Packaging. It’s one of the last and least thought out aspects of product design, but it has a significant impact on how the customer perceives, reacts, and values what’s inside.
Think about it. When you buy something online, and it is delivered to your door, the first real experience you have with the product is the way it is packaged.
You’ve seen all of the unboxing videos for products of all kinds on YouTube. There’s something magical about receiving a package, and the unboxers have figured out how to capitalize on it by sharing that moment vicariously online.
The unboxer receives the package, turns on his video camera where he ceremoniously documents opening the box with all of his thoughts comments and opinions about every step of the process.
A large part of his feelings and comments come from the package itself before it’s even open, the condition, appearance, the weight, design, the quality of the box itself – all of these things he uses to give his opinion about what’s inside before he even sees it for real.
When the packaging is excellent, unusual, or very appealing, the excitement and perceived value of what’s inside is emphasized.
When the packaging is cheap-looking, the delivery condition poor, or the packaging design is non-exclusive, the boxer usually comments about how it appears to be either a generic Chinese item or a knock-off of a real product, solely because of the package.
Think about it, The very first experience your customers will ever have with your products is the box they hold when it is delivered to their doorstep.
The packaging and the design reflect what’s inside, not just buy what it says on the outside, but how what is presented.
Product packaging is nearly always an overlooked opportunity to continue all of the marketing you’ve already been doing.
You’ve paid so much money in marketing costs up to this point – the design of the product, market research, prototypes, manufacturing, shipping to the fulfillment center, websites, videos, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, answering questions by phone or email, credit card processing, fulfillment fees, and finally shipping to their door.
Every one of the steps is done very carefully to enhance the prospective customer’s experience and perception of the product – except for the very last overlooked step – what happens when the customer actually receives the product.
Why, after spending so much time, money and effort, would we drop the ball and ignore the final step?
In all of the clients we’ve worked with, it is always the rare few who are ever even concerned about the packaging of their product. They reason, the customer has already purchased the product, so they think there is no reason for any additional expense or effort after the purchase.
But seeing how the buyer’s perception of the product Is largely influenced by the way that it’s packaged, poor packaging, generic or thoughtless design portray a generic product with suspect quality and leads to increased buyers remorse, disappointment, and uncertainty. Then the buyer reverts to the mindset that he’s back in the decision to phase as to whether he’ll keep it or to return it. He was already convinced when he paid for it online, now he’s ready to backtrack.
When we point this out, many of our clients indicate that it is something that they never thought about. They just took the default factory packaging because it was free, easy, or because they just didn’t know that it was possible to alter the packaging without additional expense.
We’re not saying that you need to spend a considerable amount of money developing some of the beautifully packaged products that you see with Apple or the DJI Mavic Pro products. Yes, these are beautifully packaged, but It’s not necessary to spend that amount of money, or even any money at all to dramatically enhance the packaging of your product and increase the customer’s satisfaction, excitement, and perception of what’s inside.
If you take a look at your product as it comes from the factory, you will notice that they will already print each exterior surface of the box by default. Factory junk.
Who comes up with this design? I’ll tell you. The very lowest paid person at every step in the product design process. And if your product is made in China or anywhere in Asia, It’s likely to be the lowest paid person you would ever meet.
Do you really want a critical decision like this to be made by default, or to be done by the lowest paid person can possibly meet?
No, you really don’t.
Let me give you an example of how this can be done without really any expense at all.
Do you realize that when you print a sheet of paper it costs the same whether you only print a couple of words, use an ugly font, print large letters, small letters, print on a little area or the entire sheet, or whether you have included an image or not, if the design is awful, or if the design is well thought out and appealing?
So if the cost of printing on a sheet of paper is the same no matter what you’re actually printing, then you have a lot of room to come up with a good design for the same cost.
The same goes for most commercial printing – especially single color, black on cardboard boxes.
With a generic cardboard box, it will be one color printing (which is generally black). Your only limitations will usually be how far to the edges of the box you can print. Some boundaries can be crossed, which are usually those edges of the box that are folded. The hard-cut edges will have a margin that they can only print up to, not right to the edge of the cardboard.
So if you take a box cut the glued edges, so it folds out flat, you’ll see the actual piece of cardboard that the factory will be printing on.
That can be thought of similar to a piece of paper where are you able to print just about anything that you can come up with in one color.
Remember, the one color will usually be black, but it can also be printed in various shades of black. A packaging designer who understands one color printing can come up with something that you would be amazed by.
Here’s an example of how we did just that for absolutely zero cost for the client outside of the design time it took to come up with the file to be printed on the boxes.
The biggest thing that you will see when you’ve redesigned the packaging like this is that you will notice a considerable decrease in returns, negative feedback, and potential customer disappointment.
If you have the product that you’re not happy with, or if you’re designing a new product that you’ll be having manufactured in a large factory in the US or Asia – give us a call, we can help you come up with packaging that will further promote and protect your brand, not put it at risk.