What can HBW manufacturers learn from the scrapbooking industry?

September 27, 2013By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

by Jen Johnston

I am going to talk about scrapbooking on this health, beauty, and wellness retailing blog. Why? Well, partly because I am an avid scrapbooker and know the industry pretty well. And partly because I wanted to point out that certain scrapbooking product manufacturers really know their end user, and I think that is something to be admired. They know that 98% of the time their end user is female and that 63% of them are married with children living at home. They know that while these women love their families and that is why they make scrapbooks about their loved ones, they also need an escape, need to feel feminine, and many prefer to scrapbook in the company of other women. They know that to differentiate their products from the ordinary, they need to provide their female customer with an experience.What can HBW product manufacturers learn from the scrapbooking industry about innovative packaging

This uniquely feminine experience is evidenced in that the target audience often wears “scrapbook queen” tee-shirts and tiaras. So when it comes to walking past scrapbooking products on store shelves, the product packaging needs to draw her in and beckon her to buy it, not based on its functionality alone, but also by the experience it provides to her.

I think experiential packaging is important for HBW brands, too. But first, more on scrapbooking.

Eyelets and brads, common embellishments used in the craft, used to come in boring plastic packaging which left many female crafters feeling uninspired. The packaging was functional but really did nothing to draw attention to the product inside. That is, until one clever manufacturer, Queen & Company, came up with the idea to place their eyelets and brads in nail polish bottles and lip gloss containers.

Not only did the unique packaging get noticed, but suddenly, the manufacturer was providing their target audience with an experience – the end user felt feminine, classy, and fun, particularly when she pulled out her supplies at scrapbooking events with other women. In that way, the packaging served yet another purpose; it became somewhat of a “status symbol,” and other women wanting to know, “where can I buy that?”

Same product, different packaging. And that made all the difference.

What is your HBW product doing to provide your end user with an experience? How does your packaging make consumers feel when they walk by. How about once they pick it up? Does it evoke your brand’s positioning? Does it speak to their identity as a person?

Yes, a package can really do all that.

Your package needs to do a lot more than just house your product – it needs to grab your target user’s attention and convince them to purchase it, all within 3-7 seconds. Some products speak for themselves, but others may need to rely on the experience a consumer feels when they look at and then own the product.

Of course, with many HBW products, consumers throw the outer packaging away when they get home, so what does your inner product label communicate to continue that experience the outer packaging provided. And while you won’t often find people using their HBW products as “status symbols” like the scrapbookers, you might have the opportunity to positively impact the medicine cabinet snoopers! (Yes, some people do actually learn about new products by snooping their friends’ medicine cabinets!)

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