Product packaging represents an extension of your brand. The packaging you select can attract potential buyers as well as build your company’s reputation. While some business owners view it as an afterthought, product packaging plays an essential role in the customer’s overall user experience. A look at the top seven factors to consider when choosing packaging can help you craft the right vision for your product’s success.
One of the first factors to consider is packaging material. The ideal packaging should have both structural integrity and match the desired aesthetic of your target market. Choosing the right material depends on the product type, industry distribution channel, product safety needs, and retail display. For example, heavy-duty products might require corrugated packaging while lightweight items may use stand-up pouches for easy display and accessibility. Luxury goods may require high-end rigid boxes while cosmetics may need see-through plastic containers to show the product’s texture and color. Some products also require the multi-material design of a sealed bag within a larger storage box. Choosing the right packaging can reinforce your selling points and protect the product before its ultimate delivery to the customer.
Supply Chain and Sales Channel
Choosing the right packaging can also depend upon the product’s supply chain and distribution channel. Products intended for local markets, e-commerce shipping, or mass retail all have different requirements to consider. For example, products for long-distance shipping must have packaging that is durable and resistant to mechanical shock, vibration, temperature changes, or increased humidity. Business owners who wish to sell their products in retail stores must consider shelf space as well as security features like tamper-proof packaging. Companies that move products in high volume must consider storage space, and businesses in sectors like the food industry must also consider additional regulations such as commissary laws. Understanding the supply chain can ensure that the packaging keeps the product in top-notch shape for maximum customer satisfaction.
Graphics and Text
Product packaging is an important way to share information about the specific item as well as the brand at large. Clear, concise text that is easy to read can help the buyer understand the benefits of owning or using your product. Depending on the industry, the text may also need to display ingredients, directions for use, dietary or safety information, recycling or disposal instructions, or product origins. In addition, the graphic design of the packaging can help the item stand out on the shelves and keep the product memorable among customers. Graphics may include the brand logo for marketing consistency as well as any quality assurance seals or guarantees. Most product packaging also includes the company’s URL address to provide customers with the simplest form of contact and to encourage future sales.
Barrier Protection and Safety
The best packaging has professional barrier protection for protection and consumer safety. Barriers provide protection from elements such as oxygen, water, contaminants, humidity, sunlight, or dust. Safeguarding against permeation is a key factor that keeps package contents fresh and usable throughout the intended shelf life. Many companies use automation or industrial-grade sealants to preserve their products. For example, companies that choose small-bag packages may use a ce2500 continuous band sealer for secure closure. Depending on the industry, some businesses may use desiccants or oxygen absorbers to ensure freshness. Providing the appropriate barrier ensures that your product maintains its quality prior to use.
Most businesses operate within a budget. Before deciding on packaging, it is important to consider the total project cost. The total cost may include one-time costs like graphic design as well as per-item costs like materials, printing, assembly, storage, and shipping. Keep in mind that some industries also require you to purchase bar codes or UPC codes for identification purposes. The total cost should provide the best return on investment for your company’s profit goals.
While fancy packaging may seem exciting at first, overly complicated packages are not sustainable in the long run. Most regulators recommend that businesses create a simple, automated packaging process for consistent quality each time. You may also wish to use recycled or recyclable materials to protect the environment and create more eco-friendly image for your brand. Be sure to notate the recycling symbol on any final packaging design.
Social Media and Marketing
In the age of sharing and influencer marketing, it is also smart to choose packaging that looks great on social media. Try snapping a photo of your options or prototypes to determine what looks attractive on camera. You may also consider creating a survey or using a focus group to determine which packaging works best for brand visibility.
Product packaging can represent the embodiment of your brand and image. Although there are multiple factors to consider, there is no reason to feel overwhelmed. Innovative and thoughtful packaging can ensure that your product delivers as promised.