issues is currently at an all-time high, so a bottle marked as ecologically conscious is likely to be chosen over a similar product in a bottle that is not distinguished as such. Packaging solutions that eliminate the elements most dangerous to wildlife if they were to end up, for example, in the ocean, are popular for the same reason. Consumers are also more and more aware of the chemical composition of the products and packaging they choose, eschewing elements such as BPA now more than ever. A conscious choice to hone the packaging material’s formula and advertise this change can draw in a whole new demographic of consumers.
Krys Beal, part of E-PAK Machinery, Inc.’s inside sales and marketing department, has over 19 years of experience in the manufacturing equipment industry with expertise in filling, capping and bottling equipment.