Even the best product needs an appealing packaging to make it stick with the customer. For the same reason, a wrong choice of packaging can be very detrimental to the success of the product. Like the adage, the first impression always is the best impression and marketers are focusing on packaging more than ever in a world where competition allows only the best to survive.
A wide range of packing boxes are available and depending on what gets into it manufacturers choose the material. But even before the choice of packaging material, there are several factors that should be considered. Let us, therefore, explore some of these factors:-
Your packaging should travel well
A killer design is undoubtedly essential, but it also should be able to move from point A to B without suffering any significant damage and should be comfortable to handle. Packaging fragile or bulky material would mean that your focus should be on strength. Similarly when an outward display is important such as in the case of the package sitting on the retailer’s shelf like a proud peacock, then the external display comes into focus. However, this is an area that should not cause much worry since technology behind colours and printing technology itself has come a long way from it was a few decades ago. Today, you can mix and match a sea of colours before a chosen design gets printed. You can even pre-coat the surface on which your design is to be printed to add strength as well as visual appeal.
You should also consider how well the packages stack. This will ensure that people who handle the packages from the point of origin to its destination handle them well and with ease. For a lightweight material such as electronic products or components, and blister packing sheets are widely chosen to provide a cushioning effect and prevent damage to the delicate content.
Corrugated boards are now available in bio-degradable paper as well as acrylic (plastic family) and can be converted into desired size and shapes according to your needs. These sheets come in varying thickness with or without the flute. A 3 ply sheet means three independent sheets are sandwiched together to make a single sheet. These sheets are then fabricated to the desired size and shape.
Corrugated birds are sturdy enough for heavy-duty and the acrylic corrugated sheets are capable of being tossed around without causing serious damage to the contents.
Choose to package with focus on the content
While choosing to package, the content comes first. In other words, you should be picking packaging that suits the content and not the other way around.
Paperboard performs well for lightweight content and comes with exceptional printing results too. This type of packing is best suited for a diary, food, cosmetics, hardware, pharmaceutical products and host of other retail products.
As explained earlier, these are a flexible type of boards ideal for heavy or fragile items, e-commerce packaging and shipping cartons.
Cling film/shrink film
Cling wrap or Cling film is a relatively new entrant in the packaging space. Think of a dozen pet bottles with content being wrapped around similar to a box. A major advantage with this type of packing is that they are stackable and there is no worry of getting the empty boxes back. Depending on the volumes you use, this can be a cost-effective packing too. Aerated drinks and liquor industries use this widely.
When you have products coming in say, 4 different sizes, you can design two packages to accommodate all the 4 products than producing 4 different packages. However, you will need to be savvy with design and economical with dimensions to achieve this. But, that would be a measure that brings consistency, savings in money and time across your product line.
Understand market preferences
A 2013 study of packaging preferences for Indian consumers showed that smaller packaging of cosmetics was preferred over the bigger pack sizes. The 10 ml shampoo packaging constituted a revelation for the entire cosmetic industry after one brand stole the limelight with its 10 ml offerings. Today a host of products in the cosmetics and other consumer brands have adopted the 10 ml sachets and some 98% of all shampoo sold in India today is accounted for by the 10 ml sachets.
Understanding your audience
Any amount of effort that you put into packaging your product/s can be set to nought if it does not appeal to your audience. For instance, most customers would want to see a liquid product in a transparent bottle or container. Now, if the same product gets into an opaque container, chances are that your sales will dip and so will your profits. This task gets a lot easier when you, as the manufacturer get into the shoes of the consumer and consider the preferences.
For some products, the customers would focus on the product itself than the packaging and therefore the product gains precedence over packaging. Ceramic tiles, paint, and electrical fittings are among the examples.
Some people may think that ergonomics does not apply to packing. But if your packaging presents discomfort for the end user in terms of size and/or shape, then you are overlooking ergonomics. Imagine a toy being shipped through an e-commerce portal like Amazon. Your customer would expect to see the bare material within seconds after he has received the consignment. Now, you thought the toy is very precious and pack it in 6 layers requiring the customer to access a series of tools before he can reach what he has paid for! That is essentially discomforting and maybe even a negative approach to packing. In other words, all your efforts in material selection and design for your packing should put the end user first and make the packaging comfortable for him/her to handle.