What Do Social Media Influencers Look for in Packaging?
There's no denying the ever-expanding role social media plays in consumers' buying decisions, with some brands even designing their packaging with social media in mind. As more people turn to these outlets to gather information, "social media influencers," who can have thousands, or even millions of followers who trust their opinions, play an important role in steering buying decisions.
To offer a glimpse into what these social media super-users look for in packaging, a panel of fashion and beauty bloggers and brand ambassadors — each with a large social media following — discussed their personal packaging preferences on May 16 at Luxe Pack New York. The panel was hosted by Mae Karwowski, founder and CEO of Obviously, which works to connect brands with influencers, who will then try, review and share products with their social media followers. The panelists included Suzanne Spiegowski, whose Instagram following exceeds 31,000; Opal Stewart, who has an Instagram reach of more than 26,000 followers; and Yana Kachalova, who has more than 40,000 followers on Instagram.
Karwowski began the discussion by explaining why packaging and social media go hand-in-hand for modern consumers.
“Packaging has become so important because it’s what you see when you’re on social media,” she said.
Overall, the three panelists agreed on some key factors they look for in packaging.
- Simple is Better – When it comes to packaging that is aesthetically pleasing and looks good on social media, the influencers agreed that packaging should be clean and straightforward.
- Functional – Although a package may look beautiful and initially catch a consumer’s attention, if it isn’t functional, it may lose its appeal.
- Reusable – Another characteristic that the influencers agreed can make packaging more memorable is if it is reusable. Spiegowski explained that in the case of diptyque candles, she especially enjoys the fact that she can reuse the containers to hold makeup brushes and other items when the candle is finished.
- Customized – Kachalova said that she finds customized packaging to be particularly appealing. Personalized items are more likely to be shared on social media, and Karwowski explained customized packaging can make the consumer feel “special.”
- Packaging should be an “experience” – Stewart described the ideal packaging as being experiential. “It needs to be complementary and elevate the product,” she said. “They go hand-in-hand.”
And while brands should certainly focus on making a high-quality product, Kachalova reiterated the importance of packaging as a key piece of the overall marketing puzzle not to be overlooked.
“Packaging isn’t the end all be all,” she said, “the product has to be great, but you’re not going to get the sale in the first place of the packaging isn’t up to par.”