If you’ve developed a new product in a popular category, it’s critical to find ways to make your product unique. You know your merchandise is precisely what your customers are looking for. The question is, how do you make sure they find it and recognize its superior value? As you prepare to introduce your offering to retailers, you must learn how to make your product stand out from competitors. It requires a careful blend of branding, communications and in-store messaging.
At Creative Displays Now, we’ve been doing just that for nearly 60 years. Here are our best tips to help your product stand out from the crowd.
- Be Human
- Show Your Strengths
- Build Relationships With Customers
- Have a Unique Culture and Mission
- Try Custom Product Packaging
- Work With Creative Displays Now for Custom Retail Displays and Packaging
Your product should solve a human need or problem. Even with hundreds of coffee brands in the world, they can all share the marketplace because they solve people’s fundamental needs. Whether it’s a craving for a great-tasting hot beverage, a need for energy and focus or a desire for a luxurious experience, coffee can be the solution. The specific need a particular brand of coffee fulfills can lie in the branding.
The same coffee beans can be dressed up as gourmet, organic, bold-flavored, smooth-tasting or any other number of things based on how they’re marketed and packaged.
Another way your product can be human is by solving specific needs within a product category. Maybe you’ve developed a wireless mouse with a more comfortable, ergonomic design than others on the market. You might have a granola bar with a unique ingredient others aren’t using, such as a particular grain or superfruit. Perhaps you have a lotion formulated for a specific skin concern. Whatever you’ve done differently, highlight that in your branding. Consumers with the problem your product solves will see how yours stands out from the rest.
Sometimes, we forget customers don’t buy from businesses. They buy from people. The difference between another product on the shelf and the one that hits home with shoppers is how the offering and brand incorporate personality. Humanize your website and social media strategy. Create an “about us” page that genuinely shows people who you are. Tell your brand’s story and inject the page with personality, not jargon. A fantastic formula for an “about us” story begins with your founder discovering a problem and solving it with a unique product.
Any customer interaction should feel personal. Write your social media messages and emails the way a person talks. Let your customer service reps use their names. Address emails to your customers’ first names and sign them with your own first name. Respond to comments on your social media channels, answer questions and create posts to inspire conversation.
Show your authenticity and trust through your product’s packaging or branding, too. One way to do this is by making your merchandise visible through the packaging. When customers see the product itself, they can trust it’s well made and will solve their needs. If you don’t want to expose the product through the packaging or use transparent materials, display a beautiful photo of the product on the box. Another option is to use a simplistic design that lets the offering and brand speak for themselves.
Show Your Strengths
Even in a competitive product category, you have something you do better than anyone else. Whatever your point of differentiation is, play to it. Identify what works for your product and build on it. What drives conversions and purchases? Is it your price point, ingredients list, quality performance or something else? Whatever it is that drives people to the checkout aisle is what you should focus on.
Emphasize your strengths in the packaging and retail display design. For example, we once built a product display featuring a kitty litter lift test. The display proved how lightweight our client’s product was. While the client could market their formula across channels, letting customers feel it with their own hands made the connection crystal clear. Our point-of-purchase (POP) display played on the product’s strength.
Another way to emphasize a product’s strength is through your messaging. For example, we helped one of our clients launch a new printer with an in-store display. The text highlighted that it had the world’s lowest black ink usage, and an ink monster graphic drew attention to the cost savings.
Evaluate your product’s strengths and capitalize on them. If you have a popular niche product people go out of their way to find, consider making it more available. If products are only for sale through your website, your customers would probably love to see them in their local stores. If your product is only available at select locations, expanding to new stores will naturally grow your customer base.
Another option is to use your brand’s current visibility to expand into a new market. If you’re well known in a particular market, leverage your status as a household name to chart new territory. Pick a new market related to your current offering, where your brand’s success can carry over. For example, if you’re known as a health food brand, you could find a new market in healthy drinks or even vitamins. Let your brand’s current strengths lead the way to help your next product stand out.
Build Relationships With Customers
Your social media, email and other platforms are communication tools. Use them to your advantage by communicating early and often. Welcome new customers with personalized messaging. Let your loyal consumers be the first to know about new launches. When you communicate with your customers, be honest. Don’t try to turn your products into something they’re not, and be sure to take responsibility for mistakes.
Your customers are on social media to connect with people. Use your social media platforms to strengthen your connections, rather than promote your product. Spark conversations with your patrons and ask them for feedback. Developing new products based on their suggestions will show you value your customers’ opinions. It will also yield a product real people want to buy.
Another way to build relationships is to reward loyalty. The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry faces unique challenges with loyalty programs. It’s harder to track customer loyalty when shoppers may buy products from different retailers. One way to do this is by printing a coupon inside the product packaging, letting a loyal customer get a deal on their next purchase. CPG companies can also develop more formal loyalty programs by asking shoppers to upload receipts. This program can give you access to personalized customer data to strengthen your consumer relationships even more.
After taking the time to build customer relationships, drive your efforts home with POP communications. In-store displays let you reach your patrons in the retail setting when they’re ready to buy. These displays build on your existing relationships by making your product more prominent in the store. As they draw your customers’ eyes in, they act as the final reminder needed to trigger a sale. The right display can also introduce your product to new consumers, setting the grounds for a new relationship right in the store.
