By: David Roberge on March 1st, 2018
What's Not to Love? 4 Ways Product Packaging Makes Your Life Easier
Packaging Materials | The Business of Packaging | Plant Performance | Packaging Design | Shipping Protection | Food Packaging | Packaging Psychology
We talk a lot about the various types of product packaging; from materials to design and other ways to make your products stand out for your customers in the retail markets. But why is packaging itself important?
- Packaging is the protector of the product within. Nothing is worse than spending time and money creating stunning package designs only to have the finished product look less than perfect when they reach their destination. It protects the product from physical impacts in transit to the retailer, distribution center or to the consumer at home and while it awaits purchase on the shelf.
- A well-designed package also delivers a message to your customers about who you are, what your brand stands for and why they should use your products over your competitors. It allows you to connect with your customers and leave a lasting impression.
Here are the top ways packaging benefits you and your consumer, and how it helps get your products from point A to B securely.
1. Quality Protective Packaging Reduces Damage
Even the best, most innovative product won't sell if you can’t deliver it to the customer without damage.
- The most basic benefit of protective packaging is the protection of your product. With use of proper packaging materials, your products remain safe from natural forces like rain, snow, and temperature changes while being transported from one destination to another.
- It also prevents damage from handling as it moves from truck to warehouse. Damage due to rough handling happens despite all the fragile stickers you put on your packages, so a design with this in mind will help to reduce the amount of damaged goods you will deal with.
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- Product security can be provided through effective packaging protection. Your packages can include certain measures to make products tamper-resistant and/or tamper evident, reducing theft, while also helping to prevent harm to others from potentially dangerous products.
- In addition to the damage that the product will encounter physically, packaging materials help increase shelf-life of your product and decrease the amount of waste produced by the consumer and from un-purchased goods.
2. Improves Efficiencies
- Once your finished good is ready to ship out, there will most likely be a few points of contact from shipment to shelf. Whether it’s in a warehouse for distribution or a storage facility where you hold your inventory, your packages will be moved around quite a bit.
- Strategic packaging of your products themselves as well as the packaging processes and materials used to protect during travel on pallets and proper labeling systems can make storing your inventory simple and organized, reducing your overhead costs and eliminating shipping errors or delays.
- Visualize your products entire lifecycle from finished good to end-user. As a logistics manager, your focus on weight and space is integral to the ideal package. Bulky, heavy packaging makes your overall costs soar with freight costs and makes the product more difficult to handle. Flexible packaging materials that reduce weight while providing proper protection can keep costs down and productivity up. Many flexible films are also recyclable, enhancing your brands corporate responsibility.
- Newer flexible materials can provide the same protection and durability as glass and corrugated packaging, reducing the amount of packaging required per product while also improving your packaging speeds.
3. Product Marketing
- While your print ads and website may seem like your main way to market to customers, your packaging is probably the easiest and most effective! Your packaging is the front line of your marketing campaigns and through the right design and messaging, packages can help sell a product and differentiate it from similar products.
- Your packaging can also help promote your brand and engage with customers.
- Encouraging buyers to reach out on social media platforms with your packaging is a great opportunity to improve your brand’s reach online and encourage your target markets to spread the word about your products and your brand.
- Your package is your voice to the consumer, utilize it to promote your company's tag lines and characters that make your brand unique and memorable.
- If you don’t have effective and attractive packaging that speaks to the branding of your company, you are missing out on potentially differentiating yourself from other brands and positive attention from the consumers you want most.
4. Connecting With Your Customers Emotionally
- There is a lot of psychology involved in the strategy for winning packaging design. You don't need a degree in psychology to understand your target market, but it doesn't hurt. Understanding your target markets desires and emotional needs can help you design a package that drives a real connection with your product.
- Consumers are more likely to re-purchase a product when they have a positive emotional response to a package. They will often attribute this positive response subconsciously to this product as well.
- Utilizing the technologies available today you can create an entertaining visual experience that explains your products purpose and drives word-of-mouth purchases. An outstanding example can be taken from the wine maker, 19 crimes. When you download their app and point your phones camera at the bottle, the bottle becomes animated, immersing you in one of 19 unique stories!
- Things like color, shape, and texture can all trigger an emotional connection with a customer.
- Having this unique type of response from your packaging makes you stand out from the rest.
- Everyone can remember the packaging of that awesome present they received. A unique and pleasant un-packaging; or un-boxing experience; drives home the fact that you care about the consumer on a more personal level.
While what’s on the outside of your products might seem less important than the products within, your product packaging is the first thing your customers see when interacting with your brand, and it's responsible for getting your product to the shelf in a visually-appealing, protected exterior. This makes packaging just as important as the product it holds within!
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About David Roberge
I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.