Right packaging for your product

Packaging the way it’s meant to be, or how to choose the one right packaging for your product.

packaging designBefore we add a new model to our store, it has to go through some kind of usability filter – form the point of view of the consumer and of the business. If the packaging succeeds in both test, well, time for our quality control to their job and the content managers to add a new position to the webstore. This kind of approach has never failed along all these years – when we’ve been searching for new models to add to our portfolio, as well as when consulting our clients in doubt of which one is the best for the product.

So, here’s a simple guide of 5 criteria for packaging to conform in order to simplify and to some extend standardize the process of choosing the right one. We say “yes” to packaging if it is:

Convenient

There do exist some true work–of-art jars packaging designs worth creating a special cosmetic brand just for them, but in real life the sequence is usually reverse. So, number on among parameters is still not the design (in the meaning of beauty), but the convenience – for the manufacturer, the intermediary and the consumer. The rule’s as simple as that: packaging has to act friendly when receiving the filling at the production line and when giving it out in the consumer’s bathroom; it has to fit to the line, the box, the shelf of the warehouse and the store, the bag and the dressing-table. In a perfect world, it should also be re-usable. If a liquid soap bottle can be re-filled from a stand-up pouch or a bigger bottle with more modest design – than it’s a good liquid soap bottle.

Aesthetically pleasing

You don’t actually need a picturized catalogue to define whether your product needs a bottle, a jar or a tube – that’s just a matter of common sense and engineering. When it goes to aesthetics, well, it’s time when the eyes make the choice. The shape, the color, matt or glossy surface, décor possibilities – all this is a basement to attract attention, boost desire, and retain demand and social media engagement. And here is a simple rule to follow: when choosing among design options, let the eyes and fingers choose, but make sure the choice is what the consumer’s eyes and fingers would appreciate, not yours or your colleagues’.

Cost effective

Scarce are the companies able to sell rocks from their CEO’s backyard for 1000$ just by applying a slightly-bitten-apple logo. In most other cases, balance between a design of the dream dispenser and the price consumers are ready to pay for the product is crucial. It’s not just about the nominal cost of the packaging, but also the following expenses coming from transportation and warehousing. For brand existing mainly in the e-commerce dimension, there are also potential losses caused by tough postal and delivery realities. Especially when choosing more sophisticated packaging design instead of extra durability.

Protective

Even the most refined bottle of the world won’t assure a sustainable sales growth if it doesn’t preserve the content. That’s just about what packaging was made for – to save and transport goods. If it doesn’t keep the indicative crème from the air, dust, humidity, germs, leakages and drying out, it’s not pulling off its initial function. It’s not always a matter of poor quality or the manufacturer’s shortcoming – in many cases the problem lies in a mismatch between packaging and content. So, when thinking about reliability of the packaging, your main bother is whether the formula’s density, volatility or oiliness is compatible with the bottle or the jar  (the bottle’s containment and durability are up to the one who’s selling it to you).

Communicative

There are two levels on which packaging communicates with consumers: factual and sensual. Factual is nothing but down-to-land information about the product’s physical features (ingredients, body, intended use and so on). Level two is more subtle and is all about brand communication: positioning, traditions, mission and values of the brand. In a nut shell, just the fact that the product goes in an amber-glass pharmaceutical bottle may tell half the story to a customer passing by the shelf several meters away and not even descrying the text and image on the bottle’s label.

The whole algorithm has nothing to do with life-hacks or “Top 5…” and doesn’t offer any magic, it’s just an approach that has proven itself a thousand times. The only real hack is that the 5 “filters” work best when follow each other in the order suggested in this article.

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