How to Design Packaging that Connects with Teenagers

Group of happy best friends with shopping bags taking selfie

Don’t teens constantly stare at their digital screens all day long? How do they even have time to look up at your product’s packaging?

Well, the one advantage a physical retailer like you has over others is your customers can get their products immediately. There’s no wait.

Yes, you can’t compete with Amazon. That’s nearly impossible to do. But you can get products to your customers now.

And with the current generation of teens, they are one demographic that actually buys more in physical retail outlets than they do online. Why do they do this?

For teens, shopping’s more of a social thing. They do it in groups. It’s a new experience, and one they can do outside of the control and supervision of their parents.

Pew Research has concrete data to back this up. 78% of girls and 75% of boys said they’d rather shop in a physical store than online.

With teens, what’s going to attract their attention with packaging? Here’s some ideas:

  1. For the Most Part, Teens Shop Impulsively Based on This…

This shouldn’t be a surprise. Teens, of course, are busily establishing their identity. So, they want products that represent the identity they have in mind.

As a result, they tend to buy impulsively based on products that match their personal sense of style. While you as an adult buy fast food based on cost and convenience, a teen buys fast food based on the brand that most closely matches their personality. And one way to mimic that is to observe what they wear and have your packaging reflect that.

  1. Sell the Experience, Not the Product

With nearly every consumer, it’s true that they don’t really want your product. Really, what they want is the experience that they get from your product.

With teenagers, that effect is heightened. And again, it goes back to the basic psychology of being a teen.

Remember when you were one? You wanted to do all the things adults could do, like driving, going to the bar, staying up as late as you wanted, being a pro sports star, and so on. So, with your products, your packaging must communicate that you can help your teen customers live the lifestyle they envision.

Finally, remember brand loyalty isn’t big among teens. They want to look cool and live their dream lives. So, consider how your packaging can help them make those dreams a reality, and you might just win over a new market segment.