The old adage, which came first the chicken or the egg, is surprisingly relevant when it comes to packaged products. After all, for marketing purposes, which is more important, the product or its packaging?
The truth is that both the product and its packaging are important. In fact without proper packaging that suits the product, the product will very likely be compromised.
So why is packaging just as important as products?
The Functions of Packaging
The main function of any form of packaging (both primary and secondary) is to protect the product. It stops it from breaking, from getting damp or dirty, and from any form of insect infestation. So for instance, jam of chutney may be packaged in a bottle that keeps it fresh, and the bottle is then packed for distribution in boxes that will protect the glass from breaking. While this will mean that bottles will need to be unpacked and displayed on supermarket shelves, sometimes glass jars and bottles may be packaged separately, either for shipping to individual customers, or for display in a shop.
But not all products are packaged in glass jars and bottles. Some products like fruit and vegetables can be squashed or crushed. They also need to be packaged so that they aren’t affected negatively by humidity, light, high temperatures and so on. But a totally different form of packaging will need to be used, perhaps cartons or boxes.
While the main function of packaging is protection, other functions include convenience and safe distribution, as well as product identification and product promotion. Of course there is also the need to display ingredient and sell-by-date details, and this must be included on the packaging along with directions on how to use the packaged product.
Still using jars and bottles as the example, this form of packaging will make it convenient to move and to store, providing the jars are packed in boxes.
Well thought out packaging improves stocktaking as well, since it will provide a quick and easy form of identification.
And ultimately, well-produced, appealing packaging will persuade people to buy products, adding to the impact of marketing. Linked to this, packaging may also be used to differentiated brands, which helps consumers identify their favorite products.
In fact, research indicates that effective packaging can play a major role in the success of new products. Poor packaging, on the other hand, can impact negatively, leading to reduced sales.
How Packaging Can Make a Positive Impact on Products
Well-designed packaging grabs consumers’ attention, because it stands out from products marketed by competitors. This is achieved by using color, vivid graphics, and by ensuring that the packaging appeals to more than one sense. For instance, innovative packaging that looks good and smells nice will be more appealing than packaging that looks drab – even if this increases the selling cost.
Designers also need to understand the demographics of their customers, and ensure that the packaging appeals to them. While they might change packaging to make it bold and beautiful, if it is a feminine product, soft colors will likely work better. Also, if packaging is working for a product, it is usually best to let it continue working, rather than to change it for the sake of change.
Bearing functionality in mind, in addition to basic protection of products, good packaging will also protect aromas, and will maintain the hygiene of products. Closure mechanisms are also important, although these will impact on repeat consumers rather than those buying for the first time.
Packaging may also be used to promote products in several ways. For instance:
- If the product is new, or has a new ingredient, the word “new” will draw attention and encourage consumers to buy
- Pricing may also be highlighted, like “buy one get one free”
- If the packaging itself has been revamped, this fact may also be highlighted on the packaging
- Eco-friendly products should ideally be packaged in eco-friendly packaging to add to their green appeal
Technik Knows That Packaging is Just as Important as Products
Technik specializes in packaging and has the best packaging machinery for your products. We appreciate that different products need different packaging applications, and will help you identify which is best for yours. Together we can ensure that products and packaging perform to increase your bottom line.