PackagingPicture this: You’re at the store and browsing the snack aisle. You reach to grab a colorfully packaged granola bar and examine the label for company information. Uh-oh. Didn’t you see something negative about that company’s culture on Twitter earlier this week? To be safe, you put the bar back and reach for something else.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by Brand Packaging found that more than ever, consumers are thinking about brands as a whole when they’re filling their shopping carts.

“We used to say we have three seconds to grab someone at the shelf,” Paula Grant, founder, and CEO of Flood Creative told Brand Packaging. “But, now with social media, it’s not just about what you’re buying now; it’s about what you’re buying into.”

In other words, people are increasingly interested in investing their money in companies that embody a similar set of values as their own, be they moral, ethical, or both. Perhaps one of the industries most familiar with this shift is the cosmetics industry, which has experienced increased pressure steer away from certain chemicals and additives over the past decade. Ask your hairdresser about SLS if you need further proof.

Cruelty free logoBut, perhaps the most intense demand came from consumers who were on the search for products marked with a cruelty-free label, most noticeably in the form of a small rabbit. You may have seen it on the back of your lotion or shampoo. Much to the chagrin of some cosmetic companies, the push for the label didn’t just stem from the desire for cuter packaging. (Though, we can’t stress enough how critical packaging and design are to informing and influencing consumers.)

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine conducted a public survey in 2011 and found that a startling 72 percent of respondents were opposed to companies testing products on animals. These participants also reported that they actively avoid purchasing anything from brands that use it.

Of course, not all instances are this severe. Sometimes, people just want to know that a company pays and treats their employees well. Unfortunately, that’s one ingredient you can’t list under a product’s nutrition facts.

The good news is that there’s a variety of ways companies can communicate their values with consumers. For instance, some brands carve out space on a label or pouch to share a tidbit about their origin story. Often, they also include a website where interested people can learn more.

Additionally, brands can be more active and engaged on social media. Consider creating an Instagram or Twitter account where you can show off your beautifully packaged products and introduce followers to members of your organization. The more connected people feel to your company, the more likely it is that they’ll think of you first when they’re shopping.

Another way to establish your company’s character is to look no further than right around you. Here at Label Technology, we decided over a decade ago that our brand would include a commitment to sustainability. We are at the forefront of testing sustainable, compostable, and recyclable packaging resources; and are happy to report that we see these kinds of materials gaining traction with consumers. Our printing process is inherently sustainable utilizing renewable water-based inks, solvent free adhesives and a process that avoids expending greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information about how Label Technology can help your company brand itself through packaging, contact us via email or give us a call. We’d love nothing more than for your company to soar.