There are many packaging companies out there, and like any industry, these businesses are not created equally. A standout can make a substantial imprint on the success of your product and your customers’ perception of your brand.
Ultimately, packaging presentation and the customer experience help you boost your sales, maximize your ROI and pad your bottom line.
But the greatest value of sales-driving packaging companies isn’t the execution of the packaging itself. While manufacturing and logistics are unquestionably important, it’s constructive and innovative ideas that inspire the final design and execution that have the most impact. Unique perspectives and strategic thinking open your product up to a new world of packaging possibilities.
The latter two abilities are only possible if you’re working with the right packaging partner, however. It’s not always a matter of which is the best company – An understanding of your industry, consumers, and unique dynamics determine whether a partner is right for your business. Not that a packaging company with no experience in your industry couldn’t do a good job, but they could be limited in their ability to creatively solve your design issues.
With a high-level snapshot complete, let’s dive into the many ways in which working with the right-fitting packaging partner is so important.
Realizing Your Vision On Time and Under Budget
Before even considering the packaging design to use for your product launch, you need to engage in a consultative process. Without it, problems, delays and a poor end-result are virtually inevitable. A good partner not only values this process, but demands it. Your partners want and need to take the time to clarify your goals and needs, identify potential problems and solidify your budget before offering up solutions.
Depicting your needs and aligning to your vision from the beginning not only helps your partner ensure that you get what you pay for, but also that they can deliver your product on time and on budget. Of course, the ability to meet those demands depends on open communication about those needs as well.
A fitting packaging company is realistic about timelines and budget and doesn’t hesitate to openly discuss those constraints. The packaging development process is complex from beginning to end, and often requires great communication between your packager’s sales and technical teams. Those conversations then determine the ranges of time and cost that any given solution may bear. The more openly your partner communicates – especially at the start of your project – the lower the risk of mistakes that derail your project and tarnish your finished package.
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Creativity and an Abundance of Options
There are many companies that will happily provide you with packaging solutions that are right in line with what you ask for, and that may be the exact type of partner you want to work with. However, there may be more effective and cost efficient solutions for your needs. If a packaging partner is unwilling or unable to dig into the reasons why you need certain elements of your packaging, the solution(s) they provide will assuredly be limited.
A creative, imaginative design team can give your product packaging a big lift if you’re open to novel ideas. They need insight into what’s driving your requests, and they may push you to think harder about why you’re asking for them, but that effort is what leads to better design and consumer experiences. A valuable packaging partner will bring its best designs forward and present solutions you may not have thought of.
A wider array of quality materials also helps to give you suitable options that come with different price tags. Perhaps a box can close with tabs, taping, magnets or velcro. Each of these options reflect a different style and effect the overall presentation of your product, and they each come with different costs and time constraints. Your brand or budget will help you whittle down your choices and make a final decision. There is no decision to be made without options, though.
Confidence In Your Packaging Solution
One of many “golden rules” of business is that you get what you pay for. And while there are always caveats, you can safely assume that less expensive services are in most cases inferior. This may be more questionable in retail, where brand premiums can diminish the value of a product. But in packaging, you do tend to get what you pay for.
Some packaging companies can offer you low-cost solutions, but does that mean they’ll cut corners and produce a finished product that falls flat – or worse, look cheap? That’s something you and your team will have to determine, but many companies may decide that working with the cheapest provider isn’t a risk worth taking.
On the other hand, if you know a company will invest its time and resources into uncovering your true needs, developing several potential solutions and communicate the pros and cons of your different options, you’ll be far more confident that your final design and product will meet (or exceed) your expectations.
A Fruitful Ongoing Relationship
Does your point of contact answer your calls or messages quickly? Are you given status updates on a consistent basis? The overall attentiveness of your packaging partner is a sign of their investment in your relationship and their ability to deliver the best solution for your needs.
Fostering a good relationship with your partner is key to you and your products' success in the marketplace. Open and honest communication is the foundation of prosperous partnerships and ensures that the work you complete together is always of high quality. A great partner is thinking of your needs beyond any single project, too. They’ll keep thorough records of all the work you’ve completed together to make the most informed recommendations on future projects.
Which Partner is Right for Your Business?
The most important aspect of finding a good packaging company is determining which partners have the ability to work with your company. Evaluate each company’s history and portfolio of work to assess whether it’s a good fit.
While you may be content with the deliverables of any solid packaging company, working with the right partner will help you capture the most value out of your project – from having many quality options to putting packaging in front of consumers that truly engage them.
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About David Roberge
Part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I'm lucky to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier to be able to share our knowledge with you. I love learning about and helping readers grow their brand through unique, flexible package design from the birth of the product idea, through the supply chain and to the launch and placement on the shelf or at the consumer's door.