What is the importance of packaging?
In a time where your customers can’t visit your restaurant in person, packaging can play an essential role in extending your brand’s experience to them. Moreover, with even offline restaurants going online and delivering food, it’s extremely easy to be forgettable and get lost in the crowd. Hence, innovative and unique packaging helps you leave a long-lasting impression in the minds of customers.
Your packaging is a marketing opportunity that helps you tell your brand story, spread awareness and thus foster customer loyalty. In a crowded space, when you’re fighting for customer attention, it gives you a unique one-on-one interaction with your customers. And, a good unboxing experience can prove to be the difference between a one-time and a returning customer.
Why is it worth allocating your resources towards packaging?
To put simply, packaging is equivalent to your food plating in case of delivery and pick-ups. You can win positive customer ratings even before they taste your food, purely on the merits of your packaging.
The right customized packaging creates a sense of desirability amongst customers to experience your brand’s product, thus it helps you increase your order volumes, generate repeat orders and boost the perception of your brand.
How is packaging vitally a marketing tool?
As mentioned earlier, packaging enables you to convey your brand story and message directly to your customers in a special setting. It leaves your customers in anticipation of the contents of their order and enables you to gratify them by providing a personalized unboxing experience. The opening of the packaging and unraveling the contents from it is a highly engaging customer activity, one which they look forward to sharing with their friends and family. This shared video or image is in fact the most genuine review you can receive, not only does it amplify your brand’s presence but also attracts other customers to experience the same. Therefore, packaging is in essence a marketing tool just like traditional advertising.
How can you get innovative with your packaging and what objectives can you achieve?
There are multiple ideas you can adopt while customizing your packaging, let’s look at a few strategies and their results:
1. Build customer trust by highlighting safety and hygiene.
Given the COVID19 outbreak, health is now a top priority for customers. So much so, that safety and hygiene are now the customers’ primary decision factors. In such a scenario, it is highly beneficial to reinforce your customers' trust by highlighting the measures you’ve taken to guarantee their well-being. This can be communicated through a simple information and instruction sheet, meticulously designed and sent along with your food package. This sheet tells customers the temperatures of the individuals who handled their order and also further instructions they should follow before consuming the food. You can also seal your packaging with branded stickers with instructions to highlight the contents haven’t been tampered with. These simple customizations to your packaging can go a long way and ensure multiple reorders from your customers, thanks to their confidence in your brand.
2. Personalize the experience with a note along with your package.
Go the extra mile and add a personal touch to your packaging; fulfil the all-time high customer expectations with a tailored experience. Include a thank you note, express gratitude towards your customers for trusting you. Ensure the note is handwritten or signed-off personally, from you or your chef, to add a human touch to the experience. This makes way for a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.
3. Extend your brand experience to the customers’ home via your packaging.
Your customers can’t visit you, but you can send your restaurant's vibes to them. Get creative and think of a crucial part of your brand’s customer experience that you can deliver as part of the package. One example is curating a playlist, creating a QR code of the same and adding it to your packaging.
4. Customize your packaging to ensure it resonates with your brand’s identity.
Give attention to every detail of your packaging and customize it to reflect your brand identity. Begin with the containers or the boxes itself, design them to match elements of your restaurant, or keep it simple with just your logo. Ensure every component such as tissue papers, cutlery, cases, etc. are customized, and make it cohesive. Most importantly, ascertain that the packaging is sturdy enough to withstand the travel and preserve the quality of food.
5. Create a social media moment for customers within the packaging.
Your customers actively look forward to sharing their experiences with friends and family, create a moment and give them an opportunity for the same. For example, send them plating instructions or set up a challenge for them to complete. Don’t forget to mention your social media handles and unique hashtags. This makes for genuine social proof and invites others to order from you just like their friends and family.
6. Add a small gift or sample to your package.
While it doesn’t cost you much, adding a small gift which can essentially be a product sample, will leave your customers feeling delighted. The surprise creates a perception of receiving more than what they expected and they look to return this gesture with referrals and reorders. An example of this is adding fortune cookies to the package.
Long story short, apart from your food itself, packaging will decide whether your customer experience is memorable or not. Think of ways unique to your brand which you can add to your packaging and make it special.