Have a Unique Culture and Mission
Most products on retail shelves aren’t much different from those around them. One area where you can make your product unique is in your brand culture and mission. It’s essential to have a clear mission and develop branding around it. For example, in the CPG industry, many brands envelop their products in a mission of giving back. Using recyclable packaging and sustainable ingredients makes that vision tangible. Consumers who believe in the mission will connect with your product when they see the package’s recycling symbol.
A toy company might adopt a mission related to inspiring young minds and innovating new ways to have fun. They can reflect that mission in their retail messaging with creative, interactive product displays. They might entice kids with bright colors and relatable, kid-friendly graphics.
Stemming from your mission is your brand culture. Everything from your company story to your marketing cultivates a culture around your products and employees. When your organizational culture matches your brand, your employees will support and engage with it. They’ll live and breathe the messaging you want to convey to customers. Your corporate culture will ultimately strengthen your product’s brand positioning in the marketplace. Over three years, 58% of purpose-oriented workplaces saw 10% growth. Only 42% of companies without a clearly defined purpose achieved a similar increase.
Consider how many tech companies are known for their cultures alongside their products. Some employees go on luxurious corporate retreats, and others combine work and play with elaborate on-site office amenities. The cut-above experience these businesses provide employees reflects the superior user experience they infuse into their products. Employees and customers alike benefit from a strong workplace culture because it builds stronger products and branding.
You can build your brand into your company culture, too. It all depends on the value proposition you offer your customers through your brand identity. A sports drink company focusing on product performance can show that in their culture by celebrating achievement, excellence and consistency among their staff. A company positioning their new tech product as a category disruptor might encourage its team to take risks and engage in friendly competition.
Try Custom Product Packaging
Packaging does more than protect products from the outside world. It’s a key differentiator on store shelves, helping your product stand out from competing items in your category. It’s a tangible manifestation of your brand and lets you communicate your unique selling proposition right on the label. After improving their product packaging, 30% of businesses report an increase in revenue. Meanwhile, 72% of consumers say packaging design influences their purchasing decisions.
Packaging is one of the most effective ways to make your product stand out on store shelves. Here are some tips on how to get the most from your product packaging.
Use Simple Designs
In a busy retail market, it’s tempting to design packaging in the hopes that it will be louder and more attention-grabbing than your competitors. In some respects, this strategy could work. However, you must be careful not to let bright colors distract from the product itself. Intricate designs are hard to make sense of and could make customers’ eyes gloss over rather than grab their attention. A simple design is striking and appealing. The best packaging designs highlight the product rather than speak over it.
Simple design means every color and line of text has meaning and contributes to a shopper’s understanding of the product. We recommend using fewer colors, readable fonts and minimalist graphics. When all the design elements play off each other and contribute to a cohesive package, the messaging jumps off the shelves. Customers instantly see your product and the needs it solves.
Communicate Through Packaging
When seeing an unfamiliar product for the first time, customers need a way to understand what they see quickly. This is crucial with innovative products establishing a market need. The package’s messaging and graphics should communicate precisely how to use it and why customers might need it. A retail POP display surrounding the products can also communicate usage. If your product solves a niche problem, help your customer recognize the issue within the packaging or display design.
Use Color Effectively
The colors on your packaging should be thoughtful and align with your brand. If you have a brand with many different products, use specific colors to differentiate this item from the others in your brand. When choosing colors, pay attention to:
- Emotions: Colors have a powerful influence on emotions and prime customers with specific associations. The colors on your packaging should reflect the feelings and connections customers have with your product. For example, people tend to associate blue with trustworthiness. Green or brown can reflect earthiness, organic ingredients or sustainability. However, a brown label on a bottle of water might give customers the wrong impressions.
- Flavor: If you have a food product, color plays a big part in communicating taste. Brown usually indicates chocolate, coffee or hearty grains. Red could mean strawberry, cherry or peppermint. White, blue and green portray minty flavors.
- Target audience: Wouldn’t it be great if your product packaging was your customers’ favorite color? While you can’t please everybody, your colors communicate who your product is for. For example, bold, dark colors usually speak more to adults, while pastels or primary hues can attract young children. The specific color combinations you use tell shoppers who a product is for.
Update Packaging Regularly
Like your marketing campaigns, packaging can quickly go stale. If regular shoppers pass by the same shelves week after week in their favorite store, it won’t take long for your product to fade into the background. Design trends and tastes shift, and your packaging must follow suit.
It’s also smart to align your packaging with current marketing campaigns or seasonal events. A children’s toy can garner a few more sales with holiday-themed packaging. You could also position a candy or tech item as a stocking stuffer in the winter. A cleaning product could use a “spring cleaning” message on the label as the weather warms up.
Work With the Pros
Creative Displays Now offers customizable cardboard packaging for a range of retail products. Corrugated product packaging is especially effective since 71% of consumers are more likely to buy brands that package their products in paper or cardboard over other materials.
Through cardboard’s versatility, we can tailor an outstanding retail package design with the size, colors and messaging you need. Our in-house production gives us complete control over the quality and production timeline. Meanwhile, our nearly 60 years in the business provides us with the expertise you need for convincing packaging.
Work With Creative Displays Now for Custom Retail Displays and Packaging
At Creative Displays Now, we’re experts in POP marketing. We design one-of-a-kind retail displays and product packaging that get your products noticed in the sea of competitors. Whether you’re a new company or a long-standing brand, we can develop retail displays and packaging that differentiate your items and communicate your unique offering. We control our entire process in-house to guarantee fast turnaround alongside high-quality design, printing and manufacturing